A rental car accident is the last thing you need. Apart from a spoiled vacation, you face dozens of problems to solve. You have to deal with the rental company, insurance company, and the police. In some cases, you may even be liable for the car repair.
Sometimes, you can’t handle the situation without a lawyer’s assistance. However, you will hardly be able to gain much help from your local law office if you are traveling around the country, and the accident happened miles away from your town. It’s advisable to find the contacts of reliable specialists near your destination. For example, if you go to New York, you can turn to the law office of Yuriy Moshes.
So, what should you do if you get into the rental car accident?
Step 1. Assess the Situation
The first step is to make sure that no one is hurt. In case you notice that someone is injured, immediately contact 911 and provide first medical aid. You should move to a safe location and help other passengers do the same if the scene is dangerous. Once you are sure that everyone is safe, contact the police and report the incident.
Step 2. Gather Information and Evidence
Take pictures of the car accident. Exchange the contact details with injured parties and another driver. Also, you need to have some data from the responding police officer: a copy of the accident report, the accident case number, his name, badge number, and contact information.
Step 3. Contact Your Rental Company
Report the rental car accident to the enterprise that provided you with a vehicle. You may use the emergency number. Ask what you should do with the car: bring it back or leave at the scene. Write down the customer representative’s number and name, the time and date of the call.
Step 4. Contact Your Insurance Provider
If you face a rental car accident with no insurance, this step is not for you. However, if you do have it, file a claim as soon as possible. This is especially vital for credit card insurance coverage.
Step 5. Take Care of the Car
Remember: you are responsible for the vehicle during the rental period. Thus, you should either return the car if it’s drivable or contact the roadside assistance to tow the car to an auto shop or the rental location.
Step 6. File a Report with the Rental Company
You will need to provide the following information in the report: the parties involved, the incident details, the insurance data.
Who Covers the Costs?
Typically, if you have insurance and a rental car accident happens not at your fault, all the costs will be covered by the insurance company. You can get collision insurance from the rental car company. This is the best option since you are completely covered. The exception may take place because of a breach of the rental agreement. For example, if a rental car accident happens when an unauthorized driver is driving.
Your personal insurance may also be useful. You only need to make sure that it covers such incidents. The additional benefits of personal insurance are that it usually covers medical expenses while collision driver damage doesn’t.
All in all, a rental car accident is usually more stressful than incurring the incident being in your personal vehicle. Many drivers struggle while getting rental car after accident from an insurance company. Thus, professional legal help is usually necessary.
We hope you never face such a situation. Drive safe and be careful and attentive!