Filing A Claim After A Rental Car Accident
Most people panic in the first moments following a rental car accident. You immediately wonder, “Did I buy the rental car insurance when picking up this car?” But you should not panic, as when you are in a rental car auto accident, you may still be eligible for compensation for injuries and other damages as you would be if you were driving your own vehicle. This may be true whether you bought insurance from the rental company or not.
Having an Accident While Driving a Rental Car
At the rental car counter, you were most likely asked if you wanted to purchase insurance for the vehicle. There are often several levels of coverage you can choose from. One type typically available is insurance that covers every aspect of the accident, meaning you can walk away from the wreck not owing anyone a penny. But most people do not accept these coverage options and initial the area on the document that states that you deny coverage.
Ultimately, if you denied insurance like this at the counter, you are responsible when you get into a rental car accident. But you may be covered in other ways through insurance you are unaware you already have for the rental car.
Some common sources of rental car insurance include:
- Your own auto insurance policy, which may provide coverage for accidents occurring when you are driving a rental vehicle or someone else’s vehicle.
- The credit card with which you paid for your rental, that may include insurance for rental cars built into it. You should become familiar with your credit cards offering this type of insurance, then using one of those cards each time you rent a vehicle.
- The rental car company, providing its own insurance for the vehicles it owns. How much liability you may have in an accident can vary according to the company and whether you declined additional insurance or added some to your rental contract.
Filing a Claim after a Car Accident in a Rental
If you were in a rental car during an accident, you should contact your own insurance company as if you were driving your personal vehicle. If your rental car was the only vehicle involved in the wreck, you may deal with only your insurance company. You may even be able to recover some damages that you suffered from the accident, such as injuries or property loss.
Most personal vehicle insurance policies do cover rental car accidents, but you need to check your policy for this coverage. Your liability insurance should cover damages caused to other drivers and your collision coverage (also called comprehensive coverage) should cover property damage regardless of who caused the accident.
If another driver was involved in a multi-car collision with your rental vehicle, you still need to inform your own insurance company. You will deal with the other driver’s insurance as well, if that party was at fault. Their insurance will pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and other costs.
Of course, it is very important that you involve an personal injury lawyer phoenix as early in the process as possible, whenever you are in a car accident that was someone else’s fault. This attorney will ensure you are not taken advantage of by being paid less than you deserve for your injuries, property damage and other damages.
Should You Purchase Rental Car Insurance?
First check with your own auto insurance when renting a car, to decide whether you should opt for the rental company’s additional coverage. Also get to know your credit cards and which ones provide auto rental insurance. When you understand what coverage you may already have or not have, you will know whether you should add the rental company’s offered insurance. One thing to be aware of is that having overlapping coverage will not add to the amount of compensation you can recover after an accident. So if you are well covered through your own auto insurance or your credit card used to rent the vehicle, you do not need to waste money by adding the rental company’s coverage.
Getting the Help You Need after an Arizona Rental Car Auto Accident
When you have been in a rental car auto accident that is someone else’s fault in Arizona, one of the first calls you should make is to a personal injury and car accident lawyer phoenix. This type of attorney specializes in helping people who are in auto accidents recover damages for their injuries, property damage, lost income and other costs associated with the accident.
An auto accident attorney will negotiate for settlement with the insurance company for you, ensuring all of your injury-related medical expenses are paid for and other costs are covered, as well. An auto accident attorney can also ensure you are not taken advantage of by the insurance adjustor working to gain quick, low-cost settlement without consideration of your interests.