Most attorneys charge the client a fee calculated using the amount of time they spend working on the case. It includes consultations in person and over the phone, emails, preparing the case, negotiating with other attorneys, and litigating in court. There may even be charges for their time if they must travel to appear in court. There is also often a retainer required before they begin work on the case.
On the other hand, Lemon law attorneys are paid a contingency fee based on whether they win a successful resolution of a claim. This is similar to how personal injury attorneys work, and there are no up-front costs. This contingency arrangement is understood by judges and other attorneys defending the manufacturer or dealership. If the defendant refuses to pay, the lemon law attorney can request the courts to step in and force the defendant to pay.
Why do it this way?
There are a few essential reasons why this financial arrangement works, all of which benefit the client:
- Ensures legal representation: Manufacturers and businesses can usually more easily afford legal guidance and may even employ a team of lawyers. It helps ensures that the plaintiff also has knowledgeable legal advice with experience in these matters.
- The cost: The car owner or lessee likely will not have the same financial resources to pay a lawyer, or they may be less likely to assert their legal rights if they must risk paying their own money.
- Avoids predatory representation: Since the attorney is only paid if they win, there is no temptation to take on a case that they know they are likely to lose. It can also reduce the temptation for less reputable lawyers to rack up legal fees by unnecessarily extending a case.
It starts with a free initial consultation
The potential client can discuss the case’s details during a free initial consultation even before hiring the attorney. This is the time where the potential client explains the basis of their claim. The attorney can then decide if they want to take the case. At this time, they will explain the procedural details of lemon law claims and go into more depth about their fee structure.