While many law firms may offer free lawyer consultations, finding the right attorney who is experienced in the lemon law and has previously litigated these types of cases is essential for obtaining a favorable lawsuit settlement or judgment from the court. The lemon law was drafted as a form of consumer protection for people who purchased or leased materially defective vehicles from big businesses and those in the profession of producing vehicles. But, the lemon law itself may not be enough for those consumers who aren’t familiar with this area of California law and makes free lawyer consultations even more important to finding an attorney who is skilled in litigating lemon law cases.

To make sure that consumers have adequate access to the legal system and the lemon law, the California Legislature included a provision, which provides for consumers’ attorney fees and costs incurred during the legal process. Following the consumer’s free lawyer consultation, most attorneys will represent their clients without any upfront charges and will take on the risk that a legal claim may not end with a favorable judgment or lawsuit settlement. Only if the attorney is successful in obtaining monetary relief or a replacement vehicle for their client, through a court judgment or lawsuit settlement, will the attorney receive payment for their services.

However, taking advantage of free lawyer consultations will allow consumers to find an attorney who will take the time to explain and examine every right that the consumer is entitled to and that the consumer may not have been aware of. For instance, many consumers may not know that meeting the conditions set forth under the lemon law presumption is not necessary before filing a legal claim. During their free lawyer consultation, a consumer should discuss the condition of their vehicle and the repair attempts made to date. While the lemon law presumption details a specific number of repair attempts required depending on the type of defect a vehicle is experiencing, the attorney should be able to advise their client as to whether an adequate number of attempts have been made considering their specific vehicle and its problems.

Also, during a free lawyer consultation, consumers could be advised that they may be entitled to receive compensation that exceeds the amount of money the consumer actually expected to collect back from the manufacturer. Should a manufacturer willfully refuse to comply with the legal obligations required under the lemon law, a judge has the authority, and is sometimes is required, to impose a judgment that includes punitive damages of up to two times the amount of money that the consumer is owed. Had a consumer not taken advantage of the free lawyer consultations before hiring an attorney to represent him or her, it is possible that their attorney may not be skilled under the lemon law and may not be aware of each right afforded to consumers under this section of California’s legal code. Fortunately, because the lemon law was drafted with consumer protection in mind, consumers are able to participate in free lawyer consultations before deciding whom to hire to represent them.

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