We will do our best to get back to you the same day if possible. It will be the next business day at the latest, guaranteed!
There are no out of pocket attorneys’ fees charged to our clients for out of court pre-litigation representation EVER! Attorneys’ fees are requested under the law from your vehicle’s manufacturer under the law as part of any overall settlement.
No attorneys’ fees are ever directly charged to our clients out of pocket for out of court representation.
Katz & Amar only gets paid if YOU GET PAID!
The reason there is no out of pocket charge to you is because an attorneys’ fee provision was added to the law. That was done because companies were not standing behind their products. The legislature wanted consumers to have the help of attorneys so the manufacturers would stop taking advantage of people and would accept responsibility for poorly made products. Most attorneys would not be willing to take on small dollar car cases because the fees charged wouldn’t make sense in many cases. At the same time consumers would not want to pay attorneys’ fees out of pocket for a replacement vehicle. For all these reasons the companies are liable for attorneys’ fees and we don’t have to bill you and will never charge you out of pocket for out of court representation.
If there is only a small compensation offer made out of court we will cut our fees if necessary and split it in half with you if you do not want to go to court. Our policy is to NEVER get paid more than our clients for out of court representation, EVER!
No. We only get paid by the company if we get your case settled for you (a Refund, New Vehicle, or Cash Compensation) in out of court representation. We will advise you about whether we believe an offer is fair and reasonable under the circumstances and regarding settlement options, but whether to settle or not is always up to you.
Usually very little of your time. With Katz & Amar’s efforts, most cases are resolved out of court within 1-3 months (it can be slightly longer if a Buyback or New Vehicle Replacement is obtained for you because there is more to get done administratively for those types of resolutions); the average is generally 2 months. Your main responsibility during this process will be to confer with your attorney regarding settlement offers, keep your attorney posted about any new repair issues, and provide any vehicle records the other side might request to review if we don’t already have them from you. This will typically takes only 10-20 minutes of your time because there are no hearings to attend for our 3 Step Out of Court Resolution Process. We know you are busy and we will do all of the heavy lifting to deal with your out of court case for you.
That’s great if your vehicle appears to be repaired (for the moment). Let us ask you though, did you expect to deal with so many repair attempts or time without your vehicle when you first bought this brand “new” vehicle? Was it convenient for you to have to take it in for repairs? Was the rental/loaner (if one was even provided without a charge) the same caliber as your vehicle? Even if it was, you have still been inconvenienced and providing a rental is not a defense to a Lemon Law or breach of warranty claim. Do you feel after dealing with all these problems that you got the new vehicle value you paid for? Look we understand you might like the vehicle. That’s why you bought it, but if it is truly finally properly fixed, and only time will tell on that (you also risk having your claims timed out if you wait and see), you should at least still get some of your money back for the inconvenience and for having overpaid for a “new” vehicle that’s had repairs like a used vehicle. Those types of cash settlements are actually the most common and easier to negotiate because companies prefer to just say they’re sorry and to keep you as a customer by cutting you a check to make things right with you rather than reacquiring a vehicle they then have to deal with the administrative burden of labeling as a Lemon and wholesaling it at auction for a loss. The main point is, that the law steps in to say enough is enough once a vehicle has had too many repairs or has been in the repair shop for too long even if the vehicle is finally fixed. Time is our most limited precious resource and you will never get the time back for dealing with these repair issues. You should at least be compensated for that. Keep in mind the law is not punitive here. We aren’t seeking millions of dollars from the company. It’s just about getting you the “new” product value you deserve and that type of substantial compensation will only take 10-20 minutes of your time because we do all the heavy lifting. So it’s up to you if you think that very short time commitment that costs you nothing in our 3 Step Out of Court Resolution Process is worth potentially thousands of dollars in compensation.
That’s a legitimate concern. What you should know though is that the Lemon Law applies to the manufacturer of a defective vehicle, not the dealer. The dealer does repairs on behalf of the company but it is a completely independent entity. There is no cost to the dealer under the Lemon Law. We’ve even had cases where honest dealers recommend to their customers to look into the Lemon Law. For RVs, Offroad Vehicles and Boats there are some instances where we have to include the selling dealership because of certain exclusions of Lemon Law coverage for certain products and we have to use laws that directly apply to dealers to get consumers the best resolution possible. However, manufacturers generally indemnify/defend dealerships for any warranty or revocation of acceptance claims for these products so we are still technically pursuing the matter against the manufacturer of the product.
In our experience dealers do not retaliate against consumers for Lemon Law or breach of warranty claims because the law applies to the manufacturer not the dealership and so the dealer doesn’t lose any money. Additionally, the product warranty requires that necessary defect in materials and workmanship repairs be performed and if a dealer refuses to repair legitimate defects that would lead to breach of warranty legal penalties against the manufacturer, which is its business partner.
It is understandable to want to try and work things out amicably with the car, motorcycle, boat, or RV company. What you need to know though is that the company is not necessarily looking out for your best interest. Most companies do all they can to minimize their expenses and want to do the least amount possible to resolve Lemon Law or Breach of Warranty matters. They train their representatives to sweet talk you and do nothing of substance or just to give you something minimal like a month of payment or a short warranty extension. Sometimes you’ll even be asked to sign a document relinquishing your Lemon Law rights to get that kind of minimal offer. We have seen this happen multiple times with clients that had very strong claims entitling them to a Refund, New Vehicle or substantially higher Cash Compensation, but there was nothing we could do to help because they unknowingly signed all of their rights away. Keep in mind, several car companies have not done safety recalls for $20-$100 parts knowing that people could be harmed, or even killed. This is what you are dealing with.
The companies also know that out of every 10 people with legitimate Lemon Law or Breach of Warranty cases maybe 1 or 2 out of 10 will go the extra step and hire an attorney even if they are threatening to get an attorney involved or say they have talked to one. They know most people are leery of dealing with attorneys because of negative media impressions or negative experiences in different types of legal matters. They also know that most consumers do not fully understand the Lemon Law resolution process and pitfalls that could hurt or even cause a claim to fail. Because of that they either offer something minimal or nothing at all. Even in the rare cases when companies do accept responsibility and offer a buyback or replacement vehicle, often times those offers do not include everything the consumer is entitled to recover under the law.
Finally, if you had a medical issue would you do surgery on yourself? Then why would you do the same thing with a legal issue against a multi-million or even multi-billion dollar company with legally trained representatives? Keep in mind that manufacturer representatives for Lemon Law and Breach of Warranty matters are sometimes actually attorneys or at least legally trained regarding Lemon Laws and civil legal matters and this training could be used to get you to make statements or admissions that could hurt or even defeat your Lemon Law case. Think about your own job. Do you think that someone walking off the street that has no experience in your profession could do near as good a job as you or even know everything that you have to do to be successful? Would that person have any idea of all the job pitfalls to avoid? Of course not! So why would you put yourself in that type of position in a Lemon Law claim? You don’t have to go into the Lion’s Den on you own. You can have a Law Firm that has dealt with these companies (and defeated them at trial when necessary) on your side to protect your rights and to fight on your behalf to get the best deal possible for you. The unfair and unequal bargaining position between individual consumers and these large companies is why both the State Legislature and Congress added attorneys’ fees provisions requiring that manufacturers pay attorneys’ fees for these types of claims. Both the Legislature and Congress wanted consumers to have a level playing field with attorneys representing their interests and not to have the cost of hiring an attorney preventing such legal assistance. You are legally entitled to and deserve this 100% Free Legal Help!
That concern is understandable. We would like to reiterate though that the time commitment would be very minimal. We can handle everything over phone, email and fax and 10-20 minutes of your time could result in a Refund, a New Vehicle or substantial Cash compensation (several thousand dollars depending on the severity of the defect and repair history). It is up to you but it would be well worth your while for the minimal time involved because worst case scenario you are out that amount of time and have been charged nothing for the representation. The other 95% of the time a Refund, New Vehicle, or Cash Compensation has been obtained for you out of court for an under 30 minute time commitment.
We’re not a huge fan of many attorneys ourselves. Although the media can exaggerate the negative and ignore the positive in any profession, we know that there are parts of the legal profession that are basically broken. Lots of legal representation is costly and self serving. Many attorneys and Firms just care about getting paid, and not necessarily about the results their clients get from the representation.
We do things differently at this Firm. We are working on becoming the Zappos of law firms where we ALWAYS put our clients first. We understand that even in a case where we get paid less by cutting our fee for you, if we do right by our clients it will come back to us through referrals and positive reviews. We also seek to persuade companies that it would be in their best interests to accept responsibility for defective products, take care of their customers, and keep them with the brand long term. 95% of the time we are successful at getting companies to accept responsibility out of court with settlements that our clients are very satisfied with. If you take a look at our Testimonials and 5 Star Reviews you’ll see how we take care of our clients.
Yes, your warranty is still valid. Also, any settlement reached does not affect your right to continue to receive warranty repairs for the normal duration of your vehicle’s warranty.
No. Settlement terms will not be reported in any public database or on the internet. The vehicle only gets tagged a Lemon if the car company reacquires it under the Lemon Law.
If you are not happy with an out of court offer or non-offer (which only happens in 5% or less of our cases) and decide to pursue litigation, our attorneys will fight to get you the best outcome possible and will continually attempt to settle your case throughout the process. Unlike other run of the mill firms that may not be willing to litigate (and companies know who these firms are), Katz & Amar’s attorneys have fully and successfully litigated cases through trial and in the Court of Appeals and we have a much higher winning percentage in Court than most Lemon Law firms.
The BBB Auto Line only decides to award a repurchase or replacement at arbitration 22.8% of the time and repair 12% of the time (repairs are meaningless because they are already required under warranty). [2009 BBB Auto Line Statistics – in its own website]. The Auto Line also does not appear to offer cash compensation. Id. For the vast majority of consumers, the BBB Auto Line is just a procedural hurdle that causes delay which could effect applicable statutes of limitations. It also increases the time consumers must keep their defective vehicles and forces them to continue to make payments while delaying resolution. Arbitration can be a fallback option if you are not satisfied with the resolution offered by the company through the representation, but that option should be employed after not before seeking legal assistance from a Law Firm.
A very high percentage of claims (at least 95%) are resolved by Katz & Amar out of court/arbitration without the need for litigation, so in most cases the answer is no. There are a small percentage of cases where there is a non-offer or unfair offer made. When necessary, our Firm litigates cases on behalf of consumers and we are always willing to take valid claims to court and/or arbitration. With that being said, if a claim is not resolved out of court because the maximum offer made is insufficient, you are under no obligation to proceed to court/arbitration if you do not wish to (although most of the 5% of our clients who are not satisfied with an out of court proposal do decide to litigate and most of those cases are resolved successfully by us for higher compensation to them, and for the few case that go all the way to arbitration or trial we have a much higher winning percentage than the vast majority of Lemon Law attorneys). Nonetheless, if you do not wish to litigate, you have the option to end the representation out of court without owing any attorneys’ fees.
This depends on the mileage of your vehicle and/or when it was purchased. If you do not make a timely claim, you may lose rights under the Lemon Law. So do not delay. Please contact us for a specific analysis of your vehicle situation to make sure your claims are not timed out.
If you decide to pursue litigation in court and prevail, an attorneys’ fee petition is filed with the court on your behalf for payment of attorneys’ fees. If the full attorneys’ fees are not awarded by the judge, the outstanding fees are paid from the total recovery. If you comply with the representation agreement, but unfortunately do not win the case, then no attorneys’ fees will be owed in the vast majority of cases. The are a few limited circumstances where a client would need to be charged attorneys’ fees for litigation representation. Please call us for details.
Most cases (95%+) are resolved out of court without any need for court filing costs or any other types of costs. If you decide to pursue litigation by filing a court complaint, the filing and service of process fees are the responsibility of the client. There may also be other costs associated with prosecuting your case depending on how far it goes, like deposition transcripts and/or expert fees. It is our goal to resolve your case as quickly as possible and to limit costs only incurring costs if they are absolutely necessary to prosecute your claim.
Going to trial even if you file a lawsuit is very rare. Often times, there are many opportunities to settle a case before filing a formal complaint in court and even after a complaint is filed, there are additional opportunities to obtain recovery through settlement before going to trial.
Ultimately, if the matter is not resolved because the sides are too far apart on settlement, it may have to be decided at trial. We have a winning record at trial and will do our utmost to prepare you for such an eventuality if at all necessary.
General Motors (Chevy, GMC, Cadillac), Ford, Lincoln, Nissan, Fiat Chrysler America (Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Alfa Romeo, Fiat), Toyota, Mercedes, BMW, Subaru, Mazda, Volkswagen, Kia, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Honda, Lexus, Acura, Infiniti, Tesla, Audi, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, Harley-Davidson, Four Winds, Monaco, Winnebago, Fleetwood, Coachmen, Forest River, Keystone, Heartland, Tiffin, Cruiser (this list is not exhaustive).
Engine, transmission, suspension, tires, brakes, electrical system, air conditioning, ignition, steering, computer modules, interior trim components, exterior trim components (this list is not exhaustive).