If you’re looking to get a vehicle but buying one outright isn’t an option, one of the best alternatives is leasing. There are a ton of benefits that come with a leased vehicle including smaller monthly payments and an easy way to return it once your contract is up.
With a leased vehicle, you have to deal with a few extra responsibilities as well. You’ll only have a limited amount of miles to use each month and regular maintenance is mandatory. One of the most important differences you need to know about involves how you react when you’re in a car accident in a leased vehicle. Here’s everything you need to know.
What to Do When in an Accident
If you’re involved in a car accident in a leased vehicle, the first steps are the same as if you owned the vehicle yourself. Make sure you are safe and uninjured before you do anything else. Once your safety has been secured, you can move on to the other people involved in the accident. Always make sure you call the proper authorities as soon as possible. Any injured people will need an ambulance and police will always be required.
You need police to write an official report of the scene. This will come in handy later if you decide to file a lawsuit against anyone else involved in the accident. Make sure you get contact information and insurance information from everyone involved and give them yours as well. If you can, take pictures of the scene yourself making sure to highlight visible damage and the positioning of the vehicles.
Typically, you’d only have to report an accident to your insurance company, but driving a leased vehicle makes you accountable to the vehicle’s actual owner as well. This is usually a leasing agency or car dealership. There’s typically also a line in your leasing contract where you agree to notify your insurance company immediately if there’s ever an accident although that’s good practice anyway.
It’s not uncommon for there to be additional requirements in your contract when it comes to getting your leased vehicle repaired. The owner wants what’s best for the vehicle which is why they so often require repairs to use only manufacturer approved parts rather than cheaper third party alternatives. Failure to abide by this can incur serious penalties at the conclusion of your lease.
Insurance and Making a Claim
Leasing contracts require you to have collision and liability insurance, so you’ll never have to worry about getting into an accident without insurance. Repairs will always be covered by your own insurance company at least. If you believe the other person was at fault, however, you are always free to pursue a claim against them.
The process for making a claim is the same as it would be if you owned the vehicle yourself. If the other person’s insurance company doesn’t want to pay, you can make a claim and take it to court. However, that process is very long and expensive, so it’s usually best to go through your own insurance if the worst happens.
Nashville Personal Injury Lawyer
Navigating aftermath of a car accident in a leased vehicle can be tough alone which is why you could use an experienced personal injury lawyer at your side. At Mitch Grissim & Associates, we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation!