Besides a spoiled vacation, you have dozens of problems to solve. You are dealing with the rental company, the insurance company, and the police. In some cases, you may even be responsible for the repair of the car.
Sometimes you cannot handle the situation without the help of a lawyer. However, you will hardly be able to get much help from your local law firm if you are traveling across the country and the accident happened miles from your city. It is advisable to look for the contacts of reliable specialists near your destination. For example, if you’re going to New York, you can go to Yuriy Moshes’s law firm.
So what should you do if you have a rental car accident?
1. ASSESS THE SITUATION
The first step is to make sure that no one gets hurt. If you notice someone has been injured, call 911 immediately and provide emergency medical care. You must go to a safe place and help other passengers to do the same if the scene is dangerous. When you are sure that everyone is safe, contact the police, and file a report.
2. GATHER INFORMATION AND EVIDENCE
Take pictures of the car accident. Exchange contact information with injured parties and another driver. You should also have some information about the responding police officer: a copy of the accident report, the number of the accident, his name, license plate number, and contact details.
3. CONTACT YOUR RENTAL COMPANY
Report the rental car accident to the company that supplied you with the vehicle. You can use the emergency number. Ask what to do with the car: return it or leave it on the spot. Write down the number and name of the customer representative, time and date of the call.
4. CONTACT YOUR INSURER
If you are facing an uninsured rental car accident, this step is not for you. If you do, file a claim as soon as possible.
5. TAKE CARE OF THE CAR
If you can drive, you should return the car or contact roadside assistance to have the car towed to a car dealer or rental company.
6. SUBSCRIBE TO THE RENTAL
In the notification, you must state the following information: the parties involved, the incident data, the insurance data.
WHO COVERS THE COSTS?
If you have insurance and the accident with a rental car is not your fault, all costs are generally covered by the insurance company. You can get collision insurance from the car rental company. This is the best option as you are fully covered. The exception can occur due to a violation of the lease. For example, if a car accident with a rental car occurs when an unauthorized driver is driving.
Your personal insurance can also help you. You just need to make sure you cover such incidents. The added benefits of personal insurance are that it generally covers medical expenses, while damage caused by the crash driver does not.
All in all, a car accident with a rental car is often more stressful than an incident in your personal car. Many drivers find it difficult to get a rental car from an insurance company after an accident. Therefore, professional legal assistance is usually required.
We hope you will never face such a situation. Drive carefully and be careful and watchful!