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Rental Car Accident Guide: Navigating the Aftermath

Posted on 09/25/23 by admin in Auto Accidents

When traveling by plane or train, renting a car at one’s final destination often becomes essential. Therefore it should come as no surprise that the rental car industry is only growing in size and annual revenue. Navigating our world is often most efficiently and expediently done one four wheels, especially in rural and suburban environments. But convenience does not always equate to safety and responsibility. Driving an unfamiliar car on unfamiliar roads can lead to an increased risk of accidents. The thought of finding yourself far from home with a damaged or totaled car and a potentially serious injury is anxiety-inducing, to say the least. Malloy Law Offices has the updated rental car accident guide to help you navigate this situation if it should ever happen to you.

rental car accident guide

Steps to Take After Your Accident

In many ways, the aftermath of a rental car accident will be very similar to any other car accident. We’ve covered the steps drivers should take in the aftermath of a car accident many times before. Let’s run through the steps to take in short order here. We’ll also cover some unique steps to take in the case of rental accidents.

  1. Ensure Your Health and the Health of Other Parties Involved – This is paramount in any accident situation. Call 911 and request an ambulance if necessary.
  2. Exchange Contact and Insurance Information – Be polite and cordial, but avoid making statements admitting or alluding to fault in the incident.
  3. Document the Scene – Photographic evidence of the scene of the accident will be invaluable in filing an insurance claim or pursuing other damages outside of the insurance claims process.
  4. Contact the Rental Company – Emergency contact information can likely be found on the paperwork you received with your rental. Your rental company will also likely have their own accident reporting protocols.
  5. Contact Your Insurance Provider – This may be a redundant step depending on whether your rental company offers elective coverage and whether you’ve chosen to purchase it. It may still be in your best interest to ask whether you’ll be responsible for filing a police report, what your deductible was, and how responsible you are for paying the costs associated with the claim.

rental car

Rental Car Accident Guide: Insurance

A rental car accident may include vast potential complications and variety of possible avenues towards recovery. Let’s take a deep dive into the potential options available to rental car accident victims, beginning with insurance.

Rental Company Insurance

As previously alluded to, car rental companies will often offer insurance to their customers for an additional daily charge. As always, Malloy Law recommends that motorists avail themselves of all the insurance coverage they can afford. Doing so may save you headaches in the event of an unfortunate accident. Insurance offered by rental companies typically includes:

  • Damage Waivers – Covering damages to the vehicle
  • Liability Insurance – Covering injury to other persons and their property
  • Personal Accident – Covering medical bills in the event of injury to the renter or their passengers
  • Personal Effects – Covers possessions in the car in the event of theft.

Credit Card Insurance

Some credit card companies offer insurance on cars rented by their cardholders, provided that the rental is charged to the credit card in question. This can be useful, but cardholders should be aware that this generally does not entail liability coverage. If your credit card does offer rental car insurance as a benefit, we recommend you read the fine print and understand what exactly is and is not covered.

Third Party Providers

If you travel often and rent cars regularly, you may want to consider purchasing renters insurance through your regular insurance provider. If your existing insurance company does not offer coverage for rentals, you may want to explore purchasing coverage from a third party rental car insurance company.

Rental car

Rental Car Accident Guide: Negligence and Determining Fault

In the event of an accident involving a rental car, the most relevant question to consider is; “who was at fault?” If you are adjudged to be at fault, you path to recovery will come almost entirely through your own insurance coverage.
If you are:

  • Driving a rental car and are involved in an accident and the other driver is ruled to be at fault.
  • Hit by the driver of a rental car while walking or bicycling and the driver is ruled to be at fault.

Then you may be able to open a personal injury case. In order to do so successfully, you’ll need to prove that the at-fault driver’s negligence led directly to your injury and financial harm.

How Malloy Law Can Help

If you or a loved one has been involved in a rental car accident, you may be overwhelmed with a maze of conflicting claims, policies, and corporate interests. You may be facing medical bills, repair bills, and insurance costs. You don’t have to face it alone. Malloy Law Offices is proud to employ car accident experts of all kinds. Our experienced and diverse team has the know-how and the work ethic to win maximum compensation for your injuries and lost property. Contact us today for a free consultation.