If you get into an accident with a rental car, you may worry about what to do next. While it is similar to having an accident in your own vehicle, there are some differences. Much of it will depend on who was at fault for the accident.
According to atlantapiattorney a majority of vehicular accidents can be attributed to driver error. If you have rented a vehicle and been involved in an accident, one of the most important things to look at is your insurance coverage.
What to Know About Insurance for Rental Cars
In general, most vehicle insurance policies will cover you as the driver, whether you are driving your own car or another one, like a rental. You will need to look at your policy to see if it excludes rental cars from the coverage. Ideally, it would be best if you did this before renting a car.
Georgia requires that rental cars be insured with a minimum of the same insurance required for every other car. This includes having at least $25,000 of bodily injury coverage per person plus $50,000 per accident and a minimum of $25,000 of coverage for property damage.
If you have that minimum coverage and rental cars are not specifically excluded from your policy, you can carry your coverage over to any rental vehicle that you drive.
Some credit cards may also include rental car insurance, though it is usually for theft and collision coverage instead of bodily injury. That’s another thing to check before you rent a car. If you do not have insurance that covers rentals, you can obtain it at a daily rate from the rental car company.
If you are in an accident in your rental car, you will need to do the same things you would do if you were in your own personal vehicle. This includes moving your car safely out of the way if you can as you wait for the police to arrive.
You should also seek medical attention immediately, even if you don’t feel like you’re injured. There may be injuries under the surface, and left untreated, they can become worse. Beyond that, you will not be able to recover any compensation for medical bills caused by this accident if you do not document your medical treatments.
Make sure you speak to any witnesses at the accident scene and get their contact information. Photos and videos of the rental car and the accident scene can help strengthen your case.
An additional step in the aftermath of an accident in a rental vehicle is that you will need to call the rental car company. There will likely be instructions on your rental car agreement that tell you what to do if you get into an accident. Follow them exactly and listen to what the rental company tells you to do, as you could be held liable if you neglect to comply with its policies.
Once you do all of these things, you should speak with an experienced car accident lawyer in Georgia. Even if you are visiting the state, a lawyer familiar with Atlanta and the major metropolitan areas here can better assist you.
You’ll need all the help you can get since insurance companies often look for ways to avoid paying out more money. With an attorney to help you prove who was at fault and which insurance company should pay for the damages and medical bills, you will greatly reduce your stress. You’ll also be closer to putting this unpleasant event behind you.
If the accident was in no way your fault, your insurance company will likely not need to cover the losses. Breaking the rules of the road by tailgating, running red lights or stop signs, speeding, or swerving across lanes often results in dangerous outcomes.
Still, the other insurance company may hem and haw about paying up. Even if you have evidence that shows you are not at fault, you may not get enough compensation to cover your expenses resulting from the accident. Again, this is where an experienced car accident attorney can help you navigate the process.
In Georgia, under Georgia code O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, you will have around two years to file a lawsuit after having an accident in a rental car. Ideally, you should pursue action as soon as possible. You will want the court to hear your case and be absolved of this situation quickly.
When you conduct yourself as per the post-accident guidelines, it makes getting the compensation you deserve easier. This is especially true if you choose an attorney focused on getting you the best possible outcome in those circumstances.