What If I’m in a Car Accident With a Leased Vehicle?
Damaging property that isn’t yours is a nightmare for most people, because at least when it’s your property, only you have to deal with the repercussions. When leasing a car, that vehicle does not technically belong to you, and therefore accidents can create tricky situations. This is why car leases mandate some form of insurance, but procedures go a little differently in these cases. To help clarify the process and prepare you for these unfortunate mishaps, Dunnion Law has compiled a helpful list of car accident lawyer resources for drivers recently involved in a car accident with a leased vehicle.
FAULT IS IMPORTANT
Procedures for accident cases involving leased cars go differently depending on who holds legal responsibility for the collision. If the other driver is at fault, then the case plays out like a typical personal injury lawsuit. However, if you are at fault, there are a lot more steps to go through. Of course, in either case, the most important step is to contact the dealership or agency where you received your leased car, along with your insurance company. Communication will help speed the process along and prevent future costs or headaches.
FOLLOW THE PROCEDURE OUTLINED BY THE LEASE AGREEMENT
Leasing agreements tend to cover most probable scenarios, and this includes the event of an accident. In order to prevent any conflict, it’s best to go along with these directions. When an insurance adjuster requests that you make estimates of damage and repair costs, the lease will probably require you to go to a service center or mechanic that has been previously approved by the dealership or agency. On top of that, repairs will probably have to be made with specific parts. These parts are typically obtained directly from the manufacturer of the vehicle. Failure to comply with these requests can result in legal disputes and greater expenses.
DON’T LEARN THE HARD WAY
Of course, all of this can be made easier by preparing beforehand for this situation. Minimum insurance is rarely adequate in the case of vehicles, and it’s recommended that you take out policies that cover a wide range of scenarios. Also important to consider is “gap insurance.” This type of insurance cushions you from the financial impact of a totaled vehicle. In the event that the insurance company deems the vehicle totaled, it will pay back to you the actual cash value of the car, which may differ significantly from the amount remaining to be paid on the lease. Gap insurance covers some or all of this difference, meaning that your out-of-pocket expense is greatly reduced.
SEEK LEGAL COUNSEL AT DUNNION LAW FIRM
Dunnion Law Firm, a leading personal injury firm, operates offices all over the state of California. For an experienced, no nonsense personal injury lawyer dedicated to your case,contact our law office at 800-863-3387. Dunnion Law Firm is happy to provide consultations, information as well as other car accident lawyer resources to California residents who have recently experienced an auto accident.