Leasing vehicles has become a popular practice in today’s society, and not because of the need of a vehicle to drive while your normal vehicle is being repaired after getting into an accident. It’s the perfect way to experience having a vehicle that would normally be unaffordable. The reason the cost involved in leasing a vehicle is considerably lower is because you are only paying the depreciation in value instead of the total value at the point of purchase.
Your Initial Response
If you’re ever involved in an accident while driving a leased vehicle, there are certain steps that must be taken. Overall, you would take the same steps that you normally would if you actually owned the vehicle. However, it’s important that you know the key differences as they can be significant. Immediately after the incident, you should do what you would normally do if you owned the vehicle.
First and most important, get medical treatment if you’re injured. Once you have made sure you’re okay, make sure everyone else involved has been attended to, then contact the proper authorities. Make sure that you contact 911 so your local emergency responders and police arrive at the scene of the collision. Having the police on scene ensures that everything is documented in the report they will file. It will also serve as evidence if you file a personal lawsuit. If possible, you should also take photos.
The Key Differences to be aware of
The key difference between an accident involving a leased vehicle versus one that is owned is in the way the event is reported. When you lease a vehicle, you must report the incident to the dealership, leasing agency, or person that owns it. However, if you own the vehicle, it’s your insurance carrier that must be notified of the accident. There may also be specific rules that apply regarding any repairs that need to be done on the leased vehicle. It’s not uncommon for leasing contracts to contain an agreement for ensuring that all repairs are made with parts that are approved by the manufacturer.
Filing a Claim
The claim filing process is basically the same as if you owned the vehicle. You file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If they reject your claim and refuse to compensate you for damages and your injuries, you’ll want to call a personal injury lawyer in St. Catharines and initiate legal action against them. Having a legal professional guide you through the claim process is a big advantage as they understand the intricacies and nuances of the process.