How to Deal With a Car Accident Claim With a Leased Vehicle
Motorists generally choose one of two options by which to finance vehicles they drive—leasing, and loaning. While loans are simple, leases have more considerations to take into account; simply put, leases are like recurring, long-term rentals, in which you make monthly payments in order to use a vehicle for a specified period of time; at the end of your lease, you might return the vehicle or purchase it by paying off the remainder of its value. However, what if you get into an Arizona auto accident before the lease expires? In such a case, you’ll have a variety of unique considerations to keep in mind.
While driving a leased vehicle, you’ll still need to adhere to Arizona’s auto insurance minimums (especially considering that most leasers require personal insurance as well). Most insurance plans also include optional “gap insurance” for a minor additional fee; this will compensate you for the difference between what you owe on the vehicle and what your vehicle is currently worth, in an instance where your vehicle is badly damaged yet deprecated in value. While you’ll already have to report your crash to your insurance company, you’ll also generally have to inform the leaseholder as well.
Repairs and Total Loss Accidents
Your injuries in an accident (and resultant compensation) won’t change, regardless of whether you’ve rented, leased, or bought your vehicle. As such, we’ll instead focus on the parts of your auto accident case that will differ, being repairs and other details related to the vehicle itself.
- Repairing a leased vehicle can be complex or simple, depending on the particulars of your lease agreement. You’ll still be liable for the cost of repairs, but your lease agreement may limit you to specific auto repair shops or replacement parts; in this case, you might be forced to pay extra in order to adhere to the terms of your agreement.
- If you get into a total loss accident (defined as a crash in which the repair costs and scrap value of the vehicle combined outweigh its cash value), the leaseholder will usually pay you for the current value of your vehicle, though you’ll still be on the hook for any remaining money owed on the lease.
Getting Compensation for Leased Arizona Auto Accidents
Leases add another layer of complexity to already tedious, challenging auto accident cases, in which you might have significant accident-related damages to try and alleviate. Even beyond the lease itself, you’re likely to have sustained some level of injuries, which could result in lost wages, disfigurement, undue pain and suffering, and other losses, all of which you deserve extensive compensation for.
ELG’s Arizona auto accident attorneys can help handle correspondence between your insurance company and leaseholder alike, keeping you well-informed and prepared for every eventuality; simultaneously, we can maximize the compensation you’ll receive, helping you handle personal financial losses and potentially severe lease-related bills. If you were hurt in an accident within a leased vehicle, make sure to contact us today at (623) 877-3600 to schedule a free consultation, and learn more about the auto accident case process.