What do I do if I was in an accident while driving a rental car?

Getting in a car accident is stressful enough, but getting hit by someone driving a rental car just adds to that stress. So what do you do if someone hits you in a rental car? To start, you will stay as calm as possible. You will do what you usually do in an accident: call the police, go to the doctor ASAP, contact an attorney, and seek compensation to recover your losses from any injuries. 

But there may also be a few additional steps to complete due to the other driver being in a rental car. And more than ever, contacting a North Carolina car accident attorney is essential in this situation where you are in an accident with a rental car. 

Read on to answer your questions about what to do if you are in an accident with a rental car, whether you can sue the rental car company, what happens if the driver didn’t rent the car.

Review the Police Accident Report 

As in any accident, the police will create an accident report for you. It will include the names, contact information of the involved parties. It will also include the name of the rental car company that owns the at-fault vehicle. Having that information will help you and your attorney be able to make an accident and injury claim with the rental car company and the appropriate car insurance companies. Depending on the circumstances, the at-fault driver’s own personal liability insurance (from their personal car) or the insurance purchased from the rental car company may come into play. Your car accident attorney will figure out the answers to all issues related to accident related insurance coverage. That is their job! 

Are Rental Car Companies Liable for the Accident?

Generally, rental car companies are not liable for most car accidents involving the vehicles they own. Rental car companies may have insurance that covers accidents when the drivers rent from them and are uninsured. However, a federal law, 49 U.S.C. § 30106, protects rental insurance companies from being sued for most accidents caused by people who rent cars from them. So, while it would be nice to have another party to recover against, again, they are generally not parties to accident claims and lawsuits involving their vehicles.  However, an exception to this would be the rental car company knowingly renting to a drunk or drugged driver or some other type of negligence or criminal wrongdoing on their part. 

What if the At-Fault Driver Didn’t Rent the Car?

If the driver of the car has their own insurance policy, whether they are the renter of the car or not, their personal insurance (if they have it) should cover them even though it was a rental car. Also, as long as the at-fault driver is driving with the renter’s permission, the renter’s insurance will likely cover the at-fault driver as well. Thirdly, the renter’s credit card may also provide coverage for liability damages. Lastly, if there is no coverage (common in stolen rental car cases), you may need to look to your own uninsured/underinsured policy. We understand that no one ever wants to have to use their own insurance (especially when they are not at fault), but unfortunately sometimes it can be your only option. Also, that is what this type of insurance is for and why you purchased it in the first [place.   

There are multiple options for finding insurance coverage following an accident caused by an at-fault driver driving a rental car. Because of this, it is always an excellent idea to speak to a North Carolina car accident attorney to review your case and determine what sources of compensation might be available for you.

Contact an Experienced North Carolina Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident caused by a rental car, you should strongly consider contacting an attorney right away. This is a complicated situation, and figuring out who is liable, which insurance company should pay for the accident. The total amount of damages may require an experienced and knowledgeable legal advocate.

Auger & Auger Accident and Injury Lawyers, North Carolina car accident attorneys, can help you with your car accident claim caused by a negligent rental car driver. We will fight for you to maximize the compensation that you are entitled to under the law.  We will meet with you for free, and it does not cost anything upfront to hire us.  We only get paid when you get paid. We have over 26 years of experience representing clients just like you and have recovered over $50,000,000 for our clients. And if you can’t come to us, we can schedule a virtual meeting online. We will do our best to accommodate you because we aim to provide outstanding client service.  We look forward to helping you! 

Speak to an experienced attorney during a free, no-pressure case review when you call (855) 971-1114 or contact us online.