Any type of automobile accident may be stressful enough financially or emotionally, even if the damage is small and there is no one hurt.
However, if you get in an accident with a rental car, you are likely to be much more worried about the implications and repair expenses because rental car companies notoriously charge ridiculously high repair costs.
In fact, car rental companies always want to charge vulnerable people for damages even when evidence shows that they are not responsible for the damages.
This Los Angeles insurance law article explains everything you need to know when dealing with unexpected rental car crash problems and complications that follow them.
You must always remember that as a renter, it is your responsibility to the car rental company to return the vehicle to them in the same condition in which you received it.
If you have damaged a rental car, there are typically three types of insurance that cover this kind of rental automobile damage. Get a free consultation from our firm by calling (213) 596-9642.
If you get in an accident or damage a rental vehicle in any way during the rental time, the rental car company, your own auto insurance, and the credit card used to pay for the rental are the three major sources of potential insurance coverage.
The following kinds of insurance are what the rental car company offers as supplemental insurance that covers damages:
1. Collision damage or loss-damage waiver that covers financial damages when the renter gets the vehicle damaged, stolen, or out of use while they are repairing the vehicle or towing it.
2. Liability would cover you and the damages if there are any lawsuits related to your use of the rental vehicle, like personal injury cases, but there is a policy limit of $1 million.
3. Personal accident insurance covers medical costs.
4. Personal effects coverage covers whatever you transport in the car (luggage, electronics, personal items, etc.), and this is an add-on policy.
The car rental company charges for these coverage policies at a per-day cost. Call our California law office or for more information, or discover our other practice areas.
If you are the owner or the driver of a vehicle that you use regularly, you most certainly have personal auto insurance. Most personal vehicle insurance policies will provide coverage equal to the rental car company’s liability coverage, and many will include additional coverage, such as comprehensive and collision.
If you decline liability coverage or the collision damage waiver, certain rental car companies may request evidence of coverage under your personal auto insurance policy.
If you are a licensed driver but lack automotive insurance (for example, if you do not own a car) or homeowners or renters insurance, you need to acquire the rental car company’s optional insurance.
You may not require insurance from the car rental company since many credit card companies, including both Visa and MasterCard, offer this kind of insurance if you pay for the rental with one of their accredited cards. This is a major benefit of making a rental using a credit card, and you should not waste that opportunity to use the option of having this insurance option.
Again, you have to consult your credit card provider to know what kind of insurance it will cover liability. If you are in doubt as to the policy limits of your insurance, it is wise, however, to take the rental company’s policy, especially liability coverage or supplemental liability protection.
What would you do if you get in a rental car accident?
The process is similar to how you’d handle any other car accident; only add a few more steps and you are good to go with the following straightforward steps.
1. Check on everyone in the car accident
If you can safely move around, assess the situation, and check for injuries, and then you must call 911 (or the local authorities) to help you assess the situation and take necessary legal steps. Even if there are no injuries, the police will dispatch an officer who will come to the scene and examine the evidence and file a police report.
2. Gather enough evidence and contact information.
Next, do the same thing you would do in any case of a car accident: gathering evidence of exactly how the accident happened and who was responsible or at fault. The evidence you would gather can be photos of the incident, recordings from witness statements, physical evidence, or other relevant details. Before the police officer leaves, you can try to get a copy of the accident report from the on-scene police officer to hold as part of the evidence in your lawsuit to claim compensation or prove liability.
3. Call the rental company.
When you make a rental, the company will provide an emergency number for you to call if there is any problem with the vehicle you pay rent for, and if you find yourself in an accident involving a rental car, you should call the rental company to ask for what you should do next.
The customer service agent will give you direct instructions on what you must do with their vehicle; whether they want you to tow the car to a specific location, or one of their offices. You’re responsible for the rental car until it’s returned.
4. Call your insurance company (and the credit card company).
Start with your own insurance carrier. If you are not at fault for the accident, a claim will have no effect on your insurance premium rate. It is preferable that you make the claim from your end first because you don’t want the insurance company finding out about the collision as a result of another party filing a claim against you.
Frequently, insurance providers may refuse claims if a policyholder does not file a lawsuit promptly enough following an accident.
Call your insurance company as soon as possible to ensure that they are aware of the accident. If you paid for the rental automobile using a credit card, contact your credit card provider as well. Notify the credit card issuers you used to pay for the rental automobile of the accident.
5. File a report with the rental company.
This is a distinct procedure from selecting how to repair the vehicle following an accident. You must notify the rental company about the incident. This report will inquire about who was to blame for the accident, the extent of the vehicle’s damage, your injuries, and other pertinent information.
If you get in an accident with a rental automobile, the process may be more complicated than an accident with your own car, as that will imply more trouble and maybe different insurance like car rental insurance.
You deserve to pursue justice with an aggressive personal injury attorney to receive all the benefits under your insurance coverage. Call us at Ehline Personal Injury Law Firm and an expert lawyer is ready to assist you in limiting your costs and obtaining maximum compensation. You can also use our convenient website contact form.