The biggest question for car accidents for leased cars is how do I pay it back? Technically, you don’t own a leased car and have to give it back at the end of the lease. The fact that you don’t own the car might make you feel like the entire car has to be paid off, but that’s not the case. Here is what to do when you get in a leased car accident.
Steps to Take for a Leased Car Accident
The first thing to first make sure is that you have the bare minimum insurance for a leased car. For a leased car, make sure at least have:
- Collision coverage
- Comprehensive coverage
- Gap coverage
To be frank, before you even secure the lease, it is important to make sure that all of these coverages are secured by your insurance policy.
Notify Your Insurance And Your Leasing Company
Although in most cases where you OWN the car or are paying a loan to buy the car you will only need to call the insurance company, in the case of a lease you need to notify both the insurance and the leasing company of the car accident.
But why both? Although the task seems daunting and complicated, it is necessary since you have a contract with both companies. You don’t own the car that was damaged or totaled so you must notify the company that owns the car (leasing company or dealer) and also notify the insurance so that you can get the coverage for the car accident.
Going to a Body Shop to Fix Your Car
Once your insurance and leasing company are both notified, the next step is to get the car fixed.
Normally, after you report the accident to your insurance company, the insurance company will recommend body shops to get your car fixed.
If none of the options are appealing to you, then you can also pick a body shop you are comfortable with and go there. However, make sure that the insurance company is aware and approves of the body shop.
The insurance company will give you an estimate for how much the damages can be worth. Make sure that the body shop and the estimate that the insurance gives are in accordance. If the repairs that the body shop estimates are higher than the estimate that the insurance gave, then it could mean that you have to pursue a lawsuit against the other party (if the accident was caused by negligence of the other driver).
What If My Car Got Totaled
This is where the waters can get a little muddy and could get complicated.
If the damages exceed 80% of the value of the car at the moment, then it will be declared a total loss.
Let’s say the actual value of the car was $10,000. If the repairs of the car is worth over $8,000, then it will be declared a total loss. From this point, the insurance company will pay you $9,500 (basically everything minus the deductible). However, if you still owe the leasing company money, you have to pay them that value. For example, if you still owe the leasing company $15,000, then you are still locked to the company to owe them $5,000.
For total losses, gap coverage will help you.
Gap coverage is insurance that will cover the difference between the current value of your vehicle vs what you actually owe to the leasing company. This is truly a life saver for people that cannot afford to pay hundreds to thousands out of pocket.
Determining Negligence For Your Leased Car Accidents
Negligence is hard to determine, but making sure that you follow the rules of the road can quite put you on the safe side.
To be considered “negligent” in your actions, one of the drivers must have not been upholding their duty to keep the roads safe.
Actions like texting and driving, calling while driving, falling asleep on the wheel, and just generally keeping your eyes on anything except the road can be considered negligence. Especially if during the time period of being distracted causes a car accident, then that driver could be held responsible for a majority of the damages.
Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer for Leased Car Accidents
If you or a loved one got injured as a result of negligent driving in a leased car accident, give our team a call.
With decades of experience and millions won for our clients, we are confident in our ability to get the financial compensation that you are entitled to.
After a leased car accident in Miami, there will be so much pain and suffering. The last thing you want to do is deal with the constant calls and stress of handling lawyers, adjusters, and insurance companies.
We start with a free consultation to hear what happened to you and to see how we can bring value to you.
When we determine that we can help you, we will start with gathering evidence and photos to build you a strong case.
If the case exceeds your limits and treatment is still needed, then we will not hesitate to pursue a lawsuit and get you your financial compensation.