A consumer thinking about filing a lemon law claim against their vehicle’s manufacturer has many options before them, including representing themselves in court. However, representing yourself without an attorney could end disastrously for your case.
Attorney Allen Stewart said consumers who pursue their lemon law claim without a lemon law attorney’s help are setting themselves up for failure.
“Large corporations are used to always getting their way with consumers,” Stewart said. “Always. They really only listen to consumers who are upset about their products, really listen to them when they have a lawyer; when they are asking for money.”
Stewart said manufacturers will often pay only lip service to your concerns about your lemon vehicle – up until you tell them you’ve hired an attorney. That gets their real attention and forces action.
“If the consumer is not asking for money, the consumer wants to just gripe or complain or write a letter, they will act like they are all ears,” he said. “When they says “and I want just compensation for the defective car you sold me, for the poor service I’ve received, for my car being in your possession for thirty days and not my possession, then the consumer with the lawyer will have the company’s attention.”
Lemon law attorneys possess years of experience and knowledge regarding the American legal system, state lemon laws, and how automotive manufacturers use both to stay ahead of consumers. A lemon law attorney will guide you throughout the lemon law claim process from start to finish. They know the tactics automakers can used to stymie your efforts.
“A consumer with a lawyer has someone who knows when they’re being bamboozled,” Stewart said. “Someone who knows when what that company just said isn’t the law, or the truth, or not equitable. The consumer with the lawyer has an advocate that has seen many other people in like circumstances, and knows what the appropriate standard of care and treatment should be.”
Stewart said over the course of his legal career he’s seen very, very few consumer succeed when they try and represent themselves in court. He said he’s seen judges advise such consumers in the courtroom that they face almost certain failure without a lawyer.
“The likelihood of them winning is remote,” Stewart said. “The likelihood of them doing every procedural thing that is required of them under the law is infinitesimally small. They have to hope and pray they get a compassionate judge.”
Lemon law attorneys navigate potential pitfalls every day as they represent clients and their lemon law claims; they know deadlines and requirements that, if ignored, could torpedo your claim before it truly begins. Andrew Ross, lemon law attorney with Allen Stewart P.C., said minor details can make or break a claim.
“I think it’s always a good idea to consult with a lawyer,” Ross said. “You don’t know, if you didn’t talk to an attorney, if you even have to go through arbitration. You may not realize that arbitrations are built to just frustrate people. It’s a delay tactic.”
The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act lets attorney seek their fees from the automotive manufacturer, if they are successful in court. This means you as a client pay nothing out of pocket. You literally have nothing to lose by consulting with a lemon law attorney and everything to gain.
“Even the simplest things in the law can be that complicated because if you miss the timeline, you could lose it all,” Stewart said. “If you file the wrong paperwork, it could set you back time and money, and you might lose the case. To think the other side knows all of this, because they’ve hired a lawyer, they know all these things you don’t know, should be terrifying to a consumer.”
It costs nothing to speak with a qualified lemon law attorney about your potential claim. If you have a vehicle with repeated, unfixable problems contact the offices of Allen Stewart P.C. Our lemon law attorneys have combined decades of experience taking automotive manufacturers to court and winning.
Don’t stay on the roadside. Contact us today for a free consultation. Find out what your options are, get back on the road and get the justice you deserve.