California Lemon Law Attorney Fees: Who Pays For Your Legal Costs?


Are you currently dealing with the hassle of a defective car that you want to part ways with and receive compensation for the inconvenience? If you’re considering filing a Lemon Law claim but have concerns about the potentially high legal fees involved, fret not. The California Lemon Law offers a solution tailored to your situation.

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive explanation regarding the payment of legal fees for your Lemon Law attorneys, walk you through the process, and address all your questions pertaining to filing a Lemon Law claim in California without incurring any expenses.


We help California lemon car owners file a Lemon Law claim to:
✅ Get compensation.
✅ Get rid of the defective vehicle.
✅ Get back your peace of mind.

Find out if you have a case.
Call (323)553-7525 today for a FREE consultation.


Who actually pays for your attorney’s fees in a Lemon Law case?

The auto manufacturer is the party responsible for paying your attorney’s fees.

Under the California lemon law, the vehicle manufacturer is fully responsible for covering all of your legal fees, which includes:

  • Attorney fees
  • Court filing costs
  • Expert fees (ex. Nissan engine expert, Chevrolet transmission system expert)

It is important to note that you will not be billed for any legal fees, as the manufacturer is obligated to both compensate you for the defective vehicle and cover your legal expenses. In short, the manufacturer covers your legal costs ON TOP of the settlement amount they provide you for your defective vehicle.


Is this part of the law? Does the Lemon Law provide for the payment of attorney’s fees by the manufacturer?

Yes, absolutely. The California Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act actually provides for the inclusion of attorney’s fees in all settlement options in all warranty claims.

Lemon laws were carefully crafted to require auto manufacturers to bear the responsibility of paying the attorney fees of owners of lemon vehicles. Recognizing the potential high costs associated with legal action, lawmakers took into consideration that such expenses could deter consumers from pursuing claims against car manufacturers.

They understood that ordinary consumers may not have the upfront funds to initiate a claim or may be hesitant to risk losing a lot of money. Therefore, both federal and state lemon laws include provisions that mandate manufacturers to cover the legal fees of lemon owners in addition to any compensation they are required to provide.


How do lemon law lawyers get paid? How are legal fees computed?

All legal costs and expenses in a lemon law case, including attorney fees–usually charged per reasonable hourly basis, court filing fees, and other out-of-pocket expenses such as expert fees, must be covered by the manufacturer.


How does this work? Do I have to demand payment for my legal fees from the manufacturer?

No, you don’t need to make any follow-ups with the manufacturer about your legal fees. This is all done as part of the claims process. Your attorney will submit an itemized statement of these costs directly to the automaker for payment, and you do not have to be involved.


Should you hire an attorney, in the first place?

Absolutely! By engaging an experienced Lemon Law attorney, your potential for obtaining a favorable settlement in a Lemon Law claim increases significantly. The claims process can be intricate and challenging to navigate alone. A proficient attorney can offer a straightforward assessment of your case, guide you in developing a clear strategy for moving forward, and provide continuous support throughout the entire process. It is crucial to involve an attorney as early as possible to enhance your chances of achieving a successful outcome.


Talk to a California Lemon Law Attorney today to start your claim.
We offer a FREE no-obligations consultation.
Book a call or dial (323) 553-7525 right now to find out if you have a case.


Clarify the fee arrangements before you hire an attorney!

Prior to engaging the services of an attorney for any legal claim, whether lemon law related or not, it is important to have a clear understanding of their fee structure. This includes getting a clear idea of:

  • how fees are calculated,
  • determining who is responsible for payment (regardless of the outcome),
  • whether an upfront retainer is necessary,
  • obtaining a fee estimate,
  • and establishing when fees are due.

Reputable lemon law attorneys in California usually offer an initial consultation at no cost to assess the viability of your case and provide a thorough explanation of how legal fees are structured within a lemon law claim.


What if I lose my case?

You can’t lose a case that you didn’t file.

It is important to note that if your case is weak and unlikely to succeed, reputable Lemon Law lawyers will not encourage you to proceed, let alone represent you. Their professional judgment is based on the understanding that they will not receive compensation if the case is eventually dismissed by the judge.

Most seasoned Lemon Law attorneys in California operate under a “no win-no fee” arrangement. They handle cases with the expectation of securing a settlement from the auto manufacturer and only expect payment for their fees in the event of a successful outcome. Their interest in winning the case totally aligns with your aim of obtaining a settlement.

During the initial consultation, a knowledgeable attorney will assess the strength of your case and inform you whether it meets the necessary requirements for filing. In California Lemon Law cases, the criteria for establishing a breach of warranty are clearly defined, allowing attorneys to quickly determine the viability of your claim.


Is this what they call “fee-shifting”?

Yes. Fee shifting actually means shifting the burden of paying for legal costs in a Lemon Law case from the consumer to the auto manufacturer. This means that, under the law, the automaker is obligated to bear the costs of your attorney fees and other legal expenses because you wouldn’t have incurred those expenses if they hadn’t sold you a defective vehicle.


Are legal fees deducted from my settlement amount?

No. In a lemon law case, it is important to note that legal fees are not subtracted from your refund or compensation. California Lemon laws require legal fees to be paid separately and in addition to any award that you receive from the automaker.


Is this the same as “contingency fee” basis?

No. In a contingency fee arrangement, the lawyer’s fees are determined by a percentage of your compensation if you win the case. While the lawyer’s fees are deducted from your compensation, there are still fixed costs like court filing fees that you may have to pay out of pocket.

Lemon law cases DO NOT operate on a contingent fee arrangement. In lemon law, the responsibility for paying all legal fees, including attorney fees, court costs, and expert fees, falls entirely on the vehicle manufacturer. As the consumer, you are not responsible for any legal fees, and the manufacturer is obligated to cover these fees in addition to any compensation they are required to pay you.


Do you want to find out if your car qualifies for a Lemon Law claim?
We offer a FREE no-obligations consultation.
Call (323) 553-7525 right now to find out if you have a case.


What if I settle my Lemon Law claim?

As a matter of fact, most Lemon Law claims in California are settled out of court. As noted above, the criteria for eligibility to receive compensation under the law are clearly defined, leaving little room for the automaker to maneuver. Consequently, most manufacturers opt to settle claims once they are filed in court rather than engaging in protracted litigation that they are likely to lose and which would result in additional expenses.

If you decide to accept a compensation offer to resolve your Lemon Law claim, it is important to note that the manufacturer is still responsible for covering all of your legal fees in addition to the agreed-upon compensation or settlement amount.


Auto Manufacturers Under Lemon Law