Getting into an accident in a rental car is not all that different from being in a collision in your own car, except for the issue of insurance coverage.
Your first responsibility is to check for injuries, and then to get help for anyone who is injured. Also request that law enforcement comes to the scene.
If possible, move the vehicle out of traffic and to a safer position. Then exchange information with the other drivers involved. You should take pictures and get the names and contact information of witnesses if possible. Do not get into a discussion with the other driver about who caused the crash and do not say anything that could be twisted into an admission of fault.
There should be an emergency number available, often on a windshield sticker or on the rental agreement. It is smart to call the car rental company as soon as possible to notify them of the collision. You should also hire an attorney to help you understand what insurance is available to you to cover any injuries and property damage.
Potential Sources of Insurance Coverage for a Rental Car Crash
One of the biggest issues after a rental car crash is, “Who is covered under what insurance?” There are several possibilities:
- The rental company’s insurance – For the most part, the rental company will not want to cover the cost of repair. Most companies offer liability and collision insurance coverage that will pay for the accident, but you will need to pay the premium when you rent the car.
- Supplemental insurance – Supplemental insurance can come from a collision damage waiver (CDW) that you can purchase from the rental car company or is sometimes provided by your credit card company if you rented the vehicle using the card. You need to read the fine print on the insurance contract or CDW to make sure you know the terms and conditions of the coverage.
- Your insurance – Most auto policies provide first-party coverage for any car you rent. There are limitations and rules regarding how and when your own insurance company will reimburse the rental car company for repairs. Your insurance coverage should also cover liability if you were at fault for the crash.
- Another driver’s insurance – If someone else was at fault for the crash, their liability coverage should be available to cover both your injuries and damage to the rental car.
How Can Jebaily Law Firm Help Me?
The last thing you want is to have to pay cash to the car rental company for repairs or find yourself on the hook for someone else’s losses if you were at fault. What you need is a car accident lawyer to help you sort things out.
At Jebaily Law Firm, our attorneys have the experience you need on your side. We are prepared to investigate the accident and examine all of the contracts and insurance policies involved. We know that insurance companies will sometimes insist there is overlapping coverage, which complicates the process considerably. We will deal with those issues as they come up.
Our attorneys are not intimidated by car rental companies or insurance companies. Our team will patiently work through the issues and work toward a fair settlement.
At Jebaily Law Firm, we know that being involved in a rental car accident can be stressful and you might fear that out-of-pocket costs will cause you serious financial strain. We are here to help you. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation now.