If you are considering filing a case under lemon law, you first must have an automobile that is considered to be a “lemon”. This can be generally defined as a car with mechanical problems that result in excess loss of usability of the vehicle. If you have submitted the proper paperwork and notified the dealer or manufacturer, and they were unable to fix the issue, refund your money, or replace the vehicle, then you may file a lawsuit. Depending on the state you are located in the procedure for filing a suit will vary slightly.
To start the process you must first file a complaint before you do anything else. You can find the proper form on the Internet for almost all states. It is also up to you to follow any other requirements that the state deems necessary. For instance, Texas requires a non-refundable $35 fee to be sent with your complaint forms. These fees may vary depending on your location and can often be awarded back to you if the case is found in your favor.
Depending on where you live, you may need to check to see if your state has a department of consumer automotive affairs that will handle these cases. If they do, you will need to follow their procedures first which will sometimes include having a hearing beforehand.
Filing a civil case is another way of following lemon law. What this typically means is that a hearing will be held by an administration law judge. Although it is always a good idea to have a lawyer, it is not usually necessary for this type of hearing unless the dealer or manufacturer of the vehicle has one.
It may not be necessary for you to hire an attorney to help you file your lawsuit. Typically, as long as you have the proper records and documentation you can file a lawsuit under your own power. Be aware, there will be some areas where you may need the assistance of an attorney. If you prefer to file a lawsuit without consulting an attorney, you need to be sure you meet the state’s requirements.
Firstly, you will need to provide proof that the vehicle was purchased and is legally your property when you’re hearing is presented. The next step is to show that while under warranty, the automobile was experiencing mechanical problems. After that you will need to prove that the issue was correctly submitted to the dealer or manufacturer, and they were allowed an acceptable amount of time to fix the problem. Next, you will need to prove that your problem was submitted within the time frame Finally, you need to show that the dealer or manufacturer had been notified in writing of the automobiles problems and/or risks that it imposed.
At the beginning of a case, some states or cities may have a non-binding arbitration. San Diego, California, for example has a voluntary arbitration that is usually initiated by the dealer or manufacturer. This sort of arbitration is not down to the consumer, but rather the dealer or manufacturer.
If you are not satisfied with the results of your case, an appeal can be filed to a Superior Court or you can file for a new case. In this instance, it is wise to consult an attorney to ensure your case is being filed properly. Most manufacturers and dealers will be prepared and have legal representation for them. Please do not take the information in this article as legal advice and always consult an attorney for your case.