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What If I am in an Accident in a Leased Car?

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What If I am in an Accident in a Leased Car?

What If I am in an Accident in a Leased Car?

Leasing has long been a potential option for consumers looking to get an automobile in Illinois. It is effectively a financing option through which a person rents a vehicle from a dealership on a long-term, pre-defined basis. The consumer makes payments and, when the lease ends, returns the vehicle. This raises an important question: What happens if you get into a crash in a leased vehicle? While the laws are similar, there are some important things that you will need to keep in mind.  Here, our Illinois auto accident lawyer explains the key things to know if you are involved in a motor vehicle collision in a leased car.  

The General Illinois Auto Accident Laws Still Apply

As a starting point, it is important to understand that the general laws for motor vehicle accidents and personal injury claims still apply regardless of whether a vehicle is owned or leased. Here are four key things that all motorists should know about our state’s car accident laws: 

  • All injury crashes must be reported to law enforcement. If any person was injured in your leased vehicle collision, make sure it is reported to state or local police. 
  • Liability for an accident is based on fault. The party—driver, truck company, etc.—responsible for the crash is also responsible for the damages. 
  • Comparative negligence applies. Under Illinois law (735 I.L.C.S. § 5/2-1116), liability for a leased vehicle accident is divided proportionally to each party’s fault. 
  • Illinois has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Hurt in a leased vehicle accident? You have two years to bring a claim.  

Three Things to Know About Leased Vehicle Accidents in Illinois:

While the overriding laws are generally the same, there are some specialized issues that you will need to keep in mind after a crash in a leased vehicle. Here are three things to know: 

  • Notify the Company that You Leased the Vehicle From: Pursuant to the terms of your lease, you likely have to notify the company that a crash occurred. 
  • Know that You are Still Responsible for the Lease: You need to know that you are still responsible for making payments under the lease—even if the car is totaled. You can and should pursue an insurance claim, potentially including a fault-based claim. 
  • Seek Guidance from an Illinois Lawyer: These cases are complicated. It is especially vital that you consult with an experienced Illinois attorney. 

Contact Our Illinois Auto Accident Attorney Today

At SAM LAW OFFICE LLC, our Illinois car accident lawyers are experienced, effective advocates for victims and families. If you were hurt in a crash with a leased vehicle, we can help. Give us a call now or contact us online for a no-cost, no-commitment case review. With a legal office in Rolling Meadows, our attorneys fight for the rights of car accident victims throughout Northern Illinois.

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