Question for Attorney Carbone: I Got Into an Accident With a Rental Car. Now What?
Question: My car is currently in the shop and I had to rent a car to get back and forth from work. While driving to my job, another car ran a red light and slammed into my car. I’m not injured, but the car is totaled. I opted not to get the rental car’s insurance so I’m really worried. Will I have to pay out of pocket for the accident?
Answer: Getting into an accident with a rental car can cause some anxiety. Unlike your own vehicle, where you know you have the insurance to pay for the repairs, a rental car does not belong to you. There’s the fear of the extra charges you will incur from the rental company. And if you are injured in such an accident, you may be questioning who will be taking care of the medical bills. Will this all come out of your pocket?
When you do get into an accident with a rental car, you need to be aware that you have violated the agreement you made with the rental company. This means any damage that is done to the vehicle while it’s in your possession, you will be responsible for paying for the damages.
But it’s important to note that the damages will not come out of your pocket. It will either come from the rental car insurance policy (if you opted to pay for it), the credit card that you used to pay for the car, or through your own insurance company. The majority of insurance companies will pay for injuries or damages for a rental car; however, it’s important to read the fine print in your policy to see how much will be covered.
But it’s important to follow the proper procedures after an accident with a rental car:
- Like with any car accident, call 911 immediately, especially if someone is hurt.
- Get contact and insurance information of all the parties involved in the accident. Try not to mention you’re driving a rental car, because people may take advantage of the situation.
- Take pictures of the damage and the accident scene, if possible.
- Call the rental company as soon as possible to inform them of the accident. There’s usually an emergency number sticker located in the glove box. You will want to ask the company how to proceed.
- Make sure you read the fine print on your insurance as well as any insurance you may have taken out when you rented the car to see what you are responsible for.
- Remember to inform your insurance company of the accident and ask if they’ll take care of the accident report.
If you get into a car accident with a rental car or with your own car, it may be wise to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for more information.