Suppose you are involved in an accident with a leased vehicle, how should you proceed?
The process closely follows the steps you would take if you owned the car outright, but there are a few notable differences. If you sustain an injury while driving a leased vehicle, this guide will assist you in comprehending the potential consequences and the necessary actions to be taken. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.
Ensure Your Safety Is the Top Priority
The Next Step Is Contact Your Leasing Company
Additionally, it is important to contact your leasing company to inform them about the accident. They will guide you through the necessary steps and provide instructions specific to your lease agreement. Notify them of the incident and inquire about any specific procedures or requirements you need to follow. This will help ensure that you fulfill your contractual obligations and receive appropriate guidance throughout the process.
Carefully review your lease agreement to determine if there is a specific timeframe within which you must report the accident. If the leased vehicle is repairable, the lease company will likely require you to have it repaired. The financial implications of this will depend on your insurance coverage.
However, if the leased vehicle is deemed a total loss, the circumstances will be different. A car is typically declared a total loss when the cost of repairs exceeds the current value of the vehicle. In such cases, the lease ends after the insurance company pays the leasing company the actual cash value of the vehicle, minus any deductible. If the insurance payout does not cover the remaining lease balance, you will be responsible for covering the difference. However, there is a solution that can alleviate this financial burden: gap insurance.
Gap insurance is immensely valuable in these situations. It covers the “gap” between the actual cash value of your vehicle and the remaining balance on your lease. Essentially, it ensures that you are not left with the obligation to pay if the insurance payout falls short of what you owe on the lease. Many lease agreements include gap insurance, often referred to as a “waiver of responsibility in case of loss.” If your lease agreement does not include gap insurance, you can often add it to your auto insurance policy. Some providers, such as Progressive, offer similar coverage called loan/lease payoff coverage, which can contribute up to 25% of your vehicle’s value towards your outstanding lease balance.
If your leased car is declared a total loss, promptly contact your gap insurance provider. Ensure that you provide all the necessary paperwork, including your lease agreement, gap insurance contract, and police reports, to expedite the process.
Seeking Assistance with Insurance Claims
In navigating the insurance claims process, it can be beneficial to seek help to ensure a smooth and efficient resolution. Consider the following options:
Contact your insurance company
Reach out to your insurance provider and inform them about the accident. They can guide you through the claims process, provide instructions on documentation requirements, and assist in assessing the coverage for repairs or total loss.
Consult an attorney
If the accident involves significant damages or injuries, consulting with a personal injury attorney experienced in handling insurance claims can be advantageous. They can provide legal advice, protect your rights, negotiate with the insurance company, and help ensure you receive fair compensation.
Utilize insurance claim services
Some companies specialize in helping individuals navigate insurance claims. They can act as intermediaries between you and the insurance company, assisting with paperwork, negotiation, and maximizing your claim settlement.
Seek guidance from leasing company
If you have any questions or concerns specific to your leased vehicle, it can be helpful to consult with your leasing company. They may provide additional guidance or resources to help you navigate the insurance claims process smoothly.
Remember to gather and document all relevant information, such as accident details, photos, police reports, and medical records. This documentation will support your insurance claim and facilitate a more accurate assessment of damages or injuries.
Note that the specific steps and available assistance may vary depending on your insurance policy, the leasing company, and local regulations. It’s always recommended to consult with professionals and review your insurance policy to fully understand your rights and responsibilities.
Responsibility for the Leased Vehicle
When it comes to a leased car, it’s important to understand the responsibilities associated with it. Here are some key points to consider:
- Maintenance and repairs;
- Insurance coverage;
- Reporting accidents and damage;
- Lease termination;
- Lease obligations;
It’s crucial to carefully review your lease agreement to understand your specific responsibilities and obligations as they may vary depending on the leasing company and the terms of your lease. If you have any uncertainties, it’s advisable to reach out to your leasing company for clarification and guidance.
Talk to an ATLINJ Georgia Lawyer
Acknowledging the complexities involved in dealing with a car accident involving a leased vehicle, it can be advantageous to have the assistance of an experienced law firm. ATLINJ Georgia Lawyer is well-equipped to provide you with the necessary support and expertise to navigate through these challenging circumstances. They can offer guidance and legal representation to help protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for any damages or injuries sustained.