Accidents in a Rented / Rental Vehicle
Renting a vehicle and having a car accident is a testing situation; not only does the individual have to deal with personal injury and be concerned about those around you, you also have to be concerned and worry about a rental company who may try to take advantage of you. How you deal with the rental company is very important. Business is a business and your inconvenience isn’t going to sway them from claiming their own set of damages. Hence, not only the shock of the accident but also being answerable to the car rental firms can cause turbulence in your day to day affairs. For such situations having car rental insurance would be a good precaution. Additionally, seeking the advice of an experienced, competent attorney is always advisable.
Difference between a regular car accident and an accident with a rental car:
Auto accidents happen from time to time but having one in a rented car as opposed to a self-owned one is a lot more cumbersome due to the fact that there are a lot more interested parties. In a normal car accident, you are responsible for your personal health and the damages against the third party if any is also involved in the auto accident. But in the case of a rental car accident you are also obliged to make good the damages which the car rental agency incurs, and possibly, even the loss of use of the car by the rental company. In such a situation the renter would get pulled by the third party and the rental agency from both sides. Hence the benefits of having insurance, (in addition to your own car policy), helps to reduce your liability, risks, and worries.
In certain cases your auto insurance should cover liabilities arising from most auto accidents even if they are for a rental car; therefore the car rental agency will claim damages from your personal auto insurer. Aside from such situations, it is better to have a rental car insurance which can easily be obtained by either buying such an insurance or using your credit card to rent the car, as some credit cards provide free car rental insurance if used for billing.
There are select insurances which offer different forms of coverage
- Personal accident insurance – this
insures against medical expense for renter and passengers, ambulance and fatality.
- Supplementary Liability protection – covers the renter and other recognized driver from third party damages claims.
- Personal effects coverage – coverage of Renter and passengers from risks arising
from loss of personal effects.
- Uninsured Motorist (otherwise known as Underinsurance or UM Coverage) – This type of insurance is the insurance which protects you personally. The other types of insurances help protect you from third parties, but your own UM policy can cover you for the harms you personally sustained. So, if a person, who was responsible for your injuries does not have enough insurance or personal assets, then your own UM policy will cover the remaining costs of your injury – not only medical but also mental anguish and perhaps, other intangibles.
When you have been insured against rental car accidents you will be informed of a deductible amount. This deductible amount is the car rental insurance firm’s way of saying that they are liable for damages amounting above the deductible amount. For an example in case the deductible amounts to $500 and the damage claim is of $2000, then the insurer will pay $1500 while you will have to shell out the deductible amount of $500.
Attorney and fees
In the aftermath of the auto accident, the individual may also get tangled in a court case for settlement of damages. If in a relatively unknown place, the renter may find himself unable to pay for the services of an attorney. In such scenarios, the renter may have an attorney representation on contingency fee basis. The benefit in such services is that the attorney will demand a percentage of the compensation awarded. Although in such an arrangement you do not have to pay any out of pocket costs, including attorney fees, the attorney does get paid a percentage of the recovery. The typical percentages in a contingency fee case are between 33 1/3 percent – 40 percent depending on the stage in which the litigation is resolved.