What Happens if You Get Into a Car Accident with a Leased Car?
A significant number of today’s drivers choose to lease their cars instead of buying them. For some, it makes the most financial sense. On average, lease payments are around 23 percent lower than monthly payments on a financed car. But what happens if you’re in an accident with a leased vehicle? A Las Vegas car accident lawyer at THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys can explain what happens next.
What is a Leased Car?
A leased car is a long-term rental car. Instead of purchasing a new vehicle and taking out a car loan, you sign an agreement with a leasing company to make monthly payments on the vehicle. You will not own the car when your lease agreement expires, though you may have the option to buy. By contrast, you will own a financed vehicle once the loan is paid off.
Insurance Requirements for a Leased Vehicle in Nevada
Like all drivers in Nevada, you must carry auto insurance on a leased car. That includes liability coverage to protect third parties who are hurt or sustain property damage in a car accident. The minimum insurance requirements include:
- $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $20,000 for property damage per accident
In addition, your leasing agreement may require you to carry other types of insurance that are optional for other Nevada drivers, such as collision or comprehensive coverage. Gap coverage is another important form of insurance that can be useful in making up the difference between your leased vehicle and the amount you still owe if it’s totaled in a crash.
It’s essential to meet with both the state requirements for insurance coverage and the terms outlined in your leasing agreement. Failure to comply could expose you to significant liability if you are found to be at fault for an accident in your leased vehicle.
What Happens if the Car is a Total Loss?
After a crash, your car will be taken to a body shop to determine whether it can be repaired. In Nevada, a vehicle is considered totaled if the estimated cost to repair exceeds 65 percent of the vehicle’s fair market value at the time of the collision. Keep in mind that the fair-market value is not the same as the vehicle’s value when the lease began. It’s also not how much you owe on the lease. That means that if there is still money left to pay on your lease, you might be responsible for making the payments out of pocket unless you have gap coverage or the other driver is found wholly at fault for the accident.
Who to Notify After a Leased Car Accident
You are required to notify your auto insurance company and the leasing company if you are involved in a car accident. Check your policies right away because there are often short notification deadlines. If you choose to hire a car accident lawyer, the attorney can take care of the notification process for you.
What About Fault for the Car Accident?
Nevada is a fault state, which means that people who are hurt in accidents can seek compensation from the party(s) responsible for injuries and losses sustained in a wreck. If a driver hits you in a leased vehicle, you can pursue compensation by filing a claim with their insurance company. Similarly, if you were in an accident in your leased car, the other party can file a claim or lawsuit against you for damages.
The fault element is the biggest reason why you should consider hiring a car accident lawyer. Nevada law allows you to collect compensation even if you are partly responsible for a wreck. However, the amount you can recover will be limited based on your percentage of fault for the accident. Insurance companies will work hard to push the blame onto you. A knowledgeable Las Vegas car accident attorney can fight back and work towards the settlement you deserve.
Hurt? Our Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyers Will Pursue Justice For You
Handling a leased car accident claim in Nevada comes with some of its own complications. Rather than figure out the logistics yourself, get a Las Vegas car accident lawyer from THE702FIRM Injury Attorneys on your side. Our award-winning attorneys are committed to getting the best possible results for every client. Call or contact us today for a free consultation.