The last thing anyone ever wants is to get into an accident in a rental car as most are unsure of the legal ramifications that come along with it.
If there ever was any good news in handling a rental car accident it’s that there isn’t that much of a difference than if you got into an accident in your own car.
With that being said, it’s important to understand the minor differences as well as know what to do when it happens.
In some ways, getting into an accident in a rental car is easier than your own car but why is that?
Because most people who rent a car are in a different city, state, or country driving on unfamiliar roads while distracted with all the new sites and sounds.
Also, each state and country all have a different set of laws that may not be as obvious to the person driving the rental car.
These minor distractions are often times the difference between getting into an accident or not.
If you’ve been in a rental car accident in Dallas or Lake Charles, we’ve outlined some of the steps to take before calling the Shamieh Law Firm.
Remember, we offer a free, no obligation consultation but the most important thing is to ensure you and the other party involved are safe while collection as much information as possible.
When you get into an accident involving a rental car, it's important to do the following before anything else:
- Call 911 ASAP! When you get in a rental car accident, your number one priority is to make sure you and everyone else is safe. If everyone is safe, exchange contact information with anyone else who’s involved in the accident.
- Ask for a police accident report. You'll need this combined with your own report to help the insurance company determine who was at fault
- Take lots of pictures and good notes. At the scene of an accident your adrenaline will be flowing and it will be hard for you to remember what happened once it wears off. By taking pictures and good notes, you’ll ensure you have all the necessary information needed for the insurance company to determine who was at fault.
- Inform your rental car agency and fill out an accident report at the agency. If you purchased insurance through the rental car agency, you may not have to call your insurance company as they will handle the majority of it depending on the plan you purchased.
- Call your insurance agency and see what they’ll cover with damage done if you didn’t purchase optional rental car insurance.
When it comes to who is responsible for paying for damages of the rental car, things get a bit more complicated. Car rental companies always try and get you to take on their insurance, which is a cost most people turn down. Even if you did purchase insurance from the rental company, the coverage could be voided if you broke any conditions listed in the rental agreement while driving. Examples of these conditions include:
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving negligently
- Driving recklessly
- Driving somewhere you were not authorized (like another state)
- Allowing an unauthorized driver to get behind the wheel
These are just a few common reasons why rental car insurance is voided following an accident. We understand how complicated this may seem and are prepared to help you better understand your rights.
In some circumstances, the rental car company may be held liable for your accident. For example, if the rental car company did not repair any safety defects or properly maintain the car before renting it, they could be held responsible.
To learn more about your rights following a rental car accident in DFW or Lake Charles, please contact Shamieh Law today. We have represented numerous victims of rental car accidents and are prepared to do the same for you. We look at each client as if they were our own family member, which means we will fight tirelessly on your behalf.