What to Do If You Damage a Rental Car in An Accident?
While most people who drive rental cars don’t get into accidents, some, unfortunately, do. After getting into an accident in a car you have rented, it’s vital to understand your legal rights and whom you can hold legally responsible for the resulting damages. But first, here’s what you need to do after damaging a rental car in a crash:
- Call the police so they can investigate the accident scene and file a detailed report that you can utilize as evidence for the insurance claim you will file later.
- If anyone is hurt, call 911 for serious injuries or head to the nearest hospital for minor injuries that don’t require prompt treatment.
- Exchange contact information with everyone involved in the accident and eyewitnesses, if applicable.
- Document the damage to the vehicles and the scene of the crash.
- Report the accident to your rental car company. Stick to the facts and don’t admit fault or insinuate that you caused the accident.
- Ideally, you should discuss your situation with our Tampa car accident lawyer before talking to any insurers or anyone in their camp, so we can guide you on how you should talk to them and what things you should avoid to protect your rights and claim to compensation.
Who Pays for The Damage to The Rental Car?
If you get into a crash while driving a rental car, your ability to receive compensation to cover the damage and related losses will depend on various factors, such as what caused the crash and the specific nature and extent of the damages. If you contributed to or caused the collision, you may be on the hook for covering the rental car damage and any other losses other people incurred in the crash. Coverage can come from your own auto insurance or any applicable insurance policies, such as the plan you purchased from the rental car company or your credit card.
If you were also hurt in the collision, your PIP or personal injury protection insurance should cover your lost income and medical expenses. Any damage waivers or collision coverage you have may cover damage to the rental car. But you would need to pay out-of-pocket if you don’t have any insurance coverage that will cover the rental car damage and related losses.
If another motorist was at-fault for the collision and rental car damage, you may seek compensation by filing a claim with their insurance provider. Their liability coverage may cover your injuries, lost income, and vehicle damage up to their plan’s policy limits. In this situation, you can receive compensation from a settlement or a damages award in court if the insurer doesn’t want to negotiate fairly.
Reach Out to a Skilled Tampa Car Accident Lawyer
Accidents involving rental cars can be complex because there might be multiple insurance companies involved. You deserve the best legal advice to help increase your chances of securing the compensation you need to cover your losses. Contact the Tampa car accident lawyer at Matthews Injury Law at 813-530-1000 or online to set up your free case evaluation today.