What To Do If You Have an Accident in a Rental Car

You have an advocate who will protect you from insurance adjusters who want to find any way to trick you into saying something about the accident that will make you appear more liable than you may indeed be.

Car accidents always take people by surprise.

All of a sudden, your day has completely changed.

If you get into an accident while on vacation or a business trip and are using a rental car, you may have questions about whether you are responsible for damages.

You may also wonder how you will pay for medical care for your injuries.

Before you can get to talking about liability and damages, you have to react to the immediate accident.

Taking the proper steps after a car accident not only ensures your health and safety but could also help you if you decide to file a personal injury claim, says Encino, CA car accident attorney Rosenstock.

From taking pictures of the accident scene to seeing a doctor, there are specific steps you need to take after an accident with a rental car.

Many of them are similar to what you do in any other auto accident. What will change how your case is handled, however, is your insurance.

Call 911

Make sure everyone is OK, and check the scene around you. If possible, safely move to the side of the road. Get away from the vehicle if there is a chance of it igniting or exploding.

When you call 911, notify them of how many people are injured. As hard as it may be, stay calm when on the phone with the operator.

It is easy to panic, but if you keep yourself calm, you can process the situation better.

Exchange Information

Get the contact information from the other driver and provide them your

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Car insurance policy information

You should also obtain the contact information of other passengers and witnesses of your accident.

It would help if you didn’t speak to the other driver about the accident after you had exchanged information.

You don’t want to risk saying something that could negatively impact your personal injury case later on or that could unintentionally increase your liability.

Plus, people aren’t in a clear state of mind after an accident, and you don’t know if the other driver will begin an argument on the side of the road.

Apologizing for the accident or accepting responsibility for any part of it can be detrimental to your personal injury case.

You should never sign any documents on the road admitting to fault.

Take Pictures

Pictures can significantly impact your personal injury case if they’re clear and visually tell the story of the accident scene.

Make sure you’re taking photos from where you won’t get hurt and bring them before the police or first responders move the cars.

Take a combination of close-up shots and wide shots.

Key things to get photos of our street signs, traffic signals or signs, the license plate of both cars, and any other details that are unique to the scene, like construction or slick roads.

Get Checked Out by a Doctor

A big mistake people often make at the accident scene is saying they feel fine and not following up with a doctor.

Even car accident injuries considered minor could keep you home in bed for a few days, like whiplash. Some injuries also have delayed onset symptoms, so you don’t feel them until much later.

Again, whiplash is one of these injuries, and it could be a whole day before you start feeling stiffness in your neck and shoulders.

Always see a doctor after an accident, especially if you’re bleeding, have lost consciousness, have bruises, or are in pain.

Hire an Attorney

A car accident attorney gathers information about the accident for you by obtaining a copy of the police report. They subpoena video footage of the accident from nearby security cameras or traffic cameras.

Your attorney can retain expert witnesses and take witness statements.

Before you contact the insurance company to give a formal statement, you should speak with an attorney because they will advise you of your rights and protect you from the insurance company.

Report the Accident to the Rental Company

In your rental contract, there should be instructions on what to do after a car accident, or you may find a sticker with an 800 number in the glove box.

The car rental company may ask you to fill out an incident report with information. Your attorney can contact your insurance company, which is advised so that you don’t get taken advantage of.

Can My Car Insurance Policy Cover Damage to a Rental Car?

The answer to this question will depend on your policy type and the kind of coverage you purchased.

Many people’s collision and comprehensive policies extend to rental cars used for personal use if the policyholder was the person driving the rental car at the time of the accident.

Typically, your bodily injury insurance is also extended to rental cars.

However, your coverage may have limits, or you may have to pay a deductible before your benefits kick in.

You should consult the policy’s terms if you purchased insurance through the rental company.

If you bought a copy of your primary and rental car insurance, it should go to your attorney immediately.

When you work with a personal injury attorney specializing in car accidents, you know you are working with someone who will fight for you.

They will aim to get the maximum compensation for all your losses related to the accident.

Plus, you have an advocate who will protect you from insurance adjusters who want to find any way to trick you into saying something about the accident that will make you appear more liable than you may indeed be.

Also, an attorney can inform you of your rights and what damages you may be entitled to, such as damages for your medical care and lost wages.

You deserve an advocate who can help you navigate the legal waters after an accident in a rental car.

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