What If I’m In a Rental Car Accident?
By Chris Dixon
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were 37,133 people killed in car accidents in 2017. While rental car accidents are handled similarly to if you were driving your own car and got in a car accident, car rentals typically involve a bit more complexity with insurance waivers, insurance companies and the credit card company you used to pay for the rental. A local attorney can help you analyze your case and see if you are entitled to compensation for damages that occurred in the rental car accident.
Rental Car Insurance Waivers
There are several types of insurance policies that are typically offered at the counter when renting a rental car. These products may vary from one rental company to the next, but the following insurance products for rental cars are generally available at the time of renting a car. Insurance is important to have in one form or another if you are in a rental car accident.
- Liability insurance covers medical expenses and vehicle damage done to another driver’s car if you are involved in an accident while driving a rental car. If you have auto insurance on your own car, you won’t need to take out this type of insurance for a rental vehicle.
- A collision damage waiver covers the cost of repairs needed for the vehicle if you are involved in an accident, or the cash value of the vehicle if you are involved in a damaging accident while driving the rental car. If you have comprehensive and collision coverage on your own vehicle you will more than likely not need to take out this kind of insurance on a rental car.
- Personal accident insurance is coverage that can be used for medical expenses from a rental car accident. If you have health insurance, it isn’t necessary to take out this type of insurance when renting a rental car.
- Personal effects insurance covers the cost of any theft that happens with personal items left inside of the rental car. It can be a good idea to take out this type of insurance if you do not have homeowners or renters insurance, but if you do have one of these forms of insurance, it’ll already cover theft while traveling.
Credit Card Insurance and Your Rental Car
Every credit card company is different, but most cover some part of damage done to rental cars. If you are unsure whether or not your credit card company offers insurance on rental cars, making a quick call to your credit card company can clear this up. Most credit card companies require that you refuse the collision damage waiver that the rental car company will attempt to get you to buy and that the rental is paid for with the credit card you have with the company. Some cards offer primary collision coverage, while others offer secondary coverage that will cover part of the damages and only require you to pay your deductible. Additional perks that can accompany insurance coverage from your credit card company include theft and towing coverage. While not all credit card companies offer rental coverage, it can be worth checking to see if yours does.
What Can a Lawyer Do For My Rental Car Accident?
If you are involved in a rental car accident, a rental car accident lawyer can provide legal counsel on whether or not you are entitled to compensation for damage or injuries. Rental car accidents can happen for a number of reasons including a defective car, bad weather, the intoxication of another driver or something else that causes the accident. Just like with car accidents involving your own car, it’s essential for the injured party to:
- Collect evidence from the scene of the accident
- Swap information with the other driver and any witnesses of the accident
- Stay silent with the other driver’s insurance company
- Seek immediate medical attention so that a medical report can be filed
- Call a personal injury lawyer to handle your case
A car accident lawyer can assess the facts of your rental car accident, examine your insurance coverage and determine if you are eligible for reimbursement. Your lawyer will create a plan to recover the most in compensation for your rental car accident damages and negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company to make sure that you get the amount that you could be entitled to. While not everyone will be eligible to receive compensation for damages, it’s important to reach out to an attorney and see if you have a valid rental car accident claim. The Dixon Injury Firm offers rental car accident legal advice and can help make sense of your rental car accident. Contact our personal injury lawyers today to explore the options available to your rental car accident claim.