Rental Car Accident Attorney
Getting into an accident is stressful, but when the car you’re driving is a rental, the situation becomes much more difficult. There could be multiple insurance companies involved, including your own, that of the rental car company, and perhaps even your credit card company. Additionally, you could be dealing with serious injuries from the crash, as well as medical bills and missed time from work.
It’s important to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible after a crash involving a rental car. A rental car accident attorney can help you determine who was liable for the crash, deal with potentially multiple insurance companies, and pursue the full compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
Contact the powerful legal team at Ketterman Rowland & Westlund today to talk about your legal rights after a rental car accident. The consultation is free, and we only get paid if we recover money for you.
What If I Get into an Accident Driving a Rental Car?
There are many factors that will determine what will happen after a rental car accident.
First, it must be determined who was at fault for the crash. The insurance company of the at-fault driver is responsible for paying compensation to injured victims after an accident.
If another driver hit you while you were driving a rental car, you will go through that driver’s insurance company, just like any other accident in San Antonio.
If the driver of a rental car hits you, the insurance company liable for paying compensation will depend on whether the driver purchased additional insurance through a rental car company such as Hertz or Enterprise:
- If the driver purchased insurance through the rental car company, that insurance company is liable for paying compensation.
- If the person did not purchase the rental car insurance, injured individuals would have to go through the driver’s primary insurance company. In some cases, the insurance company providing auto insurance through the driver’s credit card company can cover certain losses. Your own insurance policy may also provide coverage if the driver is uninsured or underinsured.
Understanding Your Own Car Insurance Coverage
Your car insurance coverage will protect you in the event that you cause an accident and someone else becomes injured as a result. It protects you from personal liability for paying the accident victim’s expenses.
Under Texas law, every driver in the state is required to carry a minimum of $30,000 in liability coverage for injuries to a person and a minimum of $60,000 in liability coverage for the entire accident. Drivers are also required to carry a minimum of $25,000 in coverage for property damage.
At the time of purchasing your auto insurance, your insurance company must also offer you uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This insurance protects you in case an uninsured or underinsured driver causes an accident. If the person at fault for your crash does not have enough insurance to provide adequate compensation for your damages, you can go through your own insurance company if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Compensation After a Rental Car Accident
After a serious rental car accident, you may be facing a range of expenses and other losses related to your injuries. Our knowledgeable rental car automobile accident lawyers will help you calculate your losses and demand full compensation.
The most common types of damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
Our rental car accident attorneys can review your case and explain all the types of compensation you may be entitled to receive.
What Do I Do After an Accident in a Rental Vehicle?
The moments after a car crash are chaotic, and it can be difficult to know what to do. Following the right steps is important, however, as your actions now can help with any claim you file in the future.
- Get medical treatment. Immediately following a crash in a rental vehicle, check yourself and others involved for injuries. You should call for emergency help, even if you are not sure how badly you are injured. Injuries after an accident aren’t always apparent right away and may get worse over time. Calling for medical attention will ensure that you receive the proper treatment and that your injuries are documented.
- Call law enforcement. While calling for medical help, also call the police to report the accident. In Texas, you must report any car accident that resulted in injury, death, or extensive property damage. When law enforcement arrives on the scene, officers will help clear away debris and write a police report. A copy of the police report can help prove your claim with the insurance company.
- Gather basic evidence. You should exchange information with the other driver. Be sure to write down the driver’s name, contact information, license plate number, and insurance information. You should also take pictures of the accident scene and get the names and contact information for any witnesses to your collision.
- Contact the rental company. You should contact the car rental company as soon as possible. The company will have paperwork for you to fill out. You should also read your own insurance policy and the car rental’s insurance policy.
- If you did not purchase insurance from the car rental company, you will need to contact your own insurer, even if you were not at fault for the crash. Most insurance policies require this, and insurers can even sometimes cancel an insurance policy if you don’t call them after an accident.
- Talk to a lawyer immediately. Anytime you are injured in a crash and someone else is to blame, you need to seek legal advice. An attorney can manage communication with the at-fault party and all the insurance companies involved to ensure you are protected.
How Does Negligence Affect a Car Accident in a Rental Car?
All car accident cases rest on negligence, and crashes involving rental cars are no different. The insurance company of the negligent, or at-fault, party typically provides compensation for any injuries or losses that resulted from the crash. In most cases, negligence lies with one of the drivers involved.
There are some instances, however, when the rental company could be held liable for a car accident. If the company knew about safety defects in the vehicle, for example, and did not repair them, the company can be found at fault if those defects resulted in a crash. Injured individuals can also hold rental companies liable if they did not perform regular inspections of the vehicle or if they did not properly maintain the car.
When a person is hurt in a crash caused by the driver of a rental car, there are also certain circumstances under which the victim can hold the rental company liable. Rental companies are responsible for ensuring the drivers they rent to have a proper license and are reasonably safe drivers. When rental companies fail to do this and someone else becomes injured, those hurt can file a claim against the rental company.
For example, a rental company might rent a vehicle to someone who had his or her driver’s license revoked after driving while impaired. That driver then causes an accident with the rental car. The rental company can be held liable for any injuries suffered during that crash.
Negligence can also affect a personal injury claim if the crash victim contributed to the accident. Texas is a comparative fault state, meaning that those hurt in a crash can only claim compensation if they were less than 51 percent at fault for the accident. In addition, the compensation that a victim receives will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault.
So, for example, if a crash victim suffered $10,000 in damages but was found to be 25 percent at fault for the crash, the compensation amount would by reduced by $2,500.
What Happens If You Crash Someone Else’s Rental Car?
When someone rents a vehicle from a rental company, the agreement typically states that only certain people are allowed to drive the rented vehicle. When the renter violates this agreement and allows an unnamed person to drive the vehicle, the rental contract, and the insurance provided within it, is rendered void.
Due to this, the renter is responsible for paying for any damage to the rental car. Often, insurance from the renter’s credit card or primary insurance company can cover this damage.
If anyone was injured during the accident, the renter’s insurance is likely liable for paying compensation for those injuries. Just like any other accident, though, if insurance is not enough to cover the cost of injuries, the renter may be personally liable.
If you have been hurt in a crash involving a rental car, do not try to handle the complexities of filing a personal injury claim on your own. A San Antonio rental car accident attorney from Ketterman Rowland & Westlund can take the pressure off you by handling all the details of your case.
Our attorneys know how to determine liability and will aggressively pursue the compensation you need from the insurance company or the at-fault driver. Contact us now to schedule your free consultation.