The last thing on your mind when vacationing or on a business trip is being in a car accident, but unfortunately, it happens. Often, these accidents occur with rental cars, adding an extra layer of complication. Whether you are a novice when it comes to renting a car, or this is something you do all the time, getting in an accident with a rented vehicle can be incredibly stressful. Even the safest of drivers are at risk of getting in an accident when operating a car that isn’t their own or navigating unfamiliar roads. And while there are many similarities to accidents with nonrental vehicles, there are a handful of unique complexities to keep in mind.
At Shamieh Law, our experienced team of personal injury lawyers has years of experience handling these types of cases. We understand the various ins and outs of Dallas rental car accidents and will do everything we can to support your claim. If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one because of another driver’s negligence, give us a call and schedule a free consultation.
Although wrecking a rental car isn’t as uncommon as many people think, these cases are complex and often benefit from a legal expert. To learn more about your options regarding recovering compensation, or if you have questions about what your rights are following a rental car accident, please don’t hesitate to contact Shamieh Law.
Most Common Causes of Rental Car Accidents
No matter how good of a driver you are, you cannot control what other drivers do. There are countless ad campaigns and billboards out there, pushing driver safety and warning some of the potential dangers, yet accidents continue to happen. They can occur at any place and any time, often happening when drivers are least expecting it.
Rental cars, trucks, and vans are not immune to accidents. Some of the most common causes of rental car accidents that we see in Dallas and throughout the rest of the country include:
- Driver distraction – Texting, talking on the phone, changing the stereo, or looking at a GPS are all common examples of distracted driving. Rental car drivers are often guilty of having their eyes on their GPS more than the road, putting them at risk. Many other scenarios may lead to distracted driving, which is the leading cause of all car accidents in the U.S. In 2018 alone, nearly 3,000 people died  in distracted driving accidents alone, including 400 pedestrians and 77 bicyclists.
- Drunk driving – More than half of all accidents involving cars or trucks are alcohol-related. Rental car accidents are no different. Drunk driving is the leading cause of death among people between the ages of 16 and 24.
- Speeding – It is of the utmost importance that you follow posted speed limits at all times, especially when driving in unfamiliar cities. Speed causes an alarming number of accidents every single day, many of which are fatal. Whether behind the wheel of your own car or a rental vehicle, always drive with care, and avoid speeding.
- Reckless or aggressive driving – Many drivers are guilty of acting recklessly when behind the wheel of a rental car, leading to severe accidents that cause injuries or worse. Reckless driving is dangerous to you, your passengers, and those sharing the road with you.
- Poor weather – Weather is a common contributing factor to Dallas rental car accidents. Driving on new roads in a different city can be stressful enough on its own, but even more so when you factor in rain or snow.
Insurance Options Following a Rental Car Accident
If you are involved in a rental car accident, one of the first things to pop in your head probably has to do with insurance coverage. Rental car companies try very hard to get drivers to add extra insurance, usually at a high price tag. So, is this insurance necessary, or is it just an added fee?
The answer varies and will depend on your personal car insurance as well as what kind of coverage the other driver(s) involved have. Before going on vacation or a business trip where you will be renting a car, be sure and check with your insurance company to see what kind of coverage you have. After all, if you get into an accident and the rental car you are driving is damaged, you are responsible for its damage.
There are typically three options of insurance coverage for rental car accidents:
- Coverage through the rental car company
- Your personal car insurance coverage
- Coverage from the credit card you used to pay for the vehicle
In addition, there are additional coverage options that may or may not be an option. Here’s a look at the most common types of extra insurance coverage a person could have:
- Collision damage through the rental car company
- Liability coverage through your personal car insurance policy
- Personal accident insurance
- Personal effects coverage
The type of insurance you have (or need) will once again depend on a host of factors and is something you should discuss with your insurance agent before leaving for a trip. If you have quality personal coverage, chances are they will cover the damages. However, it’s always important to read the fine print from the rental company before signing on the dotted line.
Who is Liable for a Rental Car Accident?
Liability is another complicated issue when talking about rental car accidents. One of the most common questions about these types of accidents is if the rental car company can be held liable for damages because they are the vehicle’s official owner. Again, this will depend on the specifics surrounding your accident. However, some examples of times when a rental car company could be found guilty of negligence and, therefore, held liable include:
- Failure to properly train employees
- Failure to supervise employees
- Negligently renting a vehicle to a driver
- Failure to properly maintain rental vehicle
If you are involved in a rental car accident in Dallas, give Shamieh Law a call today. We understand how stressful these situations can be, especially when the accident is serious and leads to injuries or fatalities. Our compassionate team of car accident lawyers is here to answer your questions and help you understand your options regarding liability and recovering compensation. Give us a call today and let us get started on your case.