Car accidents can be nerve-racking, and they are even more worrisome when it involves your leased vehicle. Essentially, a leased vehicle is a car that you agree to make payments on for a set period of time. According to the majority of these types of agreements, you do not outright own the car, nor are you able to sell it. Due to your lack of full ownership, the claims dispute is a little different when you are involved in an accident.
Firstly, the dealership has to be actively involved in the process because they reserve ownership of the vehicle. Additionally, there are stipulations you must follow and entities you must alert as soon as you can. Read on to learn about what you should expect when your leased vehicle is involved in an accident and how a car accident lawyer can help.
The first thing you must do when you realize that you are involved in an accident is contact the authorities. The police, fire department, and ambulance are first responders trained to handle the trauma of an accident. If you have a cell phone available, dial 911 immediately or ask a witness if you can borrow their device.
Next, you must check on any passengers in your vehicle to make sure they are okay. If not, try to help them exit the vehicle and wait with them until the ambulance comes to offer assistance.
You must then talk to the owner of the other vehicle involved in the accident and record their personal information. Find out their name, address, phone number and insurance provider. This information will come in handy when you talk to your own insurance adjuster and your car accident lawyer.
Once the police have arrived at the scene of the accident, they will speak to all parties involved to get a clear understanding of what happened. They will record this information on a report that will available a few days following the accident. You will need a copy of this report for your record. You will also need a copy of the report for your insurance company and the dealership that owns your car.
You must notify your insurance company and the dealership as soon as the accident happens. If your car is leased through a third party such as a bank, they must also be alerted. The dealership and the insurance company should work with you to have the vehicle repaired.
Filing a Claim
Drivers of leased vehicles are able to file a liability claim against the other driver, depending on who was at fault for the accident. They will need to contact the driver and the driver’s insurance company to tell them general details of the accident. A car accident lawyer can help you contact the opposing party and speak to them on your behalf.
The insurance company will either decide to process the claim or argue against it. If they agree to fix your vehicle, they will need estimates from a repair shop. In this case, your insurance company will send an adjuster to examine the vehicle and determine the cost of damage.
Typically, in lease agreements, the dealership offers the driver a deal on repairs. If the other driver’s insurance company refuses to pay for damages, your insurance company may help you cover the repair costs. The collision coverage policy is usually the stipulation that provides coverage for car accidents.
Calling Your Car Accident Lawyer
The car accident lawyers at Heuser & Heuser have decades of experience litigating car accidents involving leased vehicles. We understand the intricacies of your case, and we offer a free case review to help you get started. Contact us today!