After any car injury accident, there are certain steps you need to take to protect your right to recovery. However, when the crash happens while you are driving a rental car, there are additional steps you need to take to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. It’s important to understand those steps and how insurance works after a rental crash.
What to Do After a Rental Car Crash
Many of the things you should do after a crash in a rental car are the same as the things you do after a crash in your own vehicle. Specifically, you should:
- Call the police. It is important to contact the police, so they can secure the scene and keep you and others safe from additional accidents. Also, the police will investigate what happened and write a report.
- Get medical attention. Some accident injuries do not result in immediate symptoms. Thus, it is important to be seen by a doctor even if you don’t think you are hurt. You need to ensure that you have not suffered an injury which may get worse without treatment.
- Gather evidence. If you are physically able to do so, it is important to take pictures at the accident scene, write down the names and contact information of any witnesses to the crash, and gather any other relevant evidence.
- Contact your insurance company. Your insurance policy may provide a specific amount of time during which you must make an accident report.
Additionally, after an accident in a rental car, you should:
- Notify the rental car company of the collision. Your rental contract may require you to notify the rental car company within a certain amount of time after a crash. If you fail to do so, it could impact any insurance coverage you purchased through the rental car company.
- Notify your credit card company if you used a credit card to pay for the car rental. Some credit card companies offer rental car insurance as a perk in your credit card agreement. However, in order to take advantage of this benefit, you must notify the credit card company of the crash.
How Insurance Works After a Rental Car Crash
Whether or not you caused the crash, you may have to pay for damages to the car you rented. The contract that you signed when you rented the car obligated you to return the vehicle in the same condition as when you rented it. However, you may not have to pay for any property damage to the rental car out of pocket. Instead, your options for paying for the damage may include:
- Rental car insurance. You have the option of purchasing additional insurance on your rental car at the time you rent the vehicle. This may include a collision damage waiver. If you purchased this insurance, the rental car company should waive the costs of repair after a crash. You may also purchase liability insurance that provides more coverage than your own car insurance policy, as well as personal accident insurance which would pay for your injuries and for the injuries of any of your passengers.
- Your own car insurance. The coverage of your car insurance policy should be applicable after a rental car crash.
- Your credit card insurance. If you used a credit card to pay for your rental car, some insurance may be provided by your credit card company. However, this is often limited to damage to the vehicle and will not include compensation for any personal injuries.
It is important to consider all three potential sources of coverage, and to talk to your lawyer about what coverage applies before you talk to an insurance adjuster or credit card company representative.
Contact a Trusted Car Accident Lawyer
It’s important to contact a local and experienced car accident lawyer after your rental car crash. Our lawyers will ensure that all of your rights are protected and fight for your fair recovery if the crash was caused by someone else’s negligence. Not only can we help make sure that the rental car company is paid through the right insurance, we may also be able to help you recover for your past and future medical costs, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, physical pain, emotional suffering, and other damages related to the accident.
To learn more, please schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with us today by contacting us through this website or by calling us directly.