A growing number of motorists have chosen to lease their desired vehicle, instead of buying it. The person that leases a car, van, truck or SUV does not assume responsibility for the full value of that same set-of-wheels. He or she has assumed responsibility for the value lost during the leasing period.
Suppose, though, that a driver in a leased vehicle gets into an accident. That threatens to diminish some of the vehicle’s value. How should the driver handle the questions raised by the occurrence of that collision, the one that has altered the value of the leased vehicle?
At the scene of the collision:
Make sure that all the passengers are OK. Take pictures of the damage. Contact the proper authorities, including the police. Seek medical help; call 911, if necessary.
Sending reports soon after the collision:
Let your insurance company know what has happened. Report the accident to the leasing company, the vehicle’s owner. Do not overlook your duty to carry-out that specific task.
Planning for the needed repairs:
If the leasing contract has stipulated use of manufacturer approved parts, be sure to heed that requirement. Leasing contracts normally include that stipulation, because any repairs should do the best-possible job of working to retain the vehicle’s initial value. After all, the leasing company plans to be providing the repaired vehicle to other customers.
Getting compensated for injuries and losses:
Assuming that you were not responsible for the accident, you can proceed as you would if you owned the damaged vehicle. Hire the services of a personal injury lawyer in Edmonton to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. If that company refuses to cover the accident-related costs, you have 2 choices.
If you want, you have the right to take legal action against the non-cooperative insurer. That will take time. That may not be the best course of action, if you plan to return your leased vehicle in the near future.
The alternative approach would involve making use of the insurance coverage that you have purchased. In other words, you will need to ask your own insurance company to reimburse you for the costs of the repairs, for your medical expenses and for any hours that you had to be away from the workplace.
A word of warning for anyone that intends to lease an automobile:
Be sure to create a written and signed agreement with the driver of the leased car. Do not provide that driver/lease-holder with the ability to dictate how the repairs to any damage might be made. Make certain that the contractual agreement eventually gives you a way to sell the leased automobile. Moreover, that sale should provide you with payment for the car’s full value, the value at the time of the purchase.