If you were the driver or passenger in a rental car accident, or if you were hit by a rental car, you probably have questions about your rights and legal options. Who is at fault for a rental car accident? How does rental car insurance work? What happens if you damage a rental car?
If you have been hurt in a rental car accident in the South Florida area, you need the experience of a skilled personal injury attorney. The car accident lawyers at Rosen & Ohr are here to help you get all the information you need to make a successful accident claim.
Contact us today by phone or online for a free claim review and advice about your legal rights and options for pursuing compensation.
What Are My Rights After a Rental Car Accident?
As an injured victim, you have a number of rights after an accident. Most of these will depend on your unique circumstances, including whether you purchased the rental car company’s insurance coverage, whether you purchased the collision damage waiver, and what type of coverage is offered by your personal auto insurance policy.
This may seem overwhelming, and at Rosen & Ohr, we understand. We are available to walk you through all aspects of your rights after a rental car accident and seek out all potential sources of recovery for you.
Establishing Liability for a Crash Involving a Rental Car
According to the Graves Amendment 49 U.S.C. 30106, rental car companies are not liable for car accidents caused by rental drivers. This means that you cannot automatically sue the rental car company simply for owning the vehicle involved in the crash.
However, this does not mean that a rental car company is never liable. If the rental company did something negligent in care, maintenance, or rental of the vehicle that caused the accident that injured you, they may be required to compensate you for their wrongdoing.
Many scenarios can be at play here, from servicing the vehicle improperly, to failing to perform adequate maintenance, or even renting the car to a dangerous person that could have been avoided by a background check.
In most crashes involving a rental car, the driver who caused the crash will be liable – just as in a crash involving personal vehicles. However, insurance matters can be more complex when a rental car is involved.
Ultimately, you should consult with a car accident attorney at Rosen & Ohr, who can help you establish exactly who is liable for the crash.
How Does Rental Car Insurance Work?
Whether you purchased rental insurance, declined coverage, or were injured by a driver of a rental car, Rosen & Ohr’s car accident attorneys can explain exactly how rental car insurance works in your case.
If your injuries were caused by another driver who was operating a rental car, their rental car insurance or personal insurance may cover your injuries.
If you were driving the rental car, it is likely that the rental company will come after you for the damages to their vehicle, particularly if you declined to purchase their insurance. In these cases, your own insurance or even your credit card company may cover the damage until you can pursue compensation from the at-fault driver.
Steps to Take After Being Involved in a Rental Car Accident
After an accident involving a rental car, try not to panic and take the following steps:
- Get medical attention. The most important thing after any accident is to make sure that you receive the medical attention you need. It is always a good idea to get checked out even if you do not immediately feel hurt. This can help prevent complications from injuries you may not notice due to adrenaline, or if the injuries themselves don’t show symptoms at first.
- Make a police report. Always call the police when you are involved in any type of accident. Police reports are crucial for insurance purposes and are legally required if the accident involved injuries or significant property damage.
- Compile evidence. If you are able, take photos of the accident scene, including the damaged vehicles, as well as the surrounding area, including weather conditions, traffic signals, signs, skid marks, etc. There is no such thing as too many photos. Also, get the names and contact information of any available witnesses. All of this will help to build your case.
- Contact an attorney. It is always in your best interest to contact an attorney to assist in an accident claim – especially a complex case involving a rental car. At Rosen & Ohr, our car accident attorneys can give you legal advice and develop a strategy for your case.
- Alert your insurance company and the rental car agency. Let your insurance company and rental car agency know about your accident. However, be sure you do not talk to the other party’s insurance company because they may try to trick you into admitting fault for the accident.
If you are unable to take all of these steps after an accident, out of a need for immediate medical attention or any other reason, do not panic. Make sure to seek help, and then call an attorney when you are able.
How Can Rosen & Ohr Help Me?
If you have been injured in a rental car accident, Rosen & Ohr can help you pursue the compensation you need. Our car accident attorneys are prepared to fight for you in court if needed. When you are injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you need the help of experienced professionals who can make the claim process as fast and painless for you as possible.
As a car accident victim, you are likely undergoing medical treatment that leaves you with medical bills and missed paychecks for time off work, as well as physical and emotional suffering. These issues present enough stress, so the last thing that you want to worry about is a legal claim. We can handle every aspect of your case so that you can focus on your recovery.
Call Rosen & Ohr today for a free, no-obligation consultation.