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Miami, Florida

What Happens if a Leased Car Is Totaled?

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What Happens if a Leased Car Is Totaled?

Auto leasing peaked in early 2020 when over one-third of new cars were leased. Since then, leasing has crashed to about 17% of all new car acquisitions. In other words, consumers only lease about half as many cars as they formerly leased. Higher costs due to inflation and interest rate hikes have made leasing a new car more expensive than buying one.

Leased cars also cost you more in a crash because insurance payouts get calculated based on the car’s value rather than the lease’s cost. After a crash involving a leased car in Miami, FL, a lawyer from Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers can help you pursue a claim against the at-fault driver to cover all your financial losses. Contact our law office today at (305) 937-0191 to schedule a free consultation.

How Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Leased Car Accident in Miami, FL

How Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Leased Car Accident in Miami, FL

Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers was founded in Miami, Florida, in 2007 to help accident victims pursue injury compensation. Combined, our Miami car accident lawyers have over a century of experience.

After you suffer an injury in an accident, we help you by providing the following:

  • Legal advice and counsel to help you understand your rights
  • Aggressive negotiation during your insurance claim to pursue a fair settlement
  • Highly skilled litigators to defend your rights in court if your case does not settle

A car accident can jeopardize your financial stability with medical bills and property losses. Contact Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your car accident and the financial compensation you can seek.

How Many Leased Cars Get Damaged in Florida?

According to the Florida Crash Facts Report for 2021, Florida averaged over 381,000 traffic crashes over the past three years. These crashes involved over 647,000 vehicles. Once you subtract about 9,100 pedestrian accidents and 6,300 bicycle accidents, you have about 632,000 vehicles involved in single-vehicle and multi-vehicle car accidents.

Florida does not track how many vehicles involved in crashes were leased or owned. But using the lease averages provided by car dealers, you can estimate that between 107,000 and 210,000 leased vehicles were involved in car crashes every year between 2019 and 2021.

What Happens if You Total a Leased Car?

Under Florida law, a total loss can happen in a few situations:

  • An uninsured car has repair costs that are more than 80% of the vehicle’s value
  • An insured car has repair costs that are more than 100% of the vehicle’s value
  • Your insurer agrees to pay you to replace your vehicle rather than repair it

Thus, the law considers your leased car totaled when the repair costs exceed the replacement cost or the insurer agrees to pay the value of the vehicle to the dealer.

What happens if you total a leased car? The cost gets spread across several parties.

Your Auto Insurer’s Costs

When you lease a vehicle, the agreement requires you to maintain collision insurance coverage. Collision coverage pays for your vehicle if it gets hit in a single or multi-vehicle crash.

Collision coverage is no-fault. Your insurer pays even if you caused the leased car accident. The downside of these coverages is that they almost always come with a deductible. As a result, you bear responsibility for a fixed amount of the loss.

Suppose that you leased a car with a fair market value of $35,000 at the time of your crash. You carried collision coverage as required by your lease with a deductible of $5,000. The insurance company would pay the dealer $30,000. You are responsible for paying the dealer the remaining $5,000.

Your Costs

You signed a lease for the vehicle. The lease does not end if the vehicle gets totaled. Thus, you will still owe the dealer the remainder of the lease value after the insurance payout. To continue the example, suppose that you owe $37,500 on your lease, and the insurer pays the dealer $30,000 for a vehicle valued at $35,000.

You will owe the dealer $5,000 for the remaining value of the vehicle covered by the deductible, plus another $2,500 for the remainder of your lease. In short, the dealer expects to be made whole after a leased vehicle gets totaled.

If you have insurance, your share of the losses might run a few thousand dollars. But if you admit, “I totaled my leased car without insurance,” you must pay the entire amount.

The At-Fault Driver’s Costs

Florida requires vehicle owners to carry property damage liability (PDL) insurance. This coverage pays other parties whose property gets damaged in a crash caused by the policyholder.

You can pursue a claim against the at-fault driver for amounts you paid to the dealer. In the example, you could file an insurance claim against the other driver’s PDL coverage for $7,500.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Miami Car Accident Lawyers

You could suffer significant expenses after a car accident, including property losses, out-of-pocket expenses, and medical costs. Contact Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers at (305) 937-0191 for a free consultation to learn your legal options for pursuing financial compensation.

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Our law firm handles all types of car accident claims involving:

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