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Many people stress about whether they have adequate insurance coverage when renting a car, and for good reason. Not having enough or having the incorrect insurance coverage after a rental car accident in Austin can quickly turn into a sticky situation. Understanding how these claims work is key in getting the compensation you need after a crash.
Lovins Trosclair, PLLC knows how stressful it is to navigate any car accident claim, much less one involving a rental car company. Let us help you through the process. Call our office at 512-535-1649 today to schedule a time to discuss your case with a rental car accident lawyer in Austin.
What do I need to do after an Austin rental car accident?
At the Scene
Your first priority after any car accident is getting the medical care you need for any injuries. After you call police and first responders, if you are not too badly injured, you should take pictures of the damage to the car, the scene of the accident, and damage to the other car. Get the contact information for any witnesses, and cooperate with police when they arrive.
After You Leave the Scene
Your next priority is to notify the rental company. The paperwork it gives you should outline what to do in case of a crash. It is important to follow these instructions closely. This could mean the difference in everything going smoothly and the rental car company taking you to court for damages.
If you did not receive treatment at the scene, see your doctor to rule out serious injuries as soon as possible after a crash. This is key in getting the compensation you need for injuries, even if symptoms do not appear until later.
What happens if I caused the accident?
Your car insurance policy may cover damages sustained in an Austin car crash. You should check your policy to ensure it does not specifically exclude it before renting a car, or we can analyze your policy after your accident. This provides coverage for the other driver’s injuries, injuries to any passengers, or repairs to other cars. This is one of the most common insurance situations we see in rental car accident cases, and is one of the easiest to navigate.
What if there is damage to the rental car?
While your liability coverage pays out for injuries or damages to other people involved in an accident you caused, it does not cover repairs to the rental car. If you also carry full coverage or collision coverage, this may pay out to repair the rented vehicle.
If not, you have other options to ensure you are not left on the hook for the rental car repairs. Some credit cards offer collision coverage when you use their card to rent a vehicle, and almost every rental car company offers a collision damage waiver at an additional cost when renting a car. This waiver relieves you of liability when it comes to repairs to the rental car, although you may still have to pay to cover the rental company’s loss of income while the car is out of service.
If you do not have one of these coverage options in place, the rental car company may file a lawsuit against you to recover the costs of repairing or replacing their vehicle. Being unsure about your coverage can cause significant stress and worry after a crash. We will look into your insurance options and determine who may cover damage to the rental car after an accident you cause.
What if another driver is liable for the accident?
For the most part, a rental car accident caused by another driver proceeds like a typical car accident claim. The liable party’s liability insurance covers your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. It should also cover repairs to the rental car.
In some cases, especially when fault is not clear-cut, you may run into issues with the at-fault party’s insurance company denying coverage. If this occurs, it is paramount that you contact us immediately if we are not already involved in your case. When you enlist our help, we go to work to protect your rights, get you the settlement you deserve, and keep the rental car company off your back.
We will manage all communications with the at-fault party’s insurer to ensure you do not say something that jeopardizes your case. We will also work to bolster your case and defend you against any accusations of fault.
If you were piloting your personal vehicle and a driver in a rental car crashes into you, it can be difficult to determine which insurance coverage applies and with whom you should file your claim. We can sort it out and file your claim for you.
Is the rental car company ever liable?
In most cases, the rental car company is not liable for the actions of someone who rented one of their vehicles. However, if a rental car company acts negligently and causes a crash, it may be liable. Usually, this negligence involves skipped maintenance, improper repairs, or a known defect with the vehicle.
For example, imagine a rental car company knows an SUV in its fleet has a problem with the brakes that could lead to failure. If it continues to rent this vehicle to customers and the brakes fail, the resulting injuries are the legal responsibility of the rental car company. The rental car company’s insurer must pay out to cover the injuries to the driver and any passengers in the rental car, as well as other drivers hurt in the accident.
Holding a rental car company liable is often quite difficult. Our team will investigate your crash, work with accident reconstructionists to determine how it occurred, and gather evidence to hold the rental car company liable for your injuries.
How can I speak with a rental car accident lawyer in Austin?
Lovins Trosclair, PLLC works with the victims of Austin rental car accidents, helping them get the compensation they deserve while protecting them from unscrupulous car rental companies. If you were involved in a rental car accident, you need a skilled rental car accident lawyer in Austin. Call our office today at 512-535-1649 to schedule a time to discuss your claim.