For the vast majority of Lemon Law cases I handle, no expert witness is required. However, when the circumstances call for it, having an expert can be crucial. The decision to enlist an expert mechanic to inspect your vehicle is made on a case-by-case basis. Generally, if you have a strong case and the manufacturer consistently claims they cannot duplicate a problem or they fail to properly diagnose a defect, an expert may be a necessity.
An expert may be utilized to:
- Verify the continued existence of the defect/condition
- Provide a detailed report of the defect/condition that plagues your vehicle
- Document the defect/condition using photos, test results or other documentary evidence
- Provide expert testimony, if necessary
- Provide supporting evidence that the defect/condition substantially impairs the use or value of the vehicle
- Rebut and/or impeach opposing testimony and evidence
The Alexander Law Firm utilizes only certified mechanics in Lemon Law litigation in order to help understand, analyze, and support Plaintiff's case. Lemon law cases often involve technical issues and disputed facts. In those cases that seemingly cannot be amicably resolved, automotive experts can provide critical insights to weigh the scales of justice in your favor.
The use of lemon law expert witnesses is explicitly permitted in Michigan:
“If the court determines that scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise if (1) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.”
Rule 702 - Testimony by Experts, Mich. Rules of Evidence 702
The automotive expert witnesses used by the Alexander Law Firm contribute by conducting a Thorough vehicle inspection, reviewing repair invoices and prior complaints and providing an inspection report regarding the mechanical well-being of your vehicle. If necessary, the expert will also provide testimony confirming the existence and severity of defects.
Of course, you can expect the manufacturer to also offer expert testimony, so it may be unavoidable to use an expert to counter whatever opinions are offered by the manufacturer and impeach their biased analysis
Also, Lemon Law cases often turn on whether or not dealer service departments properly performed repairs. A Lemon Law expert can help to analyze the repair invoices and the dealership procedures to determine whether or not the dealership's work was satisfactory and in line with industry standards.