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Why Do Lawsuits Take So Long?

My car died at the beginning of September.  Dead radiator, and I was out of state.  I took it to a major dealership nearby, and they fixed me up.  $800 later, I was on the road again.

For 6 days.... before the radiator they installed failed.  Poor installation, and it leaked out.

Not only did my car die again, the engine overheated to the point of being ruined.  What was an $800 fix is now close to $8000.

The dealership?  "Not our problem."

I sued them, as any sane person would.  Luckily, I had a local dealership work with me.  They were going to loan me a rental in the meantime, and not worry about payments until I got things settled.

Well, 4 months and $4000 in rental fees later, they've changed their mind.  I need to give the car back by the end of this week, and now they're hunting for money I don't have.  Lawsuit isn't settled, and the settlement was going to pay for repairs and rental fees.

I'm still weeks from my court date.  After the judgement, I don't know how long it's going to take before I actually get my settlement.

...if I win...

I travel for a living, and as of Friday, will not have a working car.  Not in a position to buy one myself.  How screwed am I?

...and close friends wonder why my stress levels are through the roof.

So, I'm selling adspace on my blog, but if anyone wants to give me a car, wrapped in whatever ads they want, I'll drive it around a 6-state area and pimp your wares...

...contemplating a 2nd job as a gigolo... too bad I'm not that attractive... or have a way to get from hotel to hotel...

If you were in this situation, what would you do?  I'm out of ideas.
Please Share it! :)

12 witty retorts:

Melanie said...

Its because the whole court system sucks. Been involved in one for over a year and it could potentially be four more. I feel your pain.

Mooner Johnson said...

Brandini. Lawsuits take forever because lawyers are assholes and judges are lawyers and so are most lawmakers. Time = $ in lawyer talk.

As to your options, if you want to go with violence, call me. I'll get you in touch with Streaker Jones.

If you prefer the Ghandi-style approach, I think you need to smoke pot and drink Carta Blanca beer. It'll be over when it's over.

Bart said...

oh man that totally sucks. and it takes so long cause its all just a cash grab, my advice. buy a jeep, be able to fix it with duct tape :)

Martina said...

Dude, I feel your pain. We were tied up in a convoluted court case about littering (!seriously? seriously.) for almost TWO FREAKING YEARS. And we had all kinds of evidence & whatnot clearing us of all shadowy doubt that we were in fact NOT eco-terrorists.

The court system is so backward & overloaded with all the checks and balances that by the time you get to what should be a simple ruling you're almost insane from the stress & frustration of it dragging out.

I would suggest trying to contact legal aid, or any "little man" resources your area has. Just because someone fucks you around doesn't mean you're responsible/guilty for their mistakes. FIGHT!

D4 said...

You know the car ad thing? .. I think you can actually do that. Not sure if Idaho would be the market for that.. so not sure you can get something like that near by. How about talking it over with the boss for ideas? Or if one giant hearted friend would lend you a car.. while they're on vacation or something maybe..

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

Agh that's so rough, car troubles are the worst. Hopefully that lawsuit gets settled in a hurry.

Lisa said...

Can't help with the legal question, but I know that you can sometimes get a decent used car with little to no money down, and low monthly payments from a dealer...perhaps that's a temporary option? Good luck!

Martina said...

Also, just wanted to come back and mention that YOU are your own greatest advocate in this situation. No one out there is magically going to have your back or sprinkle fairy dust on a full moon to summon a pro-bono-super-lawyer to sweep up this mess.

Libraries with civil law & small claims (under 10k) resources are your friend, Google is your ally, use them. And then use them more.

When we had to go to court we couldn't afford representation, so I grew a pair of steel cohones, filled my brain with as much legalese as I could and represented myself. Not everyone is capable of doing that (the stress, the public speaking, the legal verbiage, being articulate, thinking on the spot, it's hard) but it will be helpful for you to be as in control of the situation as you can be.

And from now on, no more verbal contracts. Get everything in writing, every time, because next time it could save you some serious stress & frustration.

Nuker Zero said...

Carpool, alternate transportation options, ask for a company vehicle, ask family for help, etc etc. Good news is that your settlement will likely win due to the shit that you've had to go through.

Good luck, sir.
Btw, -B-ook of The End is finished!

Out of Barnes said...

Instead of taking the dealership to court try settling out of court. For example, you need a car, the dealership wants a good reputation to stay in business. You have a blog with hundreds of readers. Try to see if you can get the dealership to provide you with a decent set of wheels in exchange for positive reviews on your blog and a little free ad space. Otherwise, you can use your blog to trash their business and settle in court.

Thank, Q said...

Man, I'm sorry to hear that. I think it's messed out how customer service is an oxymoron now. People always want to tell you what you want to hear and then shoo you off when it could possibly cost them something precious.

Lawsuits take forever because lawyers make $300 - $800 an hour depending on their rep. They're in no rush and it's sad. This entire country needs a foot up its butt.

Zombie said...

Thats when you just drive your car back to the dealer and set it on fire in their parking lot and walk away. Their problem now. lol.

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