If you are involved in an accident with a leased car, there are some additional steps to take. However, what you should do after is very similar to any other collision.
Steps To Take After an Accident in a Leased Vehicle
There are several critical steps to take after a car accident in a leased vehicle:
Notify the police even if it is a minor accident. First responders will also arrive on the scene and provide transportation to the hospital if anyone needs it. Having a police report on file that establishes the facts and their opinion on fault can be vital to proving fault.
Document the Damage
Take photos and/or videos of the scene, both vehicles, their damage, any debris, skid marks, signs or signals, and your injuries. Ask anyone involved (e.g., drivers, passengers, witnesses) for their contact information.
Seek Medical Attention
Your health is the utmost priority. If you are not transported to the hospital, see a doctor immediately after leaving the scene. Some severe injuries can have delayed symptoms, and you need medical records to link your injuries and any potential injuries to the crash.
Call your Insurance Company
Regardless of fault, notify your auto insurer, and they will walk you through next steps.
Contact the Leasing Company
The leasing company will want to know that their vehicle has been involved in an accident and that you filed an insurance claim. Often, reporting a collision is part of your lease agreement terms and conditions.
Speak to a Lawyer
Leased car accident claims can be complex and often involve dealing with several parties. A Virginia Car Accident Attorney can handle your claim for you and will make sure the at-fault party is held accountable.
What Happens If My Leased Car Can Be Repaired?
If your leased vehicle is not totaled, you should have collision insurance to repair it regardless of who was at fault since most leasing companies require it. However, you will have to pay for your deductible. If another party is to blame for the accident, you do have the right to pursue a claim directly with their auto insurance company.
Either way, a claims adjuster will be assigned to your case to investigate and determine who was at fault. Your vehicle will be inspected along with an estimated cost of repairs. Before choosing a repair shop, it is important to double-check your lease agreement since it may state that you must have repairs done at an approved location. Your lease agreement will likely also stipulate that the car must be restored to a like-new condition, which means all replacement parts must be OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) rather than after-market.
What Happens If I Get in an Accident and Total My Leased Car?
When a leased car is a total loss after an accident, it means the estimated cost to repair it exceeds 65% of its value. If this is the case, your insurance company or the at-fault party’s insurer will reimburse you for the vehicle’s current worth. Unfortunately, the vehicle’s current value may be less than the balance you still owe on the lease. Therefore, you may still have to make payments. Alternatively, if you carry an optional form of auto insurance called gap coverage, which many individuals purchase if they have a leased vehicle, it can pay for the difference.