Did a used-car dealership sell you a car with frame damage? Or did you unknowingly purchase a vehicle that had otherwise been damaged in a collision? If so, then you should find out how serious the damage is, and then immediately call an expert California lemon law and car dealer fraud attorney to discuss your legal rights. Even though California’s lemon law statute does not have any provisions specifically dealing with accident-damaged cars and trucks, experienced car dealer fraud lawyers, like San Diego lemon law attorney Michael R. Vachon, Esq., are experts getting consumers their money back.
Not sure if your vehicle was damaged in an accident or not? Check out San Diego car dealer fraud lawyer Michael R. Vachon, Esq.’s page on how to tell whether a used car has been in an accident [COMING SOON].
For an explanation of just some of the methods that San Diego auto fraud attorney Michael R. Vachon, Esq. utilizes to force car dealers to repurchase accident-damaged vehicles – just keep reading.
In Some Cases Car Dealers Have an Obligation to Tell You Before You Buy a Used Car With Serious Accident Damage
San Diego auto fraud attorney Michael R. Vachon, Esq. has successfully sued numerous San Diego County and other California car dealerships for selling used cars and trucks that they knew had previously sustained damage in a collision. The legal theories upon which these lawsuits relied were basically that the car dealerships were obligated to disclose the known accident damage due to the facts that they had special access to information about the vehicle’s condition that the buyers did not, and that disclosure of this information was reasonable to expect and necessary not to make the car salesman’s other statements about the vehicle’s mechanical condition and fitness not misleading.
Accordingly, if you want to consider bringing this type of lawsuit, your car dealer fraud attorney is going to have to prove (1) that the car dealership knew that the vehicle had previously been in an accident or serious collision; and (2) that the vehicle’s accident damage is “material.”
What Does “Material” Accident Damage Mean?
Material is basically a legal term that courts use to mean information that is important enough that a consumer would most likely give it serious consideration in determining whether or not to purchase the vehicle. Accordingly, car accidents that result in nothing more than a small dent in the bumper, or a minor scratch to the paint, are not likely to be material.
Examples of types of “material” accident damage that car dealership would generally have an obligation to disclose (if the dealer knew about the damage) include frame damage, or harm to the vehicle’s unibody structure, and damage to the front-end suspension. Consumers may also be able to prove that the damage was material (and thus that the car dealer had to disclose the prior accident) if the collision damage impairs the way that the vehicle currently performs. For example, if damage from a prior accident is causing your vehicle to pull to one side, causing the air conditioner to malfunction, or causing vehicle electrical system problems, then you may have a valid legal argument that the dealer committed fraud by not telling you about known accident damage.
How Can You Prove That a Car Dealer Knowingly Sold an Accident-Damaged Car?
When the accident damage is serious, it is generally not that hard to prove that the car dealership was aware of the prior accident when they sold you the car. Used car dealers are typically pros when it comes to being able to inspect vehicles and assess their condition, and to a trained eye the signs of serious accident damage are usually difficult to miss. In addition, there are also numerous vehicle history report services that provide information about some (but not all) accidents that a vehicle has been involved in, and car dealers often subscribe to these reporting services.
Ultimately, proving that the car dealer intentionally sold you an accident-damaged car will be the job of your attorney. California car dealer fraud lawyers, like San Diego lemon law attorney Michael R. Vachon, Esq., specialize in this types of lawsuits, and know how to use court discovery rules to uncover the relevant evidence that you need.
Contact an Expert Car Dealer Fraud Attorney to Discuss Your Accident-Damaged Car or Truck
Call San Diego lemon law attorney Michael R. Vachon, Esq. at (858) 674-4100 if you think that a car dealer sold you an accident-damaged vehicle. The Law Office of Michael R. Vachon, Esq. takes car dealer fraud cases in San Diego County and throughout California, and consultations are always FREE!
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