Although you may feel overwhelmed by being in an accident while driving a rental car since the vehicle does not belong to you. Handling a car accident in a rental car is not that different than in your car. Before renting a car, you need to consider some factors, including whether your auto insurance covers accidents in other vehicles. You will also need to consider if you need additional rental car insurance from the rental company and the terms of the car rental agreement. Understanding who is liable for this type of accident can be challenging. That said if you have been injured in an accident with a rental car, contact our knowledgeable Santa Clara County Car Accident Attorneys who can help you navigate your legal options. Keep reading to learn who can be held accountable for an accident in a rental car.
What should I do following a car accident in a rental car?
If you have been injured in an accident while driving a rental car, the first step following the collision is to make sure everyone is safe and determine whether immediate medical attention is required. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may not need to call 911. If calling 911 is not necessary you should exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. From here, you should call the rental car company and notify them of the accident. Once they have been notified ask them how to proceed. Once they advise you on what steps to take you should contact your insurance company.
It is critical to know whether your auto insurance covers accidents in rental cars. If it does not provide coverage for these types of accidents, you may need additional coverage through the rental company. It is beneficial to obtain additional auto insurance coverage to ensure you do not have to pay out-of-pocket for damages if you are liable for a collision.
Who can be held liable for damages?
As the renter of a rental car, if you are responsible for causing an accident, you will be held responsible for paying damages resulting from your negligent actions. You will have to make a claim with your insurance company for reimbursement for losses stemming from the crash. Even if another driver is at fault for the accident, you will be liable for the vehicle’s damages. When you rent a car you must sign a contract with a rental company before they rent you a vehicle. With this rental car agreement, you may be required to provide the rental car company with payment for the vehicle’s damages in a shorter timeframe than it takes to work out your claim. If this is the case you can file a claim against the other driver to collect compensation for your damages.
It is imperative to note that motorists cannot take legal action against the rental car company for their damages unless they can prove that the rental company’s negligence directly caused the collision. This is only the case if the rental company does not maintain their vehicles to ensure they are safe for their customers to drive.
If you have been injured in an accident in a rental car, contact a trusted attorney at the Law Offices of Brian J. O’Grady today. Our firm is prepared to fight on your behalf to help you secure the fair compensation you deserve.