Rental car accidents are more common than you might think. When you drive in an unfamiliar area or a particularly congested location, you may find yourself involved in a collision.
If you were driving a rental car at the time of the accident, you might be concerned about how you will cover the costs, your financial responsibilities, and your next steps.
Rental car agreements and insurance make these types of accidents incredibly complex. Fortunately, you can still make the liable party pay and recover your damages in full after a rental car crash.
Make Sure You Get Medical Attention
Immediately after your rental car accident, you need to get medical attention. Even individuals who have suffered minor injuries need to be seen by a healthcare provider. If you fail to do so, you are losing out on valuable evidence, such as:
- Hospital records
- Diagnostic test results
- Photos of your injuries
- Testimony from healthcare providers
Furthermore, the defendant might argue your injuries are not as severe as you claim since you did not require medical attention immediately after the accident.
Gather Evidence at the Scene if You Can
While you wait for emergency responders to arrive at the scene of your rental car accident, there are certain types of evidence you should try to gather. First, you should get the contact information of all involved parties, including:
- Their insurance information and policy number
- The other driver’s name and address
- The other driver’s phone number
- The make and model of the vehicle that hit you
- The driver’s license and license plate number of the car that hit you
- The names, phone numbers, and contact information of the witnesses
You can also take videos, photos, and notes. Do not hesitate to document the surrounding property damage and damage to your vehicle. Make sure you take pictures of your injuries and write down the locations of any surveillance cameras that could have recorded the accident with your rental car.
Do not admit guilt or accept responsibility for causing the accident in any regard when you are talking with witnesses or the other involved parties. Doing so could later come back and be used as evidence against you at trial. Do not disclose the vehicle you are driving as a rental car, as the liable party may use this as an opportunity to divert blame for the accident to you.
Report the Accident to the Insurance Company
Next, you must report the accident to the rental car and insurance companies. The rental car company’s contact information should be included in the glove box of your rental car. You should also have a copy of your rental agreement on hand or in your email.
Before contacting the insurance company, make sure your rental car lawyer is working on your case. This way, you could have your attorney report the accident to the insurance company and avoid being taken advantage of by profit-driven insurers.
Are You Liable for Damages Done to Your Rental Car?
Generally, you must sign a rental agreement when you purchase a rental car. Here, you will assume responsibility for the vehicle and any potential damages that may occur, whether you share blame for the accident or not.
If you are responsible for causing the accident, you should expect to file a claim with your insurance company to cover the cost of the vehicle repairs. However, suppose someone else is responsible for causing the accident. In that case, you may be required to cover the insurance policy’s deductible out of your own pocket, while the rest will need to be taken care of by the liable party and their insurer.
Can You Sue the At-Fault Party for Your Damages?
You have the right to take legal action against the individual or entity responsible for causing your rental car accident. Not only should the liable parties be required to cover the rental car’s damages, but they should also be compelled to cover one or more of the following damages:
- The deductible you paid out of your pocket
- The cost of a new rental car
- Your medical expenses
- Auto insurance premium increases
- Decreased credit scores
- Damage to your driving record
- Physical disability
- Lost income and earning capacity
What Insurance Coverage Do You Need for a Rental Car Crash?
The rental car company will require you to carry certain types and amounts of insurance coverage before you take the vehicle out on the road. In some instances, your personal bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage will be sufficient. Other times, you may also need to include the following:
- Gap insurance
You may also require primary insurance, which will cover the damage to your rental car and the other party’s injuries if you are found liable for the accident. Secondary insurance is designed to cover the cost of your deductible and different types of damages that primary insurance does not cover.
Insurance surrounding rented vehicles can be complex. Having an experienced rental car crash attorney can be the best way to ensure you are not taken advantage of and are awarded maximum compensation for your suffering.
Get Help From a Rental Car Accident Lawyer Today
Rental car accidents can be more complex than traditional motor vehicle crashes. Although your rental car agreement and insurance can help protect you, holding the at-fault party accountable may require the legal guidance and support of an experienced rental car accident lawyer at Oronoz & Ericsson, LLC.
Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today by filling out our online contact form or calling our office at (702) 878-2889. If we take on your case, you can rely on us to ensure the person who hit you covers all your rental car expenses and is compensated fairly for your suffering.