You are just as likely to get into a car accident with a rental car as you are with your personal vehicle. In fact, you might even be more likely to have a crash because you are unfamiliar with the size and controls of the rental vehicle.
No matter what causes your rental car accident in South Carolina, there are some complex issues that you will need to figure out. Car accident lawyer Ryan Montgomery can help you navigate a rental car wreck insurance claim. Contact our team of legal professionals to schedule a free case review.
Steps to Take After a Rental Car Accident
The actions you should take after a car crash in a rental car are similar to those you’d take in any other accident.
- Call 911.
You should immediately call the police and ask for an ambulance if anyone is seriously injured. You will need to get a police report to support your future insurance claim. The police report will be used to prove fault and determine exactly what happened and who should be held financially liable for damages.
- Exchange Information with the Other Driver
You should get the other driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information. It’s best to take a picture of their driver’s license and insurance cards with your phone. Remember to get images of the front and back. Also, take a picture of the other car’s license plate.
- Collect Evidence at the Scene
If you are able to move around the scene, take pictures and video. Make sure you capture damage to the vehicles, position of the vehicles, signs and traffic light positions, roadway markings, and any visible injures you have. You should also get contact information from any passengers in the vehicles and any bystanders or eyewitnesses to the wreck.
- Get Medical Treatment
You should always get medical treatment after a car accident. Whether you go directly to the emergency room or see your primary care physician as soon as possible, you need to see a doctor. This will establish the severity of your injuries, which will be a primary basis for the compensation you can recover in your rental car accident claim.
- Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
As soon as you are able, you should contact a car accident lawyer who can handle communication with all of the insurance companies and potentially the rental car company. These companies may try to place blame on you for the accident. You may need to call and inform the rental car company of the accident within a certain period of time, so make sure you call them and let them know you will give a statement through your car accident attorney.
Who Will Pay for Damages in a Rental Car Accident?
You will have many options for compensation for your damages after a rental car accident. Your own insurance policy may cover it or an extra policy you paid for with the rental car company. If the other driver was at fault, then their insurance should cover the damages.
- Your Collision Damage Coverage – This will cover damage to the rental car, but not to the other car that was involved.
- Your Liability Coverage – This will cover the other driver’s damages (to their vehicle and medical expenses), if you were at fault.
- Personal Accident Coverage – This is an optional policy you may have purchased from the rental company that will cover your medical expenses.
- Personal Effects Coverage – This is an optional policy from the rental company that covers your personal property that was damaged in the accident.
- The Other Driver’s Liability Coverage – If the other driver was at fault, their liability policy will cover all of your losses, including damage to the rental car.
Before you rent a car, you should call your own insurance company and make sure your policy covers rental cars. Then, it’s always a good idea to purchase any additional insurance that the rental company offers.
Who Is Liable for the Rental Car After an Accident?
When you sign a rental car agreement, you accept liability for any damage to the vehicle while you are renting it. That means even if the other driver is 100% at fault, you will still be responsible for damages to the rental vehicle.
You may need to have your insurance cover damage to the rental vehicle initially. However, you can typically get reimbursed from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You should be prepared to pay your deductible directly to the rental car company if you are in a rental car accident. They may also charge you a “loss of use” fee, which is the amount of money the rental car company lost because they couldn’t rent the vehicle while it was being repaired.
What If Someone in a Rental Car Hit Me?
If someone who was renting a car hit you in your personal motor vehicle, then you have a valid claim against that driver. However, you cannot sue the rental car company unless they did something negligent. For example, if the rental car company did not properly maintain the vehicle and that led to an accident, then they could be responsible for your damages.
Call Ryan Montgomery After a Rental Car Accident
You likely have many questions after a rental car accident. Don’t speak with anyone before you call an attorney. Ryan Montgomery is here to help. Call today at (864) 406-3776.