Who is Responsible After a Rental Car Accident?

The aftermath of a car accident can be frustrating and complicated, and accidents involving rental cars can sometimes be even more complicated. Many people assume that they will be able to easily file a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company. Unfortunately, determining fault in a rental car accident and seeking compensation, can sometimes be a tricky process.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving a rental car, it is important that you speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to make sure you are protected.

Determining Fault After A Rental Car Accident

In North Carolina, the driver responsible for causing the collision is typically liable for any resulting damages and this does not change when the accident involves a rental car. When a rental car driver causes a rear-end crash, pedestrian accident, motorcycle accident, or some other kind of vehicle related accident, he or she is responsible for compensating the victims for any resulting damages. However, this is sometimes easier said than done.

All North Carolina drivers are required by law to carry minimum liability insurance coverage. Unfortunately, when someone becomes severely injured in a rental car accident, the minimum levels of liability insurance may not fully cover the losses they suffer from their bodily injuries and property damage.

If you have been injured in a rental car accident, your attorney will investigate the insurance policy or policies that are available. It is important to investigate whether the at-fault driver purchased additional insurance coverage when he or she rented the car that was involved in the accident. This additional insurance coverage may cover the majority of your damages. Unfortunately, many people who rent cars choose not to pay extra for additional auto insurance coverage.

Some credit card companies provide car insurance coverage when their customers use their credit card to pay for a rental car. Once again, this coverage is often very limited and may not fully compensate victims of rental car accidents. Nonetheless, it is worth looking into; especially when the other insurance policies involved are not high enough to compensate victims for the full extent of their injuries.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage

It can be quite frustrating to have to file a claim with your own insurance company when an accident was not your fault. However, many people have to resort to filing a claim with their own insurance company in order to cover expenses resulting from the accident. Many North Carolina drivers’ car insurance policies may include coverage for underinsured or uninsured motorists. Drivers can use this coverage when the at-fault driver's insurance will not cover all of their expenses, or when the at-fault driver does not have any insurance coverage at all.

If you were driving a rental car and were involved in a car accident, you could be liable for property damage even if you were not the at-fault driver. Many rental car agreements contain a provision requiring the driver to consent to be responsible for any type of damage to the vehicle, even if they did not cause the accident. In this case, you may have to pay the rental car company for any damages resulting from the accident out of your own pocket and can sue the other driver to be reimbursed for these expenses.

Do You Need An Attorney?

The guidance and knowledge of an attorney can help you through the aftermath of a car accident. When you hire an attorney, they can help craft a statement to give to the insurance company and assist in the negotiation process. In most cases, insurance companies will initially try and settle for a small amount, and an attorney can help you try and negotiate for more. If you are unable to get enough from the settlement with the insurance company to cover your damages, an attorney can help you file a lawsuit to try recover the rest of your damages from the other driver.

We Can Help

A car accident can be a traumatic experience, especially when injuries are involved. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we understand how complex the insurance claims process can be and how important it is to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. Not only can we help you through the insurance claims process, but we can help you litigate any potential personal injuries claim you may want to bring against the other driver.

Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation and learn how we can advocate for you. For your convenience and safety, we offer video and phone conferencing. If you prefer an in-person consultation, we have three easy to reach offices in Uptown Charlotte, Monroe and Mooresville.

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