When your leased car is involved in a collision in New York, filing an insurance claim or pursuing damages can seem complicated. Not only does the crash involve the two drivers and their insurance providers, but also the leasing company. You should consider the following in the wake of the crash to protect your rights.
A leased car is often newer and has a higher value than other vehicles on the road. If you are in an accident, whether it’s minor or you have totaled a leased car, the leasing company may want to conduct its own investigation into what happened. The company may also try to claim damages from the other driver involved in the car lease crash.
A New York Car Accident Attorney Can Help
To protect your interests, it is important to work with an experienced New York car wreck lawyer. Your car accident attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process and protect your rights.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a leased totaled car, contact the attorneys at Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP, for a free consultation. We can help in every aspect of your leased car accident case, from reviewing your lease agreement and your car insurance coverage to negotiating what your insurance company pays and what the at-fault party could pay to cover your losses.
Our Long Island car accident lawyers will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
In This Article
Read more below to find out more about how car accidents may differ when a leased vehicle accident occurs.
- The Difference Between Leased and Owned Cars
- Connect with these Parties Following a Collision with a Leased Car
- What the Leasing Company May Require
- Options for Paying Costs and Receiving Damages after a Leased Car Collision
- Bring your Leased Car Concerns to Us
The Difference Between Leased and Owned Cars
Leasing a car is different from owning a car outright. Instead of having a car loan, you’re essentially paying monthly payments to rent a vehicle owned by someone else. However, while rental car companies can provide some additional insurance coverage, you must provide your own insurance to use a leased car. Most lease agreements in New York also require you to carry collision insurance (or comprehensive insurance) and liability insurance. That insurance coverage kicks in when you are in a collision, just as if you were the owner.
Leased vehicle accidents can be more complicated than those with owned cars, so it’s important to understand your insurance policy before you get a leased vehicle. Your policy will likely have a “gap” between the amount of your collision insurance and the actual value of the car. You are responsible for this gap if you have an accident in a leased vehicle and may be covered by what is commonly referred to as gap insurance.
In New York, you must possess minimum insurance coverage on any vehicle, including a leased one. According to the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS), that coverage includes:
- No-fault benefits. No-fault coverage (also known as personal injury protection coverage) provides compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses — regardless of who was responsible for the collision.
- Liability protection. Liability protection pays for others’ expenses if you are deemed negligent in causing the crash.
- Uninsured motorist protection. Finally, uninsured motorist protection, as the name suggests, helps pay if you are injured by a driver without insurance coverage or flees the scene.
Connect with These Parties Following a Leased Car Accident
As with any serious collision, you must contact the proper authorities following a leased car accident. You will need to file a police report and inform your insurance company.
In addition, there are two other key parties you should connect with in order to ensure you are fairly compensated for your injuries and damages: the leasing company and an experienced New York car accident attorney.
Depending on the nature of the crash, you should contact:
The police assess the scene and create an official report, which can be crucial in determining who should pay for your damages. This paper trail also comes in handy should you pursue a lawsuit.
Your Insurance Company
You must notify your car insurance company as soon as possible. You do not want them to dispute the validity of your claim because you did not promptly inform them.
The Lease Company
If you were involved in a crash while driving a rental car, you would notify the rental car company. The same principle applies when leasing a vehicle; you must inform them of the event as soon as possible.
A New York Car Accident Lawyer
A car accident lawyer can help you negotiate with the leasing company and the other driver’s insurance company and file a lawsuit if necessary. They have the experience and knowledge to get you the best possible outcome.
Contact Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP today for a free consultation. We can help you connect with the right parties and get started on your case.
What the Leasing Company May Require
Check with the leasing company or dealership to know what to do to get your leased vehicle back in shape. Some factors to consider are:
- Repair stipulations
- Lease contract requirements
- Gap coverage
Repairs and Repair Costs
Because the leasing company owns the vehicle, they have a say in how a car is repaired and may provide other instructions and repair stipulations.
It is important to remember that the vehicle goes through an inspection when your lease expires. If you were in an accident and had to pay for the repairs yourself or via your insurance, the leasing company may still penalize you for the incident. If the leasing firm thinks the repairs were done incorrectly and should be redone, they may charge you for new work.
Check Your Lease Agreement
When you notify your leasing firm of an accident, make sure you examine your contract thoroughly and only use the repair shop indicated by them unless they do not accept your insurance. If that’s the case, tell the leasing company and have them select another one. Since they chose the body shop, you may avoid double costs if the leasing firm is unhappy with the repairs.
Gap Insurance Coverage
Some leasing companies require gap coverage, or you may have obtained it yourself. Purchasing gap insurance is often recommended, as it ensures you have sufficient insurance coverage in the event of an accident and often comes into play when you total a leased car.
If the lease car is totaled, gap insurance covers the vehicle’s fair market value to the leasing company. If that value is less than what you owe on the lease, gap coverage pays the difference. If you don’t have gap insurance, you may be responsible for paying the difference between what insurance pays and what is owed on the vehicle.
Options for Paying Costs and Receiving Damages after a Leased Car Collision
Once you verify your leasing company’s requirements, receiving compensation following a leased car crash is very similar to one involving an owned car. You can seek payment for your injuries through:
- No-fault benefits
- Uninsured motorist benefits
- A personal injury lawsuit
New York’s insurance requirements are designed to help you receive funds if you are injured in a collision. As a no-fault state, policyholders can be reimbursed for an accident regardless of who is at fault. To succeed on an uninsured motorist claim, you must establish the other vehicle is at fault.
If the at-fault driver has insurance coverage, you can bring a personal injury lawsuit against them.
If you have been injured in a leased car accident, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process of seeking compensation.
Coverage for Remaining Lease Payments
Depending on the degree of vehicle damage, your insurance coverage may not completely cover the cost of the remaining lease payments. Typically, a lease agreement requires that these payments are fulfilled, even if the vehicle was totaled. Your gap insurance may be able to cover this remaining balance. Your attorney can help you determine what coverage is available to you in this situation.
When to File a Lawsuit
In New York, your no-fault coverage will only provide basic compensation for your costs, such as medical bills or lost income. However, any expenses beyond that require a lawsuit. Moreover, no-fault insurance coverage does not compensate for pain and suffering. You can also file if you feel the insurance company is undervaluing your claim or denying you compensation.
If you are seriously injured in a collision with a leased car or while driving a leased car, it’s important to contact an experienced New York car wreck lawyer. A legal professional with experience in leased car accidents can help enforce your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
According to ISC §5102(d), you can file a personal injury lawsuit for serious injuries such as:
- Significant disfigurement
- A significant limitation of use of a body function or system
- Loss of fetus
- Loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system
- Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member
- Injuries that prevent you from performing usual and customary daily activities for at least 90 of the first 180 days following the collision.
If you have questions about your insurance claim or lawsuit, get in touch with our office to learn more. We have the experience and resources to help you get fairly compensated for your personal injuries and pain and suffering. Whether it’s your own car or you prefer to operate leased vehicles, we can help.
Past Results for Car Accident Victims
We represent injured people and fight for them to receive fair compensation for their losses. We’re pleased with our track record, which includes several of Long Island’s biggest injury recompenses. Examples of our past case results for car accident victims include:
- $25.4 million for a 17-year-old who was catastrophically injured by a drunk driver
- $2.5 million for a 16-year-old motor vehicle accident victim involved in an accident with multiple cars
- $2.39 million for a 51-year-old who was injured in a rear-end accident and was unable to resume working because of injuries incurred
- $900,000 for a person injured in a car accident who lost their hearing
Call us today for a free consultation with a Long Island car accident lawyer and find out the value of your case. With skilled legal representation from our knowledgeable leased automobile accident lawyers, we will work with you to get real results and obtain the compensation you need and deserve.
Bring your Leased Car Concerns to Us
If you were seriously injured in a car accident involving a leased car, contact the team at Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP today. Our firm is experienced in handling these types of accident claims and many others, and we help drivers in New York understand their rights and responsibilities through free case reviews. We can also assist clients in both English and Spanish.
Contingency-Fee Based Services
Our personal injury lawyers work on a contingency-fee-basis. You don’t have to pay us any money unless we win your case.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving a leased vehicle, don’t wait to contact our office. We offer free consultations, so you can understand your rights and options without having to worry about the cost. We’ll answer your questions about your case, including how long it will take and what it may be worth.
Call us now with your questions. We are here to help.