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

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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. Today 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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.


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