People often rent vehicles when going on vacation, especially if they are driving long distances and are hoping to avoid putting the wear and tear on their own vehicle. Rental cars are also used when car owners have their own car in the shop for repairs. Whatever your reason for renting a vehicle, there are important factors that people should keep in mind when signing a rental contract, such as the kind of insurance coverage they have, and whether additional coverage should be purchased. This will make sure that motorists have some measure of protection from unexpected liability if they are involved in a rental car accident. An experienced car accident attorney will assist clients with the claims process and receive the compensation they are entitled to.
What To Do After An Accident
There are certain specific steps a motorist needs to immediately take after a car accident, no matter the individual is driving their own car, or if the car is a vehicle that has been rented:
- Check for injuries- Drivers should go and check to see if any passengers involved in the accident are injured. Drivers should not move anybody who seems to have a head or neck injury, as it can aggravate the injury. It’s typically better to wait for help to arrive.
- Move to a safe spot- If everybody involved in the accident is physically able to do so, they should move themselves and their vehicles out of harm’s way as soon as possible. Hazard lights need to be turned on or emergency flares set up. If there is smoke or flames coming from either vehicle, everybody needs to be as far away as possible from the car ASAP.
- Call 911- Police have to be notified anytime there is a car accident, including accidents involving rental vehicles. If any motorists were injured, then the dispatcher should be informed so that they can send an ambulance to the scene.
- Exchange information- After everybody involved is situated safely, it’s important to try and get the information of all parties involved, including driver’s license and insurance information, contact information, and the name of the rental car company that owns the vehicle if it was rented. The driver of the rental vehicle needs to provide a copy of the rental paperwork, including the reservation and transaction number, along with the location where the vehicle was rented.
- Take photos- Whenever you are able to do so, it’s key to take pictures of the accident scene, including color, make, and model of the vehicles involved; damage to the vehicles; weather conditions; debris on the road; and if there are skid marks on the road. If you have any injuries, also take photos.
- Contact the insurance company- Motorists always need to notify their insurance company following a car accident. Their insurance agent will review the policy and let you know what kind of coverage is available. Liability coverage is stipulated by law. Collision and comprehensive coverage provides additional coverage and includes rental vehicles.
- Contact the rental company- The motorist who is driving the rental vehicle will have to contact the rental company as soon as possible following the accident. He or she will have to notify the rental company that the vehicle was involved in an accident. The representative from the rental company will let the customer know how to proceed depending on the details of the accident, the kind of auto insurance it’s covered by, and whether additional insurance was purchased when renting the vehicle.