rental car accident

The Legal Aspects Of Car Accidents Involving Rental Vehicles

Rental vehicles often have unfamiliar systems and controls. Moreover, in many cases, the driver is using roads they are not familiar with. This combination can sometimes prove to be a recipe for disaster. If someone else’s negligence caused your rental vehicle accident, you can sue the other party for damages.

But when the accident occurs because of your own fault, you would need to rely on your liability insurance for paying the costs. This can present unique problems depending on your coverage and circumstances. It’s prudent to speak to a knowledgeable rental vehicle accident attorney to understand your best legal options.

Establishing Liability for the Rental Car Accident

If you were recently involved in a rental vehicle accident, it becomes important to identify the liable parties and determine their share of responsibility. This is a complex topic that depends on numerous factors, including who might be the owner of the rental vehicle and what caused the accident.

In most cases, the driver of the rental car is responsible for any damages resulting from the accident (if the crash resulted from their own negligence). Your insurance coverage will cover the costs related to the accident in such situations.

If the vehicle was rented by your employer or a business, damages may be paid by the business insurance policy. This is possible if the business has sufficient automotive coverage. Legal aspects of establishing liability can vary depending on the relationship between the driver and the business.

Where the driver is an independent contractor, their personal insurance will pay for the accident. The company’s insurance can be used for paying for damages and compensating individuals where the driver is a regular employee.

Accident Liability for Negligent Driving

Forms of coverage when operating a rental are different from regular car insurance coverage. This includes:

  • Comprehensive collision coverage can be provided by the at-fault driver’s personal insurance.
  • Secondary insurance from the rental car business can be used for paying car damages.
  • Credit cards may also be used for providing renters insurance. This can extend to covering the victim’s damages and injuries.

If you caused an accident or were injured because of a rental driver’s negligence, it can be risky to ascertain liability coverage on your own. The best source of reimbursement can be narrowed down by a qualified car accident attorney. You may be able to hold the rental company liable for injuries and damages if they knowingly leased out a defective vehicle or rented the car to an unauthorized driver.

Types of Rental Car Insurance in California

There are four broad types of rental car insurance offering supplemental protection. These are:

Collision damage waivers

These protect drivers against collision damage requiring extensive repair or vehicle replacement. You should know that unauthorized and negligent drivers do not get protection under this waiver. Collision damage waivers are not your regular insurance.

Liability coverage

Renters are protected from property damage and any other medical expense caused by drivers in a car accident. This works with your insurance. You may not have complete protection if you have “state minimum liability” insurance coverage.

Personal accident insurance

This will cover any injuries that car drivers and passengers suffer in an accident. Personal accident insurance can also be used for compensating wrongful death and ambulance costs. This type of insurance usually overlaps personal injury protection with additional charges.

Personal effects

This type of coverage can be used for paying for damaged and lost property. Coverage for personal effects can be helpful like homeowner’s insurance. In relation to this, it’s not always necessary. You should speak with a car crash attorney whether you were involved in a severe collision or a minor fender-bender. A capable attorney will protect you from unlawful rental expenses as well.

When Does a Credit Card Company Help?

Credit card issuers may offer insurance for protecting car rental drivers. Moreover, this usually happens when a driver pays for the rental using a credit card. You may need to check with your credit card provider about these features since every card and bank is different. Insurance provided by a credit card company is usually better than a personal insurance plan.

Two types of coverage are offered by credit cards. Primary coverage plans are usually more powerful and help in paying for medical bills and property damage. They also provide the drivers with a higher level of protection. In some cases, drivers need secondary coverage for paying for everything that is not covered by primary insurance.

You should not assume you have enough insurance just because you paid using your credit card. You may not get the benefits listed under a secondary insurance policy. It’s paramount that you speak with a car accident attorney as soon as you meet with a rental vehicle accident.

Choose a Results-Driven Personal Injury Law Firm with a Record of Large Settlements and Verdicts

If you or someone you love was injured in a rental car accident, the experienced car accident attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP can help. Our attorneys will determine liability for the accident and help you receive the maximum compensation you deserve from the at-fault party. You can count on us to fight aggressively on your behalf until you obtain the compensation you are legally entitled to. To schedule your free case evaluation, call us at 619-441-2500 or reach us online.