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What Should I Know About Rental Car Accidents?

Published: Dec 7, 2020 in Auto Accident, Personal Injury
Car Crash

People rent cars for a variety of reasons. Some motorists prefer to use rental cars when they are traveling long distances for business or vacation. Renting a car in an unfamiliar area always comes with a certain amount of risk. Sometimes, a car accident can occur while one is traveling in a rental vehicle. When a driver is involved in a collision with a rental car, they need to make the best possible decisions and understand their rights and expectations.

What to Do After a Rental Car Accident

A driver who is operating a rental vehicle has an obligation to take a few steps. The first is to get their vehicle to a safe spot unless it cannot be moved. The second is to call 9-1-1, which alerts emergency responders to the situation. Thirdly, they should exchange basic information with the other driver, including insurance documentation, their driver’s license number, email, and cellphone number.

A motorist may want to take pictures of the accident scene. Images and videos can be very valuable later. It is easy to forget all the details of what happened during the shock of a car accident. Having documentation can refresh one’s memory after the collision.

After the accident, a driver should call their rental car company to explain what happened. The number should be on the emailed or paper rental agreement. Also, it is important to seek medical attention, even if they are on vacation.

When the accident is severe or complex, a driver may also want to contact a local lawyer to get advice before talking with any insurance carrier or even the rental car company.

Different Types of Auto Insurance Policies

If a driver gets into a crash in a rental car, several insurance providers may help pay for any personal injury or property damage. A motorist should always carry individual insurance coverage unless they do not own a vehicle. Additionally, many credit card issuers will help car renters who get in crashes. It is important that a driver contacts their credit card provider prior to renting a car to understand the parameters.

A driver who rents a car is usually asked if they want to purchase separate rental car insurance. If a motorist accepts the separate insurance, they are protected by an added layer of collision damage in the form of a waiver, liability coverage, personal accident coverage, and personal effects coverage. However, each of these types of insurance cover different situations. For instance, a collision damage waiver will not apply if a driver is charged and convicted of reckless driving. However, the collision damage waiver could be a way for a driver to avoid paying overly high deductible fees if the driver’s own collision coverage will not begin until the driver pays quite a bit of money.

Should a Driver Obtain Extra Rental Car Coverage?

In order to decide whether a driver should get extra rental car coverage, they should talk with a knowledgeable auto insurance carrier agent. The agent can explain the full scope of the insurance policy, outlining exactly what would happen in the case of a car rental crash. A driver should also consider how long they are planning to rent the car. For example, a driver who is renting a car overnight is not as likely to be in a car crash compared to a motorist who is renting a car for an extended amount of time.

Additionally, a motorist who rents a car and has no insurance of their own should take advantage of rental car insurance coverage. It is always best to be prepared.

How to Make a Claim After a Rental Car Wreck

Making a claim after a car rental crash can be confusing for the victim, even if the accident was minor. It is particularly tricky for drivers who have several insurance carriers to call. The most important way to unravel everything would be to call each insurance carrier, find out how to make a claim, and then follow the claim directions precisely.

What happens if the driver is seriously injured? In this circumstance, calling a lawyer is wise. It is especially a good idea in Illinois, which follows the rule of comparative negligence. In other words, drivers can share negligence, so it is important for a victim to obtain a lawyer. Trying to make sense of this can be confusing and stressful for drivers.

A lawyer who focuses on all types of car accidents, including those involving rental cars, can offer professional assistance based on their legal expertise. If a lawyer agrees to take on a case, they will handle all aspects of trying to negotiate a settlement. If an injured driver contacts a lawyer right away, they can focus on healing. A lawyer will be able to advocate on their behalf and negotiate a fair settlement rather than a low offer.

Edwardsville Car Wreck Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Help Drivers Understand Their Rights After Rental Car Accidents

If you have a severe injury because of a rental car accident, one of our Edwardsville car wreck lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC can help you. Our legal team protects innocent car accident victims. Call us at 618-277-3644 or complete our online form for a free consultation today. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we serve clients throughout Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.