- HOW DO I GET A LEMON REFUND UNDER THE LEMON LAW?
- SHOULD I TRY TO HANDLE MY CASE WITHOUT A LAWYER?
- SHOULD I WAIT TO SEE IF THE VEHICLE IS FIXED BEFORE STARTING A NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW CASE?
- IF I FINANCED MY THE VEHICLE’S PURCHASE, CAN I STOP MAKING PAYMENTS?
- WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DO NOTHING ABOUT MY THE VEHICLE?
- WHAT IF THE NEW JERSEY CAR DEALER OR THE MANUFACTURER SAYS I DON’T HAVE A LEMON LAW CASE?
- WHAT IF I THINK MY FACTS DO NOT FIT THE LEMON LAW?
- WHY SHOULD I AVOID FILING A CLAIM WITH THE NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW UNIT OR THE ADMINISTATIVE LEGAL PROCESS?
- DO I HAVE TO START A LEMON LAW CLAIM WITH NEW JERSEY ARBITRATION OR NEW JERSEY MEDIATION BEFORE FILING LEMON LAWSUIT?
This article discusses tips for handling a New Jersey Lemon Law case. This article doesn’t discuss the New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law, which is discussed elsewhere on this website.
HOW DO I GET A LEMON REFUND UNDER THE LEMON LAW?
There is no “magical” Lemon Law fairy that gives out refunds or replacement vehicles to all deserving buyers or lessees. The New Jersey Lemon Law does not enforce itself. If the manufacturer or its authorized dealer is unable or unwilling to fix the vehicle within a reasonable period of time, the vehicle buyer or lessee can file a New Jersey Lemon Law case against the manufacturer in the Superior Court of New Jersey. If the vehicle buyer or lessee wins the lawsuit, the vehicle buyer or lessee can recover a vehicle refund in the form of money damages and reasonable attorney's fees, expert witness fees, certain repair and vehicle rental costs and certain court costs, including the fees for filing the New Jersey Lemon Law case.
SHOULD I TRY TO HANDLE MY CASE WITHOUT A LAWYER?
Since legal proceedings can be very complex, since all or most manufacturers use attorneys to defend New Jersey Lemon cases and since the Lemon Law permits successful claimants to recover reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs from the manufacturer, there is little benefit to a buyer or lessee trying to handle a New Jersey Lemon Law case without being represented by a New Jersey Lemon Lawyer. Indeed, it is often quite easy for manufacturers’ attorneys to defeat buyers or lessees who try to handle their own cases without a New Jersey Lemon Lawyer. Also, if you try to represent yourself, you may fail to take an important step (miss a deadline, fail to complete crucial paperwork, etc.) and jeopardize your case.
SHOULD I WAIT TO SEE IF THE VEHICLE IS FIXED BEFORE STARTING A NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW CASE?
If the vehicle has been at the manufacturer’s dealership at least 20 or more cumulative days for repairs for the same problem or has been subject to repair 3 times for the same problem, you should not wait any longer to ask a New Jersey Lemon Lawyer to evaluate your case. Legal proceedings may take time to be concluded and thus, the longer you wait to find out you have a case (or if you have a valid case, to begin the process), the longer you shall likely have to wait to conclude your case. Delay could hurt your Lemon Law case.
IF I FINANCED MY THE VEHICLE’S PURCHASE, CAN I STOP MAKING PAYMENTS?
It is generally very, very risky for a buyer or lessee to decide to stop making payments on The vehicle simply because it doesn’t work well or even if it doesn’t work at all. Failing to make payments on the vehicle could result in: (1) the credit of everyone on the vehicle’s loan being damaged; (2) the vehicle being repossessed; (3) everyone on the vehicle’s loan being sued; (4) ultimately, in a money judgment being entered against you, which may even exceed the vehicle original price. Failing to make payments on the vehicle’s loan could make a bad situation much, much worse. When you are considering whether to pursue a Lemon claim, always consult with a New Jersey Lemon Lawyer before deciding to stop making payments on the vehicle loan.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DO NOTHING ABOUT MY THE VEHICLE?
If you have a valid lemon claim and you do nothing to enforce your rights, you shall be stuck with your defective vehicle and the manufacturer or warranty provider shall get the best of you. There are strict time limits for perfecting and filing New Jersey Lemon Law cases. Since the Lemon Law is such a powerful weapon against manufacturers of lemon vehicles seriously consider making a claim under the Law before it is too late to do so. It can be very dangerous to read websites and conclude that a particular claim does or does not equal a valid Lemon Law claim. Do not try to interpret the law by reading a website!
WHAT IF THE NEW JERSEY CAR DEALER OR THE MANUFACTURER SAYS I DON’T HAVE A LEMON LAW CASE?
Ignore them and seek competent legal advice from a New Jersey Lemon Lawyer. Only attorneys licensed in New Jersey to practice law are permitted to give legal advice and only they are able to evaluate if you have a valid claim. Until you speak with a New Jersey Lemon Lawyer who is knowledgeable about this area of the law, do not draw any conclusions, regardless of what you heard from non-attorneys or read on the web.
WHAT IF I THINK MY FACTS DO NOT FIT THE LEMON LAW?
You should always speak with a New Jersey Lemon Lawyer before coming to any conclusions about your claim. Do not try to interpret the law by reading a website! However, even if the facts of your case do not fit the requirements of the Lemon Law, you may be entitled to sue the manufacturer or its selling dealer for a breach of your warranties under other state and federal laws.
WHY SHOULD I AVOID FILING A CLAIM WITH THE NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW UNIT OR THE ADMINISTATIVE LEGAL PROCESS?
In addition to filing a lawsuit in the Superior Court, there is also an administrative legal process that the buyer or lessee can use instead of filing the lawsuit. However, there may be dangers to using the administrative legal process, since by using it instead of a lemon lawsuit, a buyer or lessee may not be able to get all the relief that may be due them under all the laws applicable to defective vehicles. The Division of Consumer Affairs established a New Jersey Lemon Law Unit for the handling of lemon law claims. You are not required to file a lemon claim with the New Jersey Lemon Law Unit. If you file a lemon claim with the New Jersey Lemon Law Unit, you do not receive a trial by jury. However, if you or your lemon attorney file a New Jersey Lemon Law case in the Superior Court of New Jersey and properly demand a jury and your lawsuit is not dismissed before the jury decides the case, a jury of your peers decides whether you win or lose your New Jersey Lemon Law case. Under the Law, if citizens have a valid lemon lawsuit, they have a right to have their lawsuit decided by a jury. A New Jersey Lemon Law Unit claim is decided by a single administrative law judge instead of by a jury of your peers. Who would you rather have decide your case? A judge without a jury or a judge with jury of your peers? Another disadvantage to the New Jersey Lemon Law Unit is that, while you may have more than one claim against the manufacturer (and thus multiple ways of recovering damages), you may bring only one type of claim against the manufacturer in the New Jersey Lemon Law Unit proceeding. Usually, consumers who qualify for relief under the Lemon Law also qualify for help under other laws. But the New Jersey Lemon Law Unit does not permit consumers to seek relief under laws other than the Lemon Law, which often results in their weakening their changes to recover money damages for their defective vehicle. If you attempt to handle a lemon claim by yourself through the New Jersey Lemon Law Unit, you may lose your claim by failing to follow the required procedures or by failing to present sufficient proofs at any hearing or by failing to pursue rights under laws other than the Lemon Law. Usually manufacturers are represented by attorneys who are more familiar than you with such claims and quite often, the buyer or lessees who represent themselves before the New Jersey Lemon Law Unit fail to prove their Lemon claim.
DO I HAVE TO START A LEMON LAW CLAIM WITH NEW JERSEY ARBITRATION OR NEW JERSEY MEDIATION BEFORE FILING LEMON LAWSUIT?
Regardless of what the manufacturer’s warranty says, usually, consumers do not have to proceed to arbitration or mediation before filing a New Jersey Lemon Law case against the manufacturer. Under the Lemon Law, if the manufacturer has its own dispute settlement or New Jersey arbitration program, the vehicle buyer or lessee does not have to participate in it before filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer. Even if the vehicle buyer or lessee decides to participate in such a program, if dissatisfied with the result, the vehicle buyer or lessee may be able to file a lemon lawsuit against the manufacturer. However, by deciding to proceed with a arbitration process before filing a lemon lawsuit, many consumers waste much time and effort that could be better spent proceeding with Lemon lawsuit. Often, Lemon Law dispute resolution programs increase rather than decrease the time it takes to resolve a case. There are some exceptions, such as if you signed a valid arbitration agreement. However before considering whether to begin a lawsuit or whether to begin any mediation or arbitration, you should speak to a New Jersey Lemon Lawyer to have them review your lemon claim and to determine exactly how you should proceed.
TO LEARN MORE, GET A NO OBLIGATION CONSULT
Call Perlman DePetris Consumer Law for a no obligation phone consultation. Handling your case wrong from the beginning may only cost you more money and time in the end!! Try to do it right the first time by seeking legal advice from a competent lawyer! You might be entitled to be represented on a contingent basis, meaning that the attorney won’t get paid unless the case is successful and that the lawyer gets paid from your recovery instead of requiring you to pay attorney’s fees out of your own pocket up front. Other cases can be handled for a relatively small one-time payment of an up-front fixed attorney’s fee and with a contingent fee at the end of the case. Filing a claim yourself is very risky, since businesses often hire experienced defense attorneys to fight your case. Also, if you try to negotiate a settlement yourself, you may get less money than you deserve. You should always speak with an attorney before coming to any conclusions about your claim. Do not try to interpret the law by reading a website! Even if the facts of your case don’t fit Consumer Law requirements, you may be entitled to sue a business for a breach of your warranties under other state and federal laws or for a breach of contract or for some other type of claim and you may recover money damages, attorney’s fees and court costs.
While this page gives some general background information, there is the danger that relying on this information alone could lead you to lose your claim. Laws and regulations frequently change and the law may have changed since the posting of this webpage. Factual differences between your case and cases described on this webpage can affect your chance of success. Don’t attempt to rely on the internet as the only source of information for your claim! Instead, get competent legal advice from a New Jersey licensed attorney. Call Perlman DePetris Consumer Law for a no obligation phone consultation.