Archive for February, 2022

What to Do If You Are in a Rental Car Accident in South Carolina

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.

  1. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Understanding Seat Belt Laws in South Carolina

Seat belt laws have been progressively developing since the 1960s as society has focused more on motor vehicle safety. Today, seat belt usage is mandated by most states with legal penalties for those who get cited for not using them.

Not only can failure to use a seat belt result in a traffic violation, but it can also impact your claim if you are involved in a car accident. To learn more, contact Ryan Montgomery Law for a free case review.

South Carolina Seat Belt Laws

South Carolina law (Section 56-5-6520) mandates that every driver and every passenger in a motor vehicle must use a seat belt when the vehicle is being operated on public streets and highways. The safety belt must be fastened and comply with provisions of federal law for its use.

Who Is Responsible for Seat Belt Usage in a Car?

The driver of a motor vehicle is responsible for requiring every person under the age of 18 to wear a seat belt while the car is in operation.

The driver is not responsible for occupants who are age 17 or younger if they have a driver’s license or beginner’s permit. If such a person is found to be without a seat belt, they can be individually fined pursuant to South Carolina laws Section 56-5-6540.

Is Failure to Wear a Seat Belt a Primary Offense?

Yes. In South Carolina, the safety belt law is a primary enforcement violation. That means that a police officer can pull over a motorist for not wearing a seat belt and only cite the for a safety belt violation. The police officer must have an unobstructed view of the driver or passenger in the motor vehicle who was not wearing a safety belt or not secured in a child restraint system.

What Is the Fine for Failure to Wear a Safety Belt?

In South Carolina, a person who fails to wear a seat belt or a driver who does not ensure a minor is properly secured is subject to a fine of not more than $25 for each offense. A person may not be fined more than $50 for any one incident of more than one violation.

Exceptions to South Carolina’s Seat Belt Law

There are some exceptions to South Carolina’s seat belt mandate. The law does not apply to:

How Can Not Wearing a Seat Belt Impact My Car Accident Claim?

In addition to receiving a traffic citation and paying a fine, there could be an additional impact failure to wear a seat belt may have if you are involved in a car accident.

If you are severely injured in a crash and you were not wearing a seat belt, the insurance company may say your injuries are more severe because of the lack of seat belt. They may try to partially blame you for the situation. This could reduce the total amount of compensation you are awarded.

South Carolina uses a comparative negligence law that states the plaintiff in a car accident lawsuit must be less than 51% responsible for damages in order to be eligible for financial recovery. The at-fault driver’s insurance company may try to claim that your injuries were primarily caused by your failure to wear a seat belt. It’s necessary to work with an experienced car accident lawyer who can refuse these claims and help you get the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.

Call Ryan Montgomery Law After a Car Crash

Whether you were wearing a seat belt or not, you should contact car accident lawyer Ryan Montgomery after a crash. He will evaluate your situation and help you file an insurance claim. He will make sure the insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you and they pay you what you deserve. Call today at (864) 406-3776.