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What Happens if You Get in a Car Accident in a Leased Car?

Posted on August 17, 2022 in

Getting into a vehicle accident is never on anyone’s to-do list, but we know these incidents occur. But what happens if you get into an accident and you are driving a vehicle that you lease? Many people wonder if the vehicle accident process is different from vehicles that they finance to own and vehicles that they finance through a lease. Here, we want to discuss what happens after an accident occurs and you are in a leased car.

Leasing a Vehicle and Fault

Colorado law does not particularly care about whether or not a person leases their vehicle, finances the vehicle to own, or already owns their vehicle outright. When an accident occurs, the same process will occur every time. Law enforcement officials need to come to the scene to conduct an investigation and determine fault for the incident. Since Colorado is a fault-based state, the individual responsible for causing the incident will ultimately be on the line for paying compensation to the other parties involved.

Determining fault can be used by taking photographs at the scene of the incident, obtaining video surveillance footage, using dash cam surveillance footage, speaking to eyewitnesses, and examining the police report.

Insurance Requirements for Leased Vehicles in Colorado

Just because a person is driving a leased vehicle does not mean that the insurance laws in this state change. Regardless of whether a person finances their vehicle to own, leases a vehicle, or owns their vehicle outright, Colorado law still requires individuals to carry the following:

  • Bodily injury of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage of $15,000 per accident

In the scheme of overall accident compensation, the minimum amount of insurance required by law is not much. It does not take a very severe injury to rise above $25,000 in damages. Additionally, anything more than a very minor vehicle accident could easily result in more than $15,000 in property damage, particularly for newer vehicles.

If a person leases their vehicle, it is very likely that the lease agreement will require them to carry additional types of insurance period this will include collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage is designed to pay for damages to the vehicle if the driver causes the accident. Comprehensive coverage pays for expenses caused by non-accident damage, including stolen vehicles, floods, trees falling on the vehicle, etc. Finally, the insurance carrier may require GAP insurance, which is designed to pay the difference between what insurance covers for the vehicle repair or replacement and what the vehicle is actually worth.

If an accident involving a leased vehicle occurs, fault will need to be determined. If the person who leased the vehicle was at fault, their collision coverage will be responsible for paying vehicle damage expenses. Individuals will have to pay out of pocket for their own medical bills unless they have chosen to have medical payments coverage as part of their insurance policy, in which case their own policy will cover a portion of their medical bills.

If another driver was responsible for the incident, the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier will be responsible for paying injury expenses and property damage expenses for the driver of the leased vehicle.

Contact our Denver car accident lawyers today.