Auto Accident, Leased Car Totalled – Seeking Financial Compensation

My family and I were in a car accident on 6/6/16 while driving our leased
car. We were t-boned by someone trying to jump lanes to turn left, the
police arrived and made a report, and took a witness statement that
confirmed the accident was 100 the fault of the other driver no drugs
involved, just bad judgement. The car was officially totalled, and it was our
only car we are a single, low-income family. Thankfully none of us were
seriously hurt not seeking injury damages but we are now almost 5,000
out of pocket through no fault of our own. We were only 1 year into a 3-
year lease contract, we had a 5K trade-in we put down to lower our
monthly payments on that lease, which is now cancelled because the car is
a write-off. On top of that, we just had to put down another 2500 on a
new lease, which is 70/month more expensive than our last contract. This
has caused us great financial and personal stress, and we are wanting to
know if we can seek financial compensation for our losses given that none
of this was our fault. Please advise if we have a case, and if so, what type of
lawyer you would recommend given that it’s an auto accident, but no
injuries are involved. We are in Colorado. Thank you

Asked on July 5, 2016 under Accident Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, there is no compensation for lessees (people leasing a car) for the money they have spent to date on the lease, or the enhanced costs of a new lease--this is the risk taken with leasing. When a car is totalled, the other side or its insurer (if the other side is at fault) only has to pay the car's then-current fair market value; when property is destroyed, the destroyer is only responsible for what it was worth, not for what was paid (or will still be paid) for it, which can be totally or even wildly different. That payment goes to the property's owner, which is not the lessee. Or if there is collision coverage on the car, it pays out the car's value to the owner. Not being the owner, you are not entitled to compensation for the property's loss or destruction.

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