If you get into a car accident in your own vehicle, you understand your car insurance policy and whether or not your insurer will pay for your losses. If you get into a car accident in a rented car, however, the claims process can be more confusing.
What to Do If You Crash a Rented Car
In its early stages, a car accident in a rented car will look very similar to a standard car accident. You will take the same steps to report the crash and protect your health and safety. As your claim progresses, however, you will treat it differently than an accident that takes place in your own vehicle. Follow these steps if you crash a rented car in Arizona:
- Stop at the scene. Fleeing could only get you in more trouble, as you could face penalties for the crime of hit-and-run.
- Check for injuries and render assistance. Check everyone involved in the car accident for injuries. Render aid, if necessary, by calling for an ambulance. If you’re injured, go to a hospital in Arizona immediately.
- Report the rental car accident. Call 911 from the scene, whether it is a major or minor accident. A police report can help you with your rental car insurance claim.
- Call the rental car company. Report the car accident to the rental company and follow its instructions for how to deal with the damaged rental. The company may want you to tow it to a specific auto shop or the nearest rental office.
- Consult with an attorney. Discuss your legal rights in detail with a car accident lawyer in Glendale, Az as soon as possible.
Do not worry if you are unable to complete all of these steps. Contact an attorney right away for advice and help with your specific case. A skilled and experienced attorney can build a claim to damages no matter what steps you did or did not take.
Who Is Liable for Your Losses?
If someone is liable for your losses, it means that person will be responsible for paying for your medical bills, property repairs and other losses you suffered as a result of the car accident. For the most part, the liable party in a car accident case will pay for these losses through his or her auto insurance provider.
The Other Driver
In a typical car accident in Arizona, the driver or party at fault for causing the crash will be liable. This is how Arizona’s fault-based insurance system works. If another driver caused your rental car accident, his or her insurance company should pay for the full extent of your losses – including your medical bills and the cost of repairing the damage to the rental car.
Your Insurance Coverage
If you were at fault for the rental car accident, on the other hand, it may be more difficult to recover financial compensation. Your first option is to file a claim using the rental insurance coverage you purchased, if applicable. If you opted out of purchasing rental car insurance when you rented the vehicle, you may have to seek other recovery options.
If you have your own insurance policy, it will typically only pay for damage to a rented car if you have collision or comprehensive coverage. Your liability insurance, however, will extend to other drivers involved in the crash to pay for their losses. Your credit card company may also extend rental car coverage, although this normally does not include liability insurance.
A Third Party
It may also be possible to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit against someone else, such as the rental car company for a defective vehicle, if that party caused your accident. The best way to protect your rights and navigate an insurance claim after a car accident in a rented car is by hiring an attorney in Arizona to represent you.