What To Do If You Crash In a Leased VehicleMississippi Legal News
Auto accidents are stressful, complex affairs, even if you own your vehicle outright. When a leasing agreement is added to the mix, you might be unclear as to what’s expected of you in the aftermath. To begin with, treat it like a normal accident, and take all the steps you would if you were not in a leased vehicle:
- Ensure that anyone who needs it gets emergency medical attention.
- Exchange contact information with other drivers and gather eyewitness testimonies.
- Document any evidence of your accident, and request a copy of the official police report.
- See a doctor, even if you think you’re uninjured, for a full medical inspection.
- Open a claim with your insurance company and talk to an attorney.
Unique Considerations for Leased Vehicles
When you get into a crash while still paying off a lease for your vehicle, several factors do change, as such, you’ll need to keep a few unique considerations in mind:
- You’ll more than likely need to report your accident to your leaseholder, which can add an additional layer of complexity to the claims process. While not strictly necessary, a legal professional can help you keep track of complex third-party communications, so it’s helpful to talk to an attorney for anything more than simple, low-impact collisions.
- When leasing a vehicle, it’s usually a good idea to seek out gap insurance as part of your coverage. This goes beyond auto insurance minimums in Mississippi and will cover the difference between what you still owe on the vehicle and how much the vehicle is actually worth in the event of an accident.
- When your vehicle inevitably needs repairs, you’ll generally be able to handle it as you would a vehicle you own, with the notable exception that you may be limited to certain auto repair shops or replacement parts as per the terms of your lease agreement. This can present an unexpected financial burden to unprepared motorists, so make sure you talk to your leaseholder to avoid being surprised.
- In the event of a total loss accident (in which, under Mississippi’s total loss formula, the sum of your vehicle’s repair costs and scrap value exceeds its actual cash value), you’ll still be paid for the value of your vehicle like normal, with deductions made on anything you currently owe on your lease.
Talk to a Mississippi Auto Accident Attorney
After an accident of any scale, it’s always a good idea to schedule a consultation with a Mississippi auto accident attorney who can help advise you on your best course of action. The terms of a lease can be complex, and you’ll have to work around your agreement while handling all the traditional complexities and difficulties of securing a fair compensation package. Insurance adjusters can be ruthless, and with the added costs of getting into an accident in a leased vehicle, you’ll likely need all the recoveries you can get. Talking to Germany Law Firm PLLC is the best way to level the playing field and ensure that you aren’t cheated out of a reasonable settlement. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (601) 401-6884 to get started.