Damaged Before Signing
UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Get Legal Help Today
Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
Damaged Before Signing
I leased a vehicle 2 years ago. I noticed a few days after signing that the hood was not flush with the front of the car on one side. It seemed like a small deal so I thought nothing of it at the time huge mistake, I’m an idiot, alright then. New Link Destination
day I brought my car in because my turn signal has been shorting out. Turned out the entire headlight assembly was loose. The guys at the service desk noticed how my hood was not flush and also noticed a bend in the passenger fender at the top of the wheel well and assumed there was an accident. Obviously Im freaking out because now because the vehicle has never been in an accident since I have had possession of it and it was brand new when I leased it. Thankfully I took a photo of the vehicle before I leased it and the damage they identified is clearly visible. I am awaiting their response to see what next steps are. Since this vehicle was damaged before I signed the lease can I use this to any advantage, from a legal stantdpoint, if I am trying to distance myself from this questionable vehicle?
Asked on February 14, 2018 under Accident Law, California
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 4 years ago | Contributor
IF you can prove they sold you a damaged vehicle under the guise that it had never been in an accident, you might have recourse against the dealer based on breach of contract (violating the agreement, which was effectively to lease you an undamaged vehicle) and/or fraud (misrepresenting the condition of vehicle). You may be able to get compensation from the dealer, such as the cost of repairs, or the difference monthly leasing price between an undamaged and damaged vehicle, for the term of the lease. If they won't voluntarily provide you some acceptable compensation, you'd have to sue the dealership and prove that the damage was pre-existing. Bear in mind that you only have up to 3 years to sue (if necessary) in your state for fraud and 4 years based on breach or violation of contract--that's how long the respective statutes of limitation (time to file lawsuits) for each potential cause of action are.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.