What is an Auto Dealer Fraud Lawyer?
Lawyers who specialize in consumer protection laws may also have specific expertise in buying and selling vehicles. Any consumer purchase may be vulnerable to fraud, but vehicle purchases are major for most people. They include big payments, and the potential for fraud is high.
An auto dealer fraud lawyer represents victims of unlawful dealership practices. This may include false advertising, inflating prices, or low-balling trade-in value, among many other deceptive sales tactics. Lawyers help their clients resolve the situation, get vehicle repairs or refunds, and recover damages.
When Do I Need an Auto Dealer Fraud Lawyer?
State and federal laws protect consumers from auto dealership fraud. Usually, state laws apply, and they provide processes for seeking a remedy to the fraud, such as a free repair or a refund on the vehicle. You do not need to hire a lawyer to do this, but it’s a good idea. Consider working with an auto dealer fraud lawyer in these situations:
- You bought a vehicle and thought the dealership committed fraud, but you are not sure.
- The vehicle you bought has a major defect the dealership didn’t warn you about.
- The defect will cost you a lot of money to repair or is potentially dangerous.
- A defect in a vehicle you bought caused an accident.
- You contacted the dealership and filed a complaint with the state consumer protection agency and did not get a good result.
What Can an Auto Dealer Fraud Lawyer Do for Me?
There are three main things you can do after experiencing fraud at an auto dealership, and a lawyer can assist you with all of them:
Contact the Dealership Directly
State laws address the actions you can take after being a victim of dealership fraud. Your lawyer can explain the laws that apply and your options. In many states, you may contact the dealership with your concerns. In some states, this is required before you can take any other steps.
Your lawyer can represent you and communicate directly with the dealership on your behalf. They may be able to get a quick resolution to the problem. If the dealership acknowledges the fraud, they may be prepared to refund you or make another type of remedy.
Contact a State Agency
If you do not get a satisfactory result from the dealership, you can contact your state’s consumer protection agency. There is a process to follow to file a complaint, and your lawyer can help you do it correctly or even do it for you.
The agency can choose to investigate your allegations. If they do, and find evidence of fraud, you may get a refund, a repair, or another type of remedy for the damages caused.
File a Lawsuit
Most states allow you to sue the dealership if you have exhausted the other options without a result. Your lawyer will file the complaint in court, notify the dealership, and gather evidence to prove they committed fraud and cost you damages.
Your lawyer may be able to convince the dealership to enter into settlement negotiations. This is a way to get damages quicker and without going to court. If they do not negotiate or offer an unfair settlement, you can go to trial and get a jury verdict.
The Benefits of Working with an Auto Dealer Fraud Lawyer
At no point in the process of trying to remedy fraud are you required to have legal representation. You can take steps to get a refund or repair, or even recover damages, without a lawyer.
There are important benefits of hiring an experienced auto dealer fraud lawyer instead of going it alone:
- Expertise in the laws
Laws that apply to auto dealership fraud go beyond consumer protection, and they vary by state. The dealer may have violated privacy laws, contract laws, or warranty laws, for instance. A lawyer specializing in auto dealer fraud will know the laws and which ones to reference to get you justice.
- A quicker result
You may get a good result on your own, but it could take months or even years. With a lawyer advocating for you and pressuring the dealership, you should get a much faster outcome.
- A better settlement
You can advocate for yourself when recovering damages from the dealership, but a lawyer has more experience. They can likely get you more than you would be able to on your own.
- Litigate if necessary
It’s possible to get a good result without a lawyer going through the state agency or dealing directly with the dealership. But if you get to the point of needing to file a lawsuit, a lawyer is a must. They can take the dealership all the way to court if necessary and prove fraud in front of a jury to get you a verdict and damages.
How to Find an Auto Dealer Fraud Lawyer
Look for a law firm that specializes in consumer protections and auto dealer fraud. You may have a friend or family member who had a similar situation. Ask them for a lawyer they trust. If you know a lawyer practicing in another area of law, ask them for a referral.
The right lawyer will give you a chance to ask questions at no cost, so line up a few and interview them before making a decision. Find out about their experience with similar cases, how long they have specialized in dealer fraud, and what they think of your case. Ask about fees, timelines, and if they have the time and resources to take your case.
Working with an auto dealer fraud lawyer is important if you have been a victim of a dealership’s illegal practices. They cost you money and violated the laws. This means you have a right to take legal action. A lawyer with experience in these cases gives you the best opportunity for a positive outcome.