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What if I Have a Car Accident in a Rental Car

What if I have a car accident in a rental car? You are probably asking this question because you have been involved in a car accident while you were driving a rental car.

You are wondering how this may be different from a car accident in which you are driving your personal car. You may also be wondering about what you should do if you are involved in a car accident in a rental car.

You should know that if you broke your rental car agreement, you will be held responsible. As part of your rental car agreement, you are obligated to obey all traffic laws. The rental car company does not have to honor the contract if your car accident was due to the fact that you broke traffic laws.

Held liable

For example, if you were speeding, ran a red light or stop sign or were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will be held liable for damages and injuries. If this is the case, you definitely ought to contact a personal injury attorney to represent you.

However, in most instances, you should be protected by insurance. When you rent a car, you have the option of purchasing additional insurance. It is a wise idea to be sure that you have sufficient coverage if you are in a car accident in a rental car.

There are different rental car insurance options that are available to you. These include:

The rental car company - When you take this option, the rental car insurance replaces your personal comprehensive and collision insurance.
Your car insurance - In this case, your liability takes care of damages to another vehicle if the accident was your fault. Your comprehensive covers theft, vandalism, hitting an animal or fire, and your collision covers any rental car that you drive.
A credit card company - Several major credit card companies, such as Discover, American Express, Visa and MasterCard will provide coverage if you place the rental card charges on your card. However, some credit card companies do not cover your liability for injury or death. Ask about this.

So, what should you do if you are involved in a car accident in a rental car. Here are some things you should do regardless of whether you did or did not cause the accident. They include:

Getting medical attention for any injuries to anyone as soon as possible
Contacting the local police
Contacting your personal car insurance company
Contacting the rental car company
File an accident report and make sure that you get copies of all the paperwork
Take pictures of the accident and surroundings. Your cell phone will probably provide you with pictures that are good enough.
Never ever admit fault, even though you believe the accident was your fault. This is not your job. It is the job of the police and trained accident investigators.

Finally, the smart thing to do if you are involved in a car accident in a rental car is to call a personal injury attorney and have your case evaluated at no cost or obligation to you.

Article written by James Shugart

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