We Protect Your Rights If You Are Injured In A Rental Car Accident
Being in a motor vehicle accident is not a pleasant experience, but it becomes an even bigger headache if you are involved in a car crash while in a rental car. Yes, expect to reach the point when your head is close to exploding from having to fill out a bunch of paperwork and read tons of documents written in legalese (the contract you signed with the rental company, the insurance policy and Missouri laws regarding liability in car accidents involving rental vehicles).
Our Kansas City rental car accident attorney from Mayer & Associates, P.C., explains that from the legal standpoint, getting into a car crash on a rental vehicle is more complicated than getting into a motor vehicle collision on your own vehicle. There will be an additional party involved (the rental company that provided you with the vehicle). Also, you have a legal obligation to return the rental car to the company in the exact condition that you rented it.
Can A Rental Company Be Held Liable For Car Accidents?
One of the first questions that many Google after a rental car accident is, “Can the rental company be held responsible for my car accident?” The answer is, “Yes, it can, but it’s complicated.” There are limited circumstances under which you might be able to hold the rental company liable for the car crash, one of which is if the vehicle that you rented was defective, flawed, poorly maintained or otherwise dangerous. Of course, you must prove the car was in poor condition before it came into your possession.
Generally, whether you can hold a rental company responsible for your car crash will depend on the terms and conditions outlined in the rental agreement that you had to sign when renting the vehicle. In that agreement, you will find plenty of information about the rental company’s liability and your rights in the event of a car crash.
Can You Seek Compensation After A Rental Car Accident?
The second question on your mind after getting into a car accident in a rental vehicle may be, “Will I be compensated for my damages and losses by my insurance company?” The answer is, “It depends.”
Whether you will have insurance coverage for a car accident on a rental car depends on the language of your existing insurance policy. More often than not, unless you have evidence to prove that the rental company caused or contributed to the crash, you may be able to get coverage from one or several of the following types of car insurance:
- Credit card rental insurance: Most credit card companies offer their customers some sort of rental insurance.
- Personal auto insurance: If you have your own vehicle and carry auto insurance for it, you may be able to tap into this type of auto insurance to cover the property damage and medical bills.
- Rental car company insurance: The vast majority of rental companies in Missouri offer at least one type of the following insurance coverages: collision coverage, liability coverage, personal effects coverage or personal accident insurance.
We Should Be Your First Stop After A Rental Car Accident
After a car accident in a rental car, you will have to contact the rental company that provided the rental vehicle to you. Before doing so, it is recommended that you speak with a lawyer so you are prepared for all kinds of uncomfortable questions. The rental car company and your insurance company want to minimize your coverage or deny your claim altogether.