Leasing a car can be a great way to drive the newest car with the coolest features without worrying about huge down payments. Also, a leased car comes with a warranty, meaning that the dealership will have to foot the bill for all mechanical problems developing within the period as long as they don’t result from a driver’s recklessness.
While everything about leasing a car may sound like a dream come true, it can also be a source of stress if things go wrong, such as when you get in an accident. But there’s no reason to worry, as here are some things you may need to do when you get into such situations with a leased car.
What Happens if You’re Involved in an Accident While Driving a Leased Car?
Like any other car, it is possible to get into an accident when driving a leased car. However, the outcomes of an accident for a leased car can be slightly different from when dealing with an owned car.
If you get in an accident involving a leased car where you are at fault for the accident, you will be liable for damages suffered by the other party, which they can recover by filing a claim with your insurer. If you are not at fault in an accident, the at-fault driver’s insurer will be liable for damages suffered, but you must file a claim against the at-fault party.
Here are several things you may want to do if you get involved in an accident.
Start With Getting Medical Help
Regardless of car ownership, your health is worth more than any car, so it should be your priority. Whether or not the emergency response team shows up at the scene, you must seek medical attention even when you may not have apparent injuries.
Besides helping you ensure your health, getting medical help creates a connection between the accident and your injuries which can help build your case if you choose to sue for damages.
Report the Accident to the Police
After taking care of your health, you can turn to other matters such as reporting your accident to relevant authorities such as the police.
States have different requirements for calling the police, with some requiring calling the police only when an accident results in relatively extensive property damage or injuries.
Regardless of what the law of your state reads, calling the police is a good idea because it solidifies the link between an accident and injuries should you file a claim.
Report the Accident to Your Insurer
Whether you are at fault or not, you must let your insurer know about your accident. Some car accident policies have clauses requiring policyholders to notify their insurers of any accidents irrespective of their magnitude or fault.
Failure to report can void your policy, so you will be safer reporting if you are unsure what your insurer demands.
Notify the Leasing Company
After a car accident that results in damages to a leased vehicle, you will need to notify the leasing company. While the at-fault driver will be responsible for damages suffered, the leasing company may have a policy on repairs. So, you will need to contact them before any vehicle repairs.
If you are responsible for an accident, you will be responsible for footing the bill for damages to your leased car if the damage is below your policy’s excess.
If it exceeds your vehicle’s excess, you may recover part of the damages from your comprehensive insurance policy. But the leasing company may still have the last word on who does the repairs.
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