As much as you’d prefer not to have to deal with police reports and insurance companies while on vacation, accidents in rental cars do happen. So, what do you do if you’re in a rental car accident? Surprisingly, the steps are much the same as any other car accident, with one extra phone call thrown into the mix.
- Stay at the Scene
This seems like common sense but hit and runs happen frequently. Legally, you are obligated to stop if you’ve been in an accident. Besides, you ‘ll need to exchange insurance information with the other parties involved, take photos of the scene, and speak with the police officer making the accident report.
- Call the Police
This goes for both minor fender benders and 10 car pile ups. If there has been any sort of accident, you’ll want the police to make a report. Plus, the police officer wasn’t in the accident and isn’t experiencing the same intense emotions as you, so they are able to better document details you might forget, like the weather, road conditions, witnesses, etc.
- Gather Information
Gathering information (evidence) is a big step in the process of making a legal claim, and the earlier you start the better.
- Other Driver’s Information: Make sure to get, at a minimum, the following information from the other driver(s) involved: Name, Address, Phone Number, License Plate Number, Insurance Card Information, Make and Model of Car.
- Photo/Video: Get shots of the cars involved, the weather conditions, the road conditions, even a bank sign that might indicate date and time.
- Witnesses: Did any bystanders witness the accident? Ask if the witnesses would be willing to provide their contact information and give statements to the police.
- Call the Rental Car Company
Obviously, you would skip this step if you were in your own personal vehicle. But if you were driving a rental car, regardless of whether you are at-fault, you need to call the rental car company. Usually, you can find the emergency number inside the glove box, or any general phone number on your rental paperwork.
- Contact your own Insurance Company
Of course, you will want to inform your own insurance company of the accident.
Who Pays What?
Once you’ve made all these calls, the next steps will depend on the types of coverage you have and who is ultimately responsible for the financial fallout from the accident. If you didn’t purchase any additional insurance coverage from the car rental company, then chances are your own insurance will be responsible for paying the rental car company. And if you don’t have rental coverage on your own policy, you may owe additional expenses to the rental car company.
If you’ve been injured in a rental car accident, give Kamper Estrada, LLP a call. Our experienced car accident lawyer central Phoenix, AZ can help you navigate both your own insurance company and the rental car company.