Car accidents are not only frightening, but they can also be expensive. When you have leased a car, you have signed a lease agreement. In that agreement, you promised to maintain a certain level of insurance on the vehicle. When you have an accident, the procedure is very similar to having an accident in a car that you own. You have a few extra steps, as you need to involve the leasing company.
Extra Steps to Take When You Have an Accident in a Leased Vehicle
- Take extra care to document all the damage to your car.
- After you call 911 and your insurance company, call the leasing company.
- Take your car for damage estimates and repairs to the service facility that your lease company stipulates.
What Happens if my Leased Vehicle is Totaled After an Accident?
If the car is totaled by your insurance company after an accident, the insurance company will write a check to the lease company for the market value of the car. You will not receive any money for the car unless the lease buyout amount is less than the market value. Don’t get your hopes up. Chances are, you will owe money to the lease company to buyout the lease for your car. It will be the difference between the buyout amount, and the amount received from your insurance company. If you find yourself in this situation, talk to a car accident attorney at once.
What if the Leased Vehicle Can Be Repaired After the Accident?
Make sure the body shop that repairs the car is approved by both your insurance company and the leasing company. It should be authorized for the brand of the car as well.
Don’t buy cheap parts. You must use new OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts. Using after market or used parts may cause you to pay extra at the end of your lease.
Good Insurance is Essential When you are Leasing a Car
Most insurance companies and some lease companies offer “Gap Insurance.” This is always a good thing to have, especially if you are leasing a car. It guarantees that you will get enough money to pay off the lease in case the car is totaled in an accident. This prevents you from having to pay the lease company over and above what insurance offers as a payoff.
Hire a Lawyer to Represent You
If you have been in an accident in a leased vehicle, especially if it was not your fault, get an auto accident attorney to help you get through the maze of the legal system. A personal injury lawyer that specializes in car accidents will usually offer a free consultation. Take advantage of this meeting to ask how they can help you recover damages in the accident.
Normally, you have to deal with insurance companies when you are in an accident. When you have an accident in a leased car, you also have to deal with your lease company. If you have an auto accident lawyer fighting for you, you can concentrate on recovering from the accident. Let them take care of all the details for you and get compensation for your losses.