When Things Get Tricky: What Happens If You Crash a Rental Car?

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Whether you’re driving a tank or a VW Bug, getting in a car accident is stressful, but when that car happens to be a rental, there’s a whole new level of stress added to the situation.

If you are in an accident while you are driving a rental car, there are a few things you will need to do, no matter whether the accident was your fault or the other driver’s, or if it was a major collision or a minor crash.

What To Do if You Crash a Rental

Safety always comes first. Before you hit panic mode about liability and coverage, make sure everyone in your vehicle is safe, then check on the other car’s occupants. If anyone is injured, at all, call 911 and get medical help on the way.

Meanwhile, you will need to call the police and inform them of the accident. Even if it was a minor fender-bender, you’ll need the accident report to file with the insurance company.

After you have dealt with the immediate situation and are able to leave the scene, call the rental car company as soon as you can. This information is usually found on the paperwork that you filled out when you rented the car. They will give you further directions from there, but after that call, you’ll need to report the accident to your personal auto insurance company next.

Who’s Responsible for the Damages?

Establishing liability for coverage can be confusing at this point, but it is extremely important so that you can get your medical bills and damages covered.

When you rented the car, you were likely given the opportunity to purchase extra rental car coverage. If you took this option, your damages will probably be covered by this, but in some cases, you may have purchased a secondary coverage to your own as primary.

When the insurance companies start investigating, they may decide to deny payment and you may become responsible for the damages. If you have any concerns as to which company is liable for your claims, contact a knowledgeable automobile accident attorney like Fountain Law Firm, P.C.

It can get even more confusing from there – if you used a travel credit card, you may have an auto rental coverage if you used it to pay for your rental car. On top of this fuzziness, these types of coverages only cover damage, not medical bills, so if you were injured, you’ll still need someone to help with those costs.

What’s Next?

The most important step after you have taken care of your health is to establish coverage for damages. From there, you will have paperwork to complete, a deductible to pay, and possibly police reports and other documentation to submit.

This process can seem overwhelming, but you are not alone. If you were in an accident in a rental car and you need help understanding where to go next, contact a knowledgeable car accident attorney for direction.