Lemon Laws and Insurance Companies – WTVM Legal Break
Injury & Accident Attorney Serving Nearby Areas of Columbus & Fort Benning, Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama
Gary Bruce takes more questions from viewers – this week on the topics of Lemon Laws and promises made by insurance companies. A Lemon Law is a protection that most states have which allow a purchaser of a new vehicle to have some sort of recourse if the new vehicle they have just purchased is a lemon. Georgia Lemon Laws give dealers three opportunities to repair general problems, and only one opportunity to repair the issue if it can lead to serious injury or death. They key to the Lemon Laws is that the issue has to start from the beginning – it must be a new vehicle and the claimant must be the vehicle’s first owner.
Gary also answers a viewer question regarding whether or not to trust insurance companies when settling a case. A promise in writing is best but can only be enforceable if it communicates a deal. Many times the “promise” is so vague that is cannot be enforced. Insurance companies often try to offer a settlement figure early on in the case, but you don’t know what your case involves at that point and the full story has not been established.
Promises of settlement made on little knowledge of the facts should be avoided and really don’t constitute an agreement. If you are unsure of how to proceed with a claim against an insurance company, or are skeptical of the “promises” being made, we are glad to discuss the situation with you at no cost. Contact the Law Offices of Gary Bruce at (706) 596-1446 or email us at email@example.com to set up an appointment for a free and confidential consultation.
Narrator: Now answering your questions about the law and legal issues, this is Legal Break with attorney, Gary Bruce.
Gary: Good morning, good to see you again. We’ve got some more good questions from our viewers, thank you keep them coming, I’m happy to answer them. Today we’ll start with a video question about the Lemon Law.
Question One: Hey, Gary. What is the lemon law?
Gary: Well, what is the lemon law? The lemon law is a protection in most states, that allows for a purchaser of a new vehicle to have some recourse if the vehicles are Lemon. So how do you define a lemon- I guess that’s the question that’s first addressed. And in Georgia, it’s defined as a vehicle where the dealer is given three opportunities to repair a problem, and they can’t do it. Or one opportunity to prepare to repair a problem that’s very serious or could lead to injury or death. Or the vehicle had run for 30 days. Now you can only invoke the lemon law if within the first 24,000 miles, or two years of ownership. So, it has to be something that kind of services from the beginning. The problem is this- I mean you’ve got to take it back and forth, back and forth, and document everything. So, if you’re having these kind of problems document everything, put it all in writing, make sure you hold on to your receipts and all the repairs that are done, let the dealer try to make the repairs for you. If it does become a problem the Better Business Bureau has some services that help, but generally it’s a long process so hopefully you don’t have a lemon, hopefully it gets fixed.
Question Two: Our second question today comes to us from an email that was sent in. This question the viewer asked whether promises made by an insurance company can be trusted.
Gary: Well that seems a little pointed maybe. But my advice would be this- if it’s in writing I think you might be able to trust it. What we hear a lot of, or what we see a lot of in my kind of work, where people involved in a wreck and promises are made at the beginning, don’t hire a lawyer, don’t do anything, we’ll get it all taken care of. It’s very vague kind of promises of taking care of things later. Here’s my position on that: you don’t know what your case involves yet, you don’t know enough about it. Cases have to make like a percolator with coffee, if you pour it too early it’s weak and you don’t really have the full story. So promises made based on really no facts are kind of empty promises. So I would say, don’t trust those so much. But if you do trust one, get it in writing. Don’t trust just a verbal commitment because it won’t be potentially honored.
So again, thank you for the questions keep them coming. Facebook, The Law Office of Gary Bruce Facebook page, or our website, or WTVM. We’ll be happy to get them, we appreciate your involvement. Thank you.