The Lemon Law is designed to protect consumers from purchasing cars, trucks, boats, and more with hidden manufacturer defects. However, those laws vary from one state to the next. While each may have different protections or rules regarding filing a claim, there are five essential “must-haves” when creating a Lemon Law case.
1. Proof of Purchase
Whether you’re contacting a California lawyer for Lemon Law or an attorney in Pennsylvania, the first step is having your documentation ready. There are several documents you need to move forward with a case, but the first few prove that you did indeed purchase the vehicle in question. Those include:
· Bill of Sale
· Finance Agreement
· Purchase Contract
· Warranty information
Without all four of those documents, you will not be able to file and submit a claim in any state. Your expert witnesses, which primarily include mechanic shops and vehicle inspectors, cannot prove that you own the vehicle without a proof of purchase. These documents also show the purchase date and whether you bought the vehicle new or used, which all affect your case.
2. Issues and Repairs
To move forward with a Lemon Law case, you need to show when and how the issues you’re experiencing with your vehicle have happened. That requires a detailed timeline of repair attempts as well as your communications with the dealer or manufacturer.
For any Lemon Law case, regardless of the state you’re filing a claim in, you need to prove that you have attempted to repair the problem. Each state has a minimum number of times for minor and major issues, as well as those that are potentially harmful or life-threatening.
3. Repair Documents
Not only do you need to prove that you’ve had the vehicle in the shop, but you also need to show what was done. Keep your repair orders, receipts, and invoices for your claim. These are the most crucial pieces of evidence against the manufacturer.
4. Photos and Videos
When the expert witness testifies, their spoken word is powerful in a courtroom. However, it isn’t always enough to win the case. Any photos or videos of the issues you can provide will back up their testimony and can even help them make a better case for why you should win the claim.
When taking videos, do your best to stay away from profanity and try not make the problem sound dramatic. That’s easier said than done, especially with such a frustrating issue, but it’s in your best interest to stick to the facts and say them in a calm manner.
5. All Communication with the Dealership and Manufacturer
Lemon Law allows a dealership and manufacturer to rectify the issue before a consumer files a claim. Your communication with the dealership shows that you have attempted to fix the problem several times, while those with the manufacturer show their attempts and attitude toward you as a consumer.
Emails, texts, and even phone calls can all be used in court. If you’ve received communication from either in the mail, that’s just as good. As long as you can show that you gave the manufacturer enough time by your state’s law to solve the problem, you can move forward with your claim.