WHAT IS THE LEMON LAW CASE PROCESS?
You may be asking yourself, “what is involved in filing a lemon law case?” You may have been involved in another sort of lawsuit that has had friends or family involved in a law lawsuit before. It’s important for each consumer to know that each case is different and will not be compared to other disputes; even another lemon law lawsuit. In fact, manufacturers themselves use the tried and true script of a “case-by-case” basis in defending against consumers’ requests for repurchases. We will now go over what to expect when filing a lemon law claim.
One of the foremost commonly asked questions pertains to how long the lemon law claim process will take. Unfortunately, because every case is different there’s no way of knowing. Many alternative variables play a role in determining the length of the claim including where the case is going to be filed, what are the defects within the vehicle, which manufacturer is involved, who the attorney is representing the manufacturer, how busy opposing counsel is with other matters not associated with your case, and the way the assigned judge handles the caseload in his or her courtroom. The truth is that there many factors that affect how long a selected case will take but on average most cases take a handful of months to settle.
Most Lemon Law Cases settle, but there are some cases that are defended tenaciously for upwards of a year or more. While the goal of a Lemon Law Claim is to come to a fair resolution as soon as possible, there’s no guarantee that the defendant in your case will wish to settle sooner instead of later. In fact, one of the defendant manufacturer’s simplest defense strategies is to delay a case in an effort to wear consumers down.
HOW MUCH INVOLVEMENT IS REQUIRED OF THE CLIENT WHEN FILING A LEMON LAW CLAIM?
Most cases won’t require clients to do much personally beyond providing their lawyer with all of the information about the struggle with their vehicle and all of the proof of attempted repair of the mechanical issues. The Lemon Law Attorney will work with their client to answer written discovery requests if served by the defendant.
In a minority of cases, the defendant will wish to depose clients. Depositions are simply formal question and answer sessions with a court reporter creating a written transcript of the proceedings. An attorney will help prepare the client and attend the deposition together with them.
Likewise, during a minority of cases, the defendant may wish to conduct a vehicle inspection, and the parties may meet at a neighborhood dealership for the defendant to gauge the condition of the vehicle. The client isn’t present for this inspection but merely makes the vehicle available at the dealership. Typically these inspections last a couple of hours.
Being required to participate in written discovery, depositions, or making the vehicle available for a vehicle inspection doesn’t happen in every case. But clients should understand that it may be required as part of the Lemon Law Claim process.
SETTLEMENT OF YOUR CASE
If the vehicle is determined to be a Lemon, at some point within the dispute, the defendant will approach the Lemon Law Attorney to debate settlement. When this might happen is different in every case. Because the defendant is the party within the lawsuit that will ultimately pay for the settlement, it is the defendant that has more of a say in how long the case will take. The Lemon Law Attorney will provide advice on what’s a good settlement given the circumstances of the case and then the choice is up to the client to reject or accept any offer. Sometimes settlement discussions will occur within the first month or two of the case. Other times settlement discussions will occur as trial approaches. In some cases, a trial could be required. Lemon law trials typically last a matter of 4 or five days.
This brief overview of what to expect when filing for a lemon law claim will hopefully help you understand the process.
If you would like to see if you qualify for a Lemon Law Case you can visit lemonlarry.com and submit the Case Review contact form.