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Injured in an Accident in a Rental Car? Your Rights and Responsibilities

Most people will need to use a rental car at some point in their life, whether they are traveling or if their car is in the shop. Like driving any other type of vehicle, accidents can happen.  If injured in a rental car accident, your rights and responsibilities will depend on the rental agreements, relevant insurance policies, and local laws. A consultation with an experienced car accident attorney will be extremely helpful in assessing your options.

Who Should I Notify about the Accident? 

After an accident involving a rental car, notify the rental car company promptly. They often have specific procedures and requirements that they will ask you to follow. This could entail contacting their customer service or emergency assistance number, which should be set out in your rental agreement or on the company website.

You should also notify your personal auto insurance company about the accident, even if you were driving a rental car. They may help cover any medical bills and property damage. If you bought rental car insurance when you rented the car, you’ll need to contact that company as well.

What is the Liability Situation for Rental Car Drivers?

Accidents involving rental cars can make a stressful situation even more complicated. You need to determine who is at fault and then figure out which insurance policy should cover any property damage and medical expenses for injuries. It’s not a simple task.

A rental car company is usually not liable for injuries or damages when one of its fleet of vehicles is involved in an accident. An exception is when the car accident was caused by a mechanical failure that was caused by the company’s failure to properly maintain the vehicle.

In Illinois, the insurance policy held by the person who caused the car accident should pay for injuries suffered and other damages. So if you’re driving a rental car and someone illegally rear-ends you, the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage should be responsible for your bills.

How Does Rental Car Insurance Work?

When you rent a car, you have the option of buying additional insurance protection through the rental company. If you don’t buy that, coverage for an accident involving a rental car may come from the rental car driver’s personal vehicle insurance. If you were involved in an accident, but weren’t the one driving the rental car, your car insurance policy may provide coverage. Lastly, coverage may be offered by the credit card used to pay for the rental car. 

If the main liability policy isn’t enough to cover your costs, you can try and look to the other relevant policies for additional compensation. An attorney can help you parse through the different policies and what they could provide.

Call a Chicago  Car Accident Attorney for Help

If you were injured in an accident in a rental car, you may need help figuring out which insurance company to file a claim with. In addition, you will want someone capable of filing the claim and negotiating with the insurance providers. An experienced car accident attorney will review the circumstances of your accident and set out a clear analysis of your legal rights.