What Happens If You’re Hit By Someone Driving A Rental Car?

As the holiday season is coming up, more people will be going on vacations again soon. Without their personal car, rental cars will be a common way of transportation for tourists. With more people and cars around, accidents can happen. If you’re hit by someone driving a rental car, whether you’re a pedestrian, a fellow driver, or a passenger, being involved in an accident with a rental car can be a confusing and stressful experience. To deal with a complex accident, you need to understand the legal and insurance aspects of being in one with a rental car.

Understanding Rental Car Basics

Rental car companies offer many different types of vehicles to individuals for a fee. These vehicles are usually insured, but the coverage can vary significantly from one rental company to another.

When you’re hit by someone driving a rental car, there are steps you must take right after. These steps are similar to those you’d take in any other car accident. According to the injury law firm, De La Garza Law Firm, you must look over your safety by checking for injuries and moving to a safe location, if possible. Call the authorities such as the police to report the accident and request medical assistance. Next, you should exchange information with the driver, including their name, contact information, and details about the rental car company. If there are witnesses, obtain their contact information as well. To strengthen your case, document the scene by taking photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and any injuries.

Determining Liability

Determining liability in an accident involving a rental car can be complex. Liability may fall on two primary parties:

The Driver: If the driver of the rental car is at fault, their personal insurance will typically cover damages up to policy limits. However, this coverage can vary depending on the driver’s insurance policy.

Rental Car Company: In some cases, the rental car company may share liability, especially if the driver purchased additional insurance coverage from them. This additional coverage might extend beyond the driver’s personal policy limits.

Insurance Coverage

Rental car companies usually offer various types of insurance. The type of insurance the driver has plays a crucial role in the aftermath of the accident. Two of these insurance options include Collision Damage Waivers (CDW) and Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI). Depending on the coverage, you will have different outcomes for who will be paying for the accident.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW): This rental car company’s insurance covers damage to the rental car itself. If the driver has opted for CDW, it can alleviate the financial burden of repairing or replacing the rental car.

Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI): SLI provides coverage for third-party bodily injury and property damage. If the driver has SLI, it can help cover expenses related to injuries or damage to other vehicles involved in the accident.

Legal Considerations

Accidents involving rental cars can also involve legal complexities that are important to understand:

Jurisdiction: The laws governing accidents and insurance can vary by state or country. It’s crucial to be aware of the specific regulations in the area where the accident occurred. Look into the local laws of whatever state or country you are currently in. 

Rental Agreement: Review the rental agreement carefully. Some agreements may contain clauses related to accidents, liability, and insurance coverage. Understanding these terms can be essential in case of an accident.

Personal Injury Claims: If you sustain injuries in the accident, you may need to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. Consulting with an expert can help you process through accident claims effectively.

Seeking Compensation

If you’ve been hit by someone driving a rental car and are not at fault, you may be entitled to compensation for various aspects:

Medical Bills: Coverage for medical expenses resulting from injuries sustained in the accident is essential. These expenses can include hospital bills, doctor’s fees, and rehabilitation costs.

Vehicle Repairs: If your vehicle is damaged in the accident, you may be eligible for repairs or replacement, depending on the extent of the damage.

Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical and emotional distress caused by the accident can be sought. This includes pain, suffering, and emotional trauma resulting from the incident.

Lost Wages: If you’re unable to work due to injuries sustained in the accident, you may be eligible for compensation for the income you’ve lost during your recovery period.

Being involved in an accident with someone driving a rental car can be a complex and daunting experience. Prioritizing safety and following the necessary steps, such as gathering information and reporting the incident, are critical. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, remember that seeking legal counsel and understanding the nuances of insurance coverage can be invaluable in protecting your rights and interests.

Author: Brandon Park