If you believe a car dealership defrauded or deceived you during the sale of a vehicle, you may want to sue them. But what kind of lawyer do you need to sue a car dealership?
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- Reason to Sue a Car Dealership
- Can You Sue a Car Manufacturer
- Can I Sue a Dealership For Not Giving Me a Title
- Possible Red Flags or Signs of a Scam When Buying a Car
- Car Buying Scams
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The Type of Lawyers That Deal With Cars
The types of lawyers that deal with car issues are auto fraud or consumer protection lawyers specializing in auto dealer disputes.
Think of them as Attorneys for Cars. What makes them especially helpful with resolving a bad car deal or suing a car dealership is that they are experienced in relevant laws like:
- State consumer protection acts
- Federal laws regulating car sales
- State vehicle lemon laws
- Laws prohibiting false advertising and fraud
These attorneys can evaluate if the dealer violated the law during your transaction. They can explain your options and legal rights.
If you have a valid case, they can represent you in negotiations or litigation against the dealership. Many work on a contingency fee basis.
Do you Need an Attorney To Sue a Car Dealer?
The answer is no if your claim amount is under $10,000; however, that limit varies from state to state, so you would have to check on your state’s small claims court limits.
Where I was a dealer here in Florida, it was $8,000.
If your claim is over the limit for small claims court, then you must file a lawsuit in civil court, where it is highly recommended that you hire an attorney.
Know the Most Common Car Dealer Scams
Familiarize yourself with typical dealer scams before meeting with a lawyer:
- Odometer fraud – Illegally altering the mileage on a car’s odometer to show lower miles
- History fraud – Concealing crash damage, flood damage, or other defects
- Spot delivery scam – Dealer claims your financing fell through after you took the car and makes you sign a new contract
- Bait and switch advertising – Dealer advertises a car they don’t actually have to lure you in
- Added fees or products – Dealer tacks on unnecessary “add-ons” to increase the price
Understand Laws That Protect Car Buyers
In your consultation, ask the attorney to explain key laws like:
|State Consumer Protection Laws
|Protect against deceptive business practices like false advertising
|Federal Odometer Act
|Prohibits odometer tampering
|Federal Warranty Act
|Requires dealers to honor warranties
|State Vehicle Lemon Laws
|Help buyers with defective new cars
Find an Attorney Experienced in Auto Dealer Lawsuits
To find an attorney for car related issues or car dealership fraud, use the following resources:
Look for a lawyer with specific expertise in auto dealer disputes and litigation when possible. Key credentials to seek out:
- Membership in lawyer associations like the National Association of Consumer Advocates
- Past experience handling auto fraud cases
- Knowledge of state and national consumer protection laws
- History of favorable verdicts and settlements against dealerships
Understand How Auto Dealer Lawsuits Work
In your initial meeting, ask the lawyer to walk through the auto dealer litigation process:
- How long do these cases typically take to resolve?
- What are the steps in a lawsuit against a dealership?
- What kind of evidence is needed to prove fraud?
- What are the possible legal remedies and damages you can recover?
Make sure you understand timeframes, costs, and possible outcomes before deciding if litigation is your best option.
With the right legal help, you may be able to get compensation or remedies if you were the victim of car dealer fraud. Do your research to find an experienced auto fraud attorney who can evaluate your case and counsel you on the best course of action.
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