Because the leased car is owned by the leasing company, they will need to be contacted and kept involved during the process of obtaining vehicle repairs and compensation. What you receive after the accident will depend on your insurance coverage, leasing terms, and who was at fault.
Throughout this process, you have a right to consult a lawyer like the ones serving at Berger and Green, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help or are unsure of your rights following a collision.
If You Were Driving the Leased Car
Although you are paying to use a vehicle someone else owns, when leasing a car, you still must provide your own insurance coverage, which must meet Pennsylvania’s requirements. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PDOT), you must have at least:
- $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person
- $30,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
- $5,000 in property damage coverage
Leasing companies often require you carry coverage beyond the state minimums.
When you’re involved in an accident with a leased car in Pennsylvania, you follow the procedure to report the crash to your insurance the same way you would if you owned the car. The main differences are:
- You must inform the leasing company of the accident
- The leasing company may be named in any insurance payouts
- You may have GAP (guaranteed asset protection) insurance coverage
Like any other car accident, you should report the crash to the police and your insurance company. With a leased car, you must also report it to the leasing company; after all, they own the vehicle and have a right to know it was damaged.
Some leasing companies are listed as interested parties on your insurance policy since they own the vehicle. That means they are inevitably involved in your insurance claim and possible payout. They will also have a say in repairs.
Finally, you may have been required to or chose to obtain GAP insurance coverage. As the name suggests, this helps pay the difference if what you owe on the lease is more than what the car is worth when totaled in a crash. If you do not have GAP insurance, you will be liable for the difference between what is owed on the lease and the value of the vehicle on the day of the accident.
Check What Your Leasing Company Requires
If someone damaged something you owned, wouldn’t you want to supervise the repairs to restore it? That’s the logic behind a leasing company’s rules for repairs following an accident with one of their vehicles. You can check your lease agreement for info on requirements after a crash or discuss the rules with a leasing company representative.
Our car accident lawyers can also help you navigate the wording of a lease agreement. If you aren’t sure what you can or cannot do following a leased car collision, reach out to the team at Berger and Green.
Compensation You Could Receive
Depending on the insurance coverage you have, you could recover:
- Medical benefits
- Lost income
- Reduced earning ability
- Pain and suffering
As the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance outlines, the state follows modified no-fault insurance laws. This means you are entitled to certain benefits, primarily medical, under your own policy regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
When you select insurance, you are also offered either full tort or limited tort coverage. If you select limited tort coverage, you are offered a discount on your premiums in exchange for limiting some of your rights in the event of an accident. When you select insurance, you are also offered either full tort or limited tort coverage. If you select limited tort coverage, you are offered a discount on your premiums in exchange for limiting some of your rights in the event of an accident. To pursue other non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, your injuries must be deemed serious, according to 75 Pa. C.S.A. § 1705.
By contrast, full tort coverage allows you to pursue additional damages through a claim or lawsuit. With this coverage, your pain and sufferingcould be recovered.
For a free legal consultation, call 412-661-1400
If the Other Vehicle Was the Leased Car
What happens if you get into a car accident in Pennsylvania involving a leased car and you are the other driver? In this case, you treat the car accident in much the same way as any other collision—contact the police and your insurance company and file a claim.
The leasing company may become involved in your case if they were negligent in some way. That could include leasing out a vehicle with a known problem that posed a risk of an accident. This is rare, but their negligence could be grounds for a lawsuit.
Compensation You Could Receive
Again, this will depend on your insurance coverage, but you have the chance to recover the same types of damages as listed above.
Our personal injury attorneys can review your insurance policy, identify all possible liable parties, and help you with claim and lawsuit filings.
Learn All About Leased Car Accidents from Our Attorneys
Need help understanding what happens next if you are involved in a car accident with a leased car? Berger and Green serves Pennsylvania crash victims like you by offering free consultations to chart the path after a collision. Contact our office today to learn more.