What are my rights regarding the non-disclosure of pervious accident?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What are my rights regarding the non-disclosure of pervious accident?

I purchased a vehicle from a dealer about 8 months ago. New Link Destination
day I took to a dealer for an appraisal and they informed me that car had been in an accident. I would have never bought it if I would have known it was in an accident. I went through all the paperwork from the dealer, and surprise, no mention of this accident. What is my recourse? What does the dealer owe me?

Asked on June 15, 2016 under General Practice, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the dealer knew or reasonably should have known (that is, any reasonable dealer in his position would have known) of the prior accident but, knowing it, failed to disclose it, he likely committed fraud, because in that case, he misrepresented (lied about) a material (important) fact to get you to enter into the deal, which fact you reasonably relied upon. Fraud can provide a basis for compensation, such as recovering the different in value between the car with an accident and the price you actually paid (since the with-accident value is presumably less than what you paid). If the dealer will not voluntarily provide that compensation, however, you would have to sue for the money. If the dealer is in the same county as you, suing in small claims court, acting as your own attorney ("pro se") may be a good option.

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.

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