If you have been in a car accident in a rental car, you may be confused about your rights. The reality is that being in a rental car accident may qualify you for the same compensation as if you were driving your own personal vehicle. If you denied rental insurance, your own insurance policy will likely cover the damages of your accident. The at-fault driver’s insurance may also pay for your damages.
Filing a Claim
These situations of a rental car accident can be very confusing. If you suffered injuries in your accident, you will first need to notify your own insurance company, even if you were driving a rental car. If your rental car was the only vehicle in the accident, you will likely only deal with your own insurance company. Your coverage may enable you to recover damages of your accident, too.
Rental car accidents are usually covered under today’s auto insurance policies. But each policy is unique, so you need to talk to your insurance company to find out what your coverage includes. Most insurance policies cover damages you, as the policyholder, do to other vehicles when the accident is your fault. Collision coverage covers your property damages.
When you have a two vehicle accident in a rental car, your insurance company still needs to be notified. If the other driver was at fault, provide the other driver’s insurance policy details to your insurer. You may then be able to file a claim against the other driver’s coverage for your accident costs, including medical expenses, lost income and other damages.
For your liability claim to be successful, you have to prove that the at-fault driver was negligent. You must show how the driver’s negligence caused your damages. You must also prove your damages through medical bills, receipts and other factual evidence.
Purchasing Rental Insurance
When renting a vehicle, you should always check with your insurance policy to determine whether you need to purchase rental car coverage. If you already have coverage through your policy, it is not necessary to add the rental company’s insurance. Your insurance may cover you instead of which car you are driving, meaning you have the same benefits regardless of which car is in the accident. Credit card companies sometimes also provide rental insurance. You should check the card you use for your rental car, to see if you are covered.
Once you understand what coverage you currently have, you will know whether you should opt for rental car insurance through the rental car company. It does not help reduce your damages, to “double up” on coverage.
Legal Assistance for a Rental Car Accident
Anytime you are in a car accident, you should immediately seek medical treatment. You may not think you have suffered any injury. But you should still see a doctor or go to the hospital for treatment. Going to the doctor starts a medical treatment history that will help you if you file a claim later. There are injuries that do not show up or hurt until days or even weeks after your car accident.
After you have been seen by a doctor and contacted your insurance company, the next step after your rental car accident is to call a Phoenix personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer will help you gather the evidence you need to support your claim for damages. The lawyer will also represent you for communication with the insurance companies.
Even when the other party’s insurance adjuster seems friendly or caring, you need to be aware that their first goal is to save money on claims by underpaying victims by as much as possible. They are not looking out for your best interests. If you talk to the insurance company alone, you may be made vulnerable to accepting a low settlement amount. This is why it is so important that you have a skilled car accident lawyer involved as soon after your accident as possible. By working with a lawyer, you have more options and a voice in your claim process. Call Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law now at 602.254.2701 or complete the online form for a free, no-obligation case consultation.