What Happens When You Are Involved in a Car Accident in a Rental?

Nothing will ruin a trip away from home faster than getting into a car accident, especially when driving a rental vehicle. However, this is not uncommon, especially considering that accidents are more likely to occur when driving an unfamiliar car on unfamiliar roads. 

What will happen after an accident in a rental car is not unlike an accident in your personal vehicle, just more complicated due to the involvement of a rental company and various insurance companies

After an accident has occurred, make sure to follow these steps:

• First, check that everyone involved is okay. Call 911 if anyone has been injured and be mindful of safety at the scene. Move cars out of the roadway if possible and watch for flames or a potential explosion.
• Exchange information with the other driver(s) and witnesses.
• Take pictures of the scene and document everything with notes.
• Call the rental company. They will have steps to follow in case of an accident.
• Call your personal insurance company. 

Who Will Pay for Damages?

Again, this is like any other accident, just with more parties involved. The person responsible for paying for damages incurred in a rental car accident will depend on the cause of the accident and the insurance coverage you have

Most states will require you to carry at least the minimum amount of insurance on a rental car. You may also opt into additional coverage when renting the vehicle or be covered in a rental by your own insurance. Some credit cards include rental car coverage when you use one to book the rental. 

Ultimately, the amount of money you owe after an accident will depend on how much and what kind of coverage you have. Your liability insurance will likely cover medical bills and property damage for others if you are found to have caused the accident, but it will not cover your own damages. Optional collision coverage could pay for those expenses. Other forms of expanded insurance exist that might cover the rental company’s fees and penalties after an accident involving one of their vehicles. 

Contact a South Carolina Car Accident Attorney 

If you or a loved one have been involved in a wreck while driving a rental car, contact an experienced car accident law firm for help. In the Charleston, South Carolina area, Steinberg Law Firm can give immediate assistance. 

For more than 95 years, our dedicated team of personal injury attorneys has helped accident victims, and their families get their lives back on track after a serious accident. To learn more and schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us at 843-720-2800 or through our online form.

Updated on April 26, 2023

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