Renting a car isn’t something most people do on a regular basis, but in the case that you experience a car accident in one, you need to know what to do—especially if you feel like you’re entitled to recovery from certain damages.

If you do end up getting into an accident while driving a rented vehicle, the personal injury claim doesn’t vary too much from any other car accident, but there are some differences you should keep in mind.

What Do You Do After You’ve Been In A Car Wreck In A Rented Car?

If you’ve been in an accident in a rented vehicle, a lot of the steps you should take immediately afterward are the same as when you experience a car wreck in a vehicle you own yourself. These steps will help in your personal injury case, as they show that you did everything to document and follow the law.

  • Call the authorities to file an accident report.
  • Gather as much information as possible about the accident.
  • Exchange personal and insurance information with the other vehicles involved.

How Does Insurance Affect A Rental Car Accident?

Many drivers assume that their own car insurance policy will provide coverage in the event that they get into an accident with a rental but checking the details of your policy may just prove you wrong. It will be exclusively stated, otherwise it’s not included. Also, consider whether you have just liability insurance coverage or collision coverage as well.

It’s also important to note the “collision damage waiver” that your rental car company may have mentioned during your paperwork.

What Is A “Collision Damage Waiver”?

The rental car company will ask you if you have your own car insurance. Whether you say yes or no, the rental car company will offer you something called a “collision damage waiver” for an additional cost.

This particular waiver only applies to damage done to the rental car, and it essentially shifts most costs of repairing or replacing the vehicle off of you and onto the rental car company. Although the chances of getting into a car wreck may seem slim, this waiver “covers your bases” in the case that an accident does occur.

However, you should know that the waiver doesn’t apply at all to injuries to another driver or passenger if you cause an accident.

When Is The Rental Company Liable?

Your Rochester car accident attorney will conduct research into your case to see if your rental care company should be held accountable for the damages associated with the accident. It’s also important to keep in mind that in the vast majority of car accident scenarios, the rental car company itself will not be liable.

Determining liability of the rental car company typically takes showing that the company failed to properly maintain the vehicle or knew about some dangerous defect associated with the vehicle, and one of those factors played a role in the accident.

This can be a tough point to prove, especially in court. However, hiring a car accident attorney to review your case is the best beginning step.