What Happens If I Get in An Accident in a Leased Car in Massachusetts?
A car accident in a leased vehicle can lead to an insurance claim that is more difficult to navigate than a crash in a car you own. You will need to notify the leasing company on top of your insurance company of the accident, for example, and be careful with the replacement parts your mechanic chooses to use. If you need assistance maneuvering a claim after an accident in a leased car, contact an injury lawyer in Boston.
Get Medical Care
After any car accident, whether you own or lease the car, get immediate emergency care for any injuries. Have a physician give you a physical exam or x-rays to diagnose injuries such as broken bones, whiplash, pulled muscles, a brain injury or a back injury. Immediate treatment can help you recover from a serious injury as well as improve your insurance claim. Insurance companies want to see that a client sought prompt care after an auto accident, not that he or she waited long enough to potentially exacerbate injuries. Going to the hospital should be one of your first steps after an auto accident in Boston.
Collect Crash Information
Next, start to gather information the insurance company will want about your accident. This may include medical records, accident reports, police files, photographs of the accident and auto mechanic estimates. Do not assume or admit fault. Simply provide the information the insurance company requests without speculating as to the cause of the accident. The more facts you can gather about your crash, the better.
Notify the Vehicle Leasing Agency
Contact the company where you leased your vehicle. Most vehicle leasing agreements stipulate that you must notify the agency or dealership within 24 to 48 hours after an accident. Call the company and explain that you were in a collision. Do not admit fault or apologize for the crash. Answer any questions the agency asks about your car accident, but say you wish to wait to discuss fault or liability until after an investigation of the crash. Ask about the repair process. Most leasing offices have specific rules for replacement parts, such as bans on aftermarket parts. Discuss vehicle repairs with the leasing company before calling your insurance company.
Call an Insurance Company
Massachusetts is a no-fault car insurance state. Under no-fault laws, you will seek damage recovery from your own insurance provider in most cases, regardless of fault. Contact your car insurance provider as soon as you can after your auto accident. Insurance companies require prompt accident reporting for valid damage claims. You must carry insurance to lease a vehicle in Massachusetts. Leasing companies generally will not allow you to drive away in the vehicle without proof of insurance.
- $20,000 in bodily injury liability per person
- $40,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
- $8,000 in personal injury protection
- $5,000 in property damage liability
Some leasing companies require more than the minimum amounts of insurance. Carry the amount that complies with the terms of the agreement. Carry additional insurance if you desire better coverage for your personal injuries and/or property damages. After a crash in a leased vehicle, you must call both the leasing company and your insurance company. You will have contracts with both stipulating the prompt reporting of an accident.
Cooperate With the Claims Process
Work with the leasing company and your insurance provider to take your vehicle to a repair shop, get an estimate and receive compensation, if applicable. You may have to pay a deductible before your insurance company will repair the leased vehicle. If you totaled the car, your insurer should pay for the pre-accident value of the leased vehicle. You will then have to pay the leasing company your remaining payments under the terms of the contract. Contact a car accident attorney in Boston if you suffered catastrophic injuries, your insurance company denies your claim or the leasing company makes it difficult to settle your crash case.