What Happens if You Total a Leased Car?

If you total a leased car, your contract will require you to continue to make payments, even if it is undrivable or totaled after an accident. Your auto insurance may pay off at least a portion of the remaining balance of the lease payments. However, if you do not carry guaranteed asset protection (i.e., GAP) insurance, you will be liable for the difference between the balance you owe and the amount your insurer pays.

Nevada is an at-fault state, and if a negligent driver caused the accident that totaled your leased car, you would have to file a lawsuit against them to recover damages to cover that difference. The Las Vegas car accident lawyers at Valiente Mott represent drivers in car accident lawsuits to recover damages that will reimburse these and other costs and expenses.

How do insurance companies determine that a leased car has been totaled?

If the cost of repairing a leased vehicle exceeds its book value, an insurer will likely determine that the car is a write-off. In most cases, the insurer pays the leasing company an amount based on the car’s book value before the accident, takes the title to the car, and sells it at a salvage auction. The leasing company will then issue a bill for the difference between the amount the insurer paid and the balance of the lease payments.

When is an at-fault driver responsible for paying your excess costs and expenses?

Nevada is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning you can sue a negligent driver if you were not more than 50% responsible for causing the accident. If there is any possibility that the at-fault driver will argue that you are also liable, retain a  Las Vegas Car accident attorney to protect your interests and to fight back against claims that your negligence contributed to the accident.

What should you do after you are involved in an accident with your leased car?

As you would after any car accident, when you crash a leased car, you should:

  • Get prompt medical treatment for all injuries
  • File an accident report with the police or sheriff in the jurisdiction where the accident happened
  • Exchange insurance and contact information with all other parties involved in the accident
  • If possible, get contact information from any third-party eyewitnesses to the accident
  • Take photographs and collect additional evidence about the accident (e.g., when, where, and how it happened, weather and traffic conditions, etc.)
  • Report the accident to your insurance company

In addition, you should also contact your leasing company, verify the company’s requirements for damage estimates and repairs, and determine what steps the company takes if the car is totaled. If you need help with any of these tasks, an experienced car accident lawyer is your best resource.

Call The Las Vegas Car Accident Attorneys at Valiente Mott


A car accident with a leased vehicle adds a layer of complication. You will need to interact with the leasing company, other drivers, and their insurance companies. If your leased car is totaled, the resolution becomes even more complicated.

Our team at Valiente Mott can help you sort through the complexities and reduce your exposure to excess costs and expenses you might owe to your leasing company. Call us for a free consultation and for answers to other questions about resolving matters. We work on a contingency basis, so there are no upfront legal fees. Se Habla Español.

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