Car accidents are stressful situations no matter what the circumstances are, but getting into an accident while driving a car you do not own adds an additional level of stress. Following the general guidelines that apply to most car accidents is vital in order to ensure that the appropriate safety, financial and legal measures are taken by everyone involved in the accident.
What to Do After an Accident
As always, the first step is to assess the safety of everyone involved in the collision, including occupants of other vehicles, in the event that it is a multiple-car accident. Contacting the police is the next necessary step in the process, along with requesting medical assistance if anyone is injured. At the earliest opportunity, exchange personal contact and insurance information with any additional drivers and take your own photographs of the scene of the accident, making sure to include footage of the positioning and damage of each vehicle.
Notify Your Insurance Company
At this point in the process, you’ll want to notify your insurance company of the accident, along with the leasing agency or dealership that owns the leased vehicle. Generally, your insurance company will send a claims adjuster or direct you to a facility to assess the damage to the vehicle. Communication with the leased vehicle’s dealership or leasing agency is vital at this point, as miscommunication with the company can result in financial penalties on your part.
In accidents involving multiple vehicles, communication with insurance companies and the leasing company is especially crucial. In the case that the accident may not be your fault, proceed as if your own vehicle had been hit. Notify the other driver’s insurance company of your claim, and if they accept, proceed with repair estimates and authorizations with the insurance and leasing company.
Common Issues with Claims
In the case of the other driver’s insurance denying the claim, you still have some options at your disposal. Suing the driver at fault may be an option, although you’ll need to seek legal assistance to ensure the process is not more expensive and time consuming than it is worth. Alternatively, most leasing companies require you to have both collision and liability insurance for the leased vehicle. In the event that litigation is not recommended, repairing the leased vehicle using your insurance is an additional option.
Many leasing agencies have specific requirements when it comes to their cars needing repairs. For example, some dealerships strictly require repairs to be made with only the original manufacturer parts, as opposed to using aftermarket car parts. Because the leased vehicle is their property, failing to comply with these regulations can result in legal and financial repercussions for you down the road.
An Oklahoma City Car Accident Attorney Can Help
Seeking legal council in such situations allows drivers to make more informed decisions regarding insurance policies and taking legal action. If you have been injured in an accident in a leased vehicle, contact an Oklahoma City car accident attorney at Parrish DeVaughn Law Firm for consultation and representation.