Rental Car Accident: Considering Options Before And After An Accident
Scheduling a vacation can be stressful, but going on the vacation is the fun part. Driving a rental car where you vacation is not uncommon. Moreover, having a rental vehicle even not on vacation, is not uncommon. Renting a vehicle is pretty straight forward until a rental car accident happens. Car accidents to your own vehicle are stressful and scary. But, what happens if someone runs into your rental vehicle?
You may think “well, that won’t happen to me”, but don’t throw the possibility away. Furthermore, we are not suggesting to always be on edge when driving a rental vehicle. Remember, you are driving a vehicle that’s not yours and probably on roads you’re not familiar with. This means you don’t know the drivers, so don’t dismiss the possibility of a rental car accident. So, how do you deal with a rental car crash and can you hire a lawyer just the same after this type of accident?
Getting Additional Rental Car Insurance
Renting a car is very common, so it is important to know your insurance options. If you don’t currently have your own car insurance, you’ll need to at least buy liability coverage from the rental company. That’s because liability coverage for all drivers is required by law in most U.S. states. Even if you have car insurance for your own vehicle, your own insurance doesn’t fully cover rental vehicles. You should consider paying the extra insurance costs if:
- Your current policy doesn’t have comprehensive and collision coverage
- You’re only insured under a commercial car insurance policy
- You don’t want to risk paying a high deductible
- If you’re driving abroad (other than Canada). Your current car insurance probably won’t cover you
It is always safer to get insurance coverage through the car rental company if you’re unsure. The rental car insurance covers most of the same items as normal car insurance after a rental car accident. Rental car insurance protection can include liability coverage, property damage, personal effects coverage (personal items inside the car), personal accident insurance (PIP). However, all of these protections are optional as they add an additional cost to the final rental expenses. If you’re considering adding coverage to your rental vehicle, there can be other alternatives to paying extra rental car insurance.
Alternatives to Purchasing Rental Coverage
Your own insurance may protect a rental vehicle that you have for personal use. For example, if a driver runs into your own vehicle and your vehicle needs repairs you could be covered by your insurance company to get a rental vehicle and be protected with no extra cost. It’s worth checking with your insurance company to see if you are covered. In this case, buying extra rental car insurance coverage may duplicate what you already pay for on your insurance policy. Another way to protect yourself from a rental car accident would be through your credit card.
In addition to your auto insurance, certain credit cards offer extra insurance, if you pay for a car rental using that card. Check with your credit card company by calling the number on the back of your card before booking your vehicle. Some credit card providers may also exclude coverage for certain types of rental vehicles, for example luxury vehicles, motorhomes, trucks or motorcycles. Regardless, if you’re considering purchasing rental car insurance, it’s really up to you. However, we suggest being prepared in case a rental car accident happens.
Car accidents and dealing with the insurance company can be overwhelming, and sometimes confusing. Especially when you may be recovering from the accident injuries. Add on top of that dealing with the rental car company. Needless to say, you may be dealing with a lot. Even after a rental car accident, can you hire a car accident lawyer or get any legal help?
Can You Hire a Lawyer After Getting Into a Rental Car Accident?
First, make sure to take the necessary steps right after a car accident and before hiring a lawyer. Make sure along with following those steps, to contact the rental company. You may also need to contact other parties involved in your rental vehicle like your own insurance company or the credit card company. Next, make sure to file a claim with the insurance company. You need to make sure to file a claim in the first place even if events don’t seem to be convenient for you.
Remember that even if someone ran into the car you were renting, the rental company has their own set of guidelines. For example, sometimes the rental company might not want to wait for the insurance claim process to pay for repairs of their vehicle. Therefore, they might charge your credit card for the full amount of the damages, and you’ll need to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance to be reimbursed. All this to say that you may want to consider hiring a lawyer. With all the parties that may be involved — along with the treatment you may be getting for your injuries —, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to ask a lawyer. To officially answer the question of, “can I hire a lawyer after a rental car accident”? Yes, it is possible.
What’s The Next Steps After a Rental Car Accident?
After a rental car accident, make sure you are safe first and follow the outlined steps for car accidents. If you are thinking of contacting an attorney, make sure to contact a legal team that practices in the state where the accident happened. The reason why is because different states have varying laws. Therefore, even if you live in another state, they won’t have much legal authority over the state in which the accident happened. Once you start a claim with the rental car company, know that you don’t have to make any further statements to them if you’re hiring a lawyer. This is because the attorney will handle the rest.
If you have been in a rental car accident while in Maryland, Virginia or Washington D.C., don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We want to make sure you are taken care of and know all your rights: 202-933-1918.