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Rental Car Accidents: Navigating Rights, Responsibilities, and Repairs

Everyone hopes for the best when they rent a car, but, unfortunately, accidents happen unexpectedly. That’s why it’s so important to know the complexities of the insurance involved, your legal rights, and your responsibilities if you are involved in an accident. 

Understanding Rental Car Accidents

What is a Rental Car Accident?

A rental car accident is, as the name suggests, an accident that takes place while you’re in a car that you rented. 

There are two common scenarios when it comes to rental car accidents.

Scenarios in Rental Car Accidents:

At Fault

If it’s found that you’re the one who caused the accident, you are legally liable. Either your rental car insurance or auto insurance should cover the damages. If you have no coverage, you will be responsible for covering the damages. 

Not At Fault

If it’s found that another driver is at fault, they are liable for the damages. Your rental company will work with the other driver’s insurance. If you’re charged by the rental company, you will need to seek compensation from the other driver’s auto insurance. 

Legal Responsibilities After a Rental Car Accident

Immediate Steps After a Rental Car Accident

If you find yourself in a rental car accident, these are the steps that you need to take immediately: 

  1. Ensure everyone’s safety.
  2. Call the police for an official report.
  3. Exchange details with the other driver.
  4. Document the scene with photos.
  5. Inform the rental company.
  6. Consider consulting a car accident lawyer.

Depending on who is at fault, you may be held responsible by: 

  • The other party
  • The rental car company
  • Your insurance

Addressing Rental Car Damage

Types of Rental Car Insurance:

Loss Damage Waiver

The loss damage waiver protects you if your rental car is stolen or damaged. However, it will not cover unauthorized drivers or the results of reckless driving. 

Personal Accident Insurance

Personal accident insurance covers injuries that the driver or passengers receive in an accident. 

Supplemental Liability Coverage

Supplemental liability coverage will pay for medical costs and property damage if you’re in an accident caused by another driver. It helps to supplement already existing auto insurance. 

Personal  Effects Coverage

Personal effects coverage insures damaged or lost personal property that was located in the rental car. 

Collision Damage Waiver

A collision damage waiver can be purchased so that the rental car agency will waive any replacement or repair costs if your car is damaged in an accident, no matter who is at fault. 

Post-Accident Process

After a rental car accident, your rental car damage will need to be assessed and documented, and you will need to work with the rental car company to address the damage claims. 

Insurance Considerations After a Rental Car Accident

Your Insurance vs. Rental Company’s Insurance

In many cases, your auto insurance will have some kind of coverage for rental car accidents. If you don’t have auto insurance or it doesn’t cover rental cars, you can purchase insurance from the rental car company. 

There are times when it is prudent to purchase both, as they can work supplementally with each other in order to fill in any missing coverage. 

Special Considerations for Accidents in a Rental Car When Not at Fault

When you get into an accident in a rental car and you are not at fault, the at-fault party’s insurance may cover the damage to your rental car. 

Seeking Legal Assistance in Nevada

When to Consult an Attorney

Whenever you’re in a rental car accident, it’s always a good idea to contact a car accident lawyer to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome in your situation. It’s easy to be taken advantage of by rental car companies or insurance companies without legal assistance. 

Calling a car accident lawyer is particularly useful when:

  • There is a dispute
  • There are injuries involved

Working with a car accident lawyer will begin with a consultation. 

Make sure to prepare by bringing:

  • Your insurance card
  • Agent contact information
  • Your insurance policy
  • The police report from the scene of the accident

Get Assistance in Nevada From The Experts at Naqvi Law

It can be difficult to navigate car rental accidents on your own. 

That’s why it’s important to give Naqvi Law a call to consult with one of our trusted lawyers. Naqvi Law is home to the “top one percent” of attorneys recognized by The National Association of Distinguished Council and they are absolutely dedicated to helping you get the legal protection that you need and the maximum payout you deserve. 

If you’re in need of a car accident lawyer, call us at (702) 919-7543 or contact us on our website for a free consultation. 

Common Misconceptions and FAQs

Debunking Myths About Rental Car Accidents

Myth: If I have car rental insurance, my accident will be covered automatically. 

Fact: There are many different insurance types that car rental companies offer that cover different aspects of the car and accidents. 

Myth: If I get into a car accident without car rental insurance, I will have to pay for everything. 

Fact: If you didn’t purchase car rental insurance when you first rented the car, it’s possible that your auto insurance or credit card could provide coverage. Additionally, if the accident is not your fault, it’s likely that the other party’s insurance will pay for the damages. 

Myth: I don’t have to call the police if I get into an accident with a rental car. 

Fact: It’s essential to call the police if you get into an accident with a rental car as they will still need to create an accident report. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is considered damage to a rental car?

It can vary from company to company, but it typically includes:

  • Cracks
  • Dents
  • Scratches
  • Damage that is two inches or more in length

What happens if you crash a rental car without insurance?

If you get into an accident in your rental car without insurance, there are a couple of other options:

  • Depending on the credit card, some may offer primary coverage for rental car accidents
  • Your personal insurance may cover the damages to the rental car

If none of these offer you coverage, you will solely be responsible for paying for the damages if you are at fault. If you’re not at fault the other party’s insurance should cover the property damage up to their policy limit. 

Do I have to contact a car accident attorney if I get into an accident in a rental car? 

You don’t have to, but it’s always recommended to ensure that you’re not taken advantage of.