Having to deal with an accident with a rental car brings in a lot of worry.it is definitely the last thing anyone wants. While navigating the unknown paths, do not make the mistake to ignore the possibility of a rental car accident. the rental car agreement and the insurance put the extra weight on your already big worry.
But what should you do if faced with such an unfortunate event?
This is exactly what we will help you understand. Lets understand the things one should do, the legal situation and how to tackle it effectively.
Ensure your safety
Before you get into the legal aspects and deal with the agreement for the rental car, it is very important to make sure everyone is safe. If needed, call 911 to get the assistance needed immediately. check for any minor or serious injuries before you do anything else. check the accident scene and then your rental car. This will help you better explain the event when needed.
Do not forget to Inform the Police
A thorough investigation is mandatory when it comes to road accidents. the police will help you make records of any significant details about the accident and provide aid for necessary medical assistance at the moment.
After checking the above details correctly, you are supposed to exchange some critical information with any other parties involved in the accident. this includes details such as:
- Phone number
- Insurance company with the policy number
- Driver’s license number
- Vehicle registration and license plate
- Email address
- Information of any witness(if any) for the accident.
- Date and time of accident
- Place of accident
- Any road conditions that could be the cause.
- Injuries caused to anyone involved.
Take pictures of the Accident
It is always a smart thing to do to have pictures of the damage caused to you or your vehicle. this will help you protect yourself from any legal actions if the party involved does not seem to cooperate.
Take enough pictures to prove your point when needed. you may take pictures of your vehicle if it has sustained any damages or pictures of injuries caused to you.
This is a mandatory step to do as you may unknowingly record some critical information such as how it happened. this is a great way to preserve evidences.
Connect with your Rental Company
You have to inform them about the accident as well. The evidences you collected earlier will be of use in this step. Tell them about the accident, how it happened and pictures of damages to the car. they will perform all the repair and replacement of your rental car if needed
you’ll find an emergency contact number inside the glove box, or you may also locate an emergency contact number on your rental car agreement.
Contact the Insurance Company
If you’re in a situation where your primary source of coverage for an accident is your existing auto insurance policy, it becomes imperative to promptly notify your insurance company about the incident. This notification serves as the initial step in the claims process, allowing the insurance company to assess and potentially cover the damages resulting from the accident.
As you engage with your insurance provider, it’s essential to seek clarification on several key aspects to ensure you understand the coverage and procedures:
Filing an Accident Report
You should first inquire about whether your insurance company will take responsibility for filing an accident report with the local law enforcement authorities. In many cases, insurance companies handle this process to ensure that the incident is properly documented.
It’s important to ascertain whether your insurance policy provides both collision and comprehensive coverage in addition to the basic liability coverage mandated by law. Collision coverage typically covers damage to your vehicle in case of an accident, while comprehensive coverage includes protection against non-collision-related incidents such as theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.
Your deductible represents the portion of the financial loss that you are required to pay out of your own pocket before the insurance coverage kicks in. By determining the specific amount of your deductible, you can understand your financial responsibility in the event of a claim. Higher deductibles often result in lower insurance premiums, while lower deductibles mean you’ll pay less out of pocket but may have higher premium costs.
In summary, notifying your insurance company about an accident is the crucial first step to initiate the claims process. Asking these questions helps you clarify your insurance coverage and understand the roles and responsibilities, ensuring that you receive the appropriate assistance and compensation in the aftermath of an accident.
Figure out who is responsible
Learn the things that are covered by your claim and what responsibilities does it project on whom. your insurance will cover your rental car if it has collision and comprehensive coverage. you can purchase a collision damage waiver from the rental car company. you should not expect your credit card to do the coverage for you as generally it is not the case.
A thing to keep in mind is that you have to pay your deductible to the rental company as they will have to get the repairs done soon. It is payable whether you are at fault or not.
Prepare in advance for such a situation
Being a step ahead and having a plan of action in such cases will not go to waste. this will allow you to handle the situation better.
Preparing for the possibility of an accident while driving a rental car may not be the most enjoyable part of planning a road trip, but being proactive is far better than facing uncertainties during your vacation. Here’s how you can get ready:
Explore Your Credit Card Benefits
Investigate whether your credit card offers rental car insurance. Even if there’s an annual fee involved, using a credit card that provides secondary or, better yet, primary coverage when renting a car can ultimately save you money.
Consider Purchasing Rental Car Insurance Independently
If your existing insurance policy doesn’t extend to cover car rentals, and you’d rather not buy insurance directly from the rental company, you have an alternative. You can purchase rental car insurance from a third-party rental car insurance provider.
Ensure You Have Some Form of Insurance
Regardless of where you obtain your insurance, it is crucial to have some form of insurance in place to drive in the United States. If you get into a collision without insurance coverage, it could lead to the suspension of your driver’s license.
The Legal Perspective
If you or any of your friends and family have gotten in such a situation, you should immediately connect with an experienced car accident attorney. Being prepared for any legal complexities will help you deal better. Phillips Law Offices have a team of dedicated and well versed attorneys to help you get through this. we have a strong history of years that speaks of our expertise. Don’t navigate the complexities of rental car accident claims alone. Contact us now to schedule a consultation and let us fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve. Your path to justice starts with Phillips Law Office.”
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