A driver or passenger of any vehicle faces a risk of being hurt in an accident anytime they’re on the road. Driving in a rental car, however, adds additional complications for handling your personal injury claim.
If you or someone in your family is now attempting to navigate the process of damage recovery following a rental car accident, you need to retain legal counsel immediately. Hiring an Athens car accident lawyer is crucial for protecting your legal rights.
Reach out to attorney Brady M. Larrison for a review of your personal injury claim involving a rental car.
How Does Rental Car Insurance Work in Georgia?
When you rent a car, you may be asked if you wish to upgrade in additional coverage while right while using the rental car.
Rental car companies in Georgia provide minimum state required liability insurance protection in their basic contract. This also provides $10,000 of property damage liability coverage for each accident. In addition, individual drivers are required per Georgia law to carry personal injury protection, but you may still be able to legally drive a rental car without this additional coverage.
If you enrolled in liability limits higher than what Georgia requires, collision coverage or comprehensive coverage, this extra protection may also extend to your rental car. If you are worried about having enough auto insurance protection on your own, however, it may be wise to purchase additional coverage from the rental car company at the time that you take the vehicle.
Who Is Liable for an Accident With a Rental Car?
If you are hit by someone else while operating a rental car, that person is typically held legally responsible for the damages. However, the damage payments will depend on that driver’s individual insurance policy. If the driver hit you was carrying their own insurance, you may be able to get damages paid from that coverage.
Most personal car insurance policies extend that coverage to rental cars, but the insurance held by that driver is only paid to policy limits and your actual damages may extend beyond this.
If you purchased additional coverage for rental car insurance protection from the rental car company, however, this may help you seek additional compensation. If that driver rented a car, however, and did not have enough personal auto coverage or coverage from the rental car insurance company, you may need to go to your own car insurance or to file a personal injury claim to receive full and fair compensation for your injuries.
In an accident with a rental car, there are many important questions which must be answered quickly. For a victim with critical injuries, however, it can be hard to keep track of all the moving parts such as injury treatment, missed time at work, filing an insurance claim, and determining the scope of damages and medical conditions.
What to Do If You’re in an Accident With a Rental Car
Knowing what to do immediately after a serious accident involving a rental car can make it much easier to understand the legal process ahead of you. If you get into an accident with another person who is driving a rental car, exchange information with the other driver and contact the authorities. This is important for filing a police report and documenting important information about the scene of the accident.
If you are not the driver of the rental car, it’s good to ask the driver which company owns the rental vehicle and to see any rental paperwork.
If possible, take photos of the crash scene and your injuries and get contact information for any witnesses who saw the accident unfold. It is always a good idea to contact the authorities and bring them to the scene to get a police report, but it is also required in some circumstances. If the accident led to bodily injury, death, or property damage over $500, the police must be called to the scene. You will also want to have a copy of any police report for your own personal injury lawsuit.
In addition to informing your own insurance company about the accident, you’ll need to tell the rental car company about the crash as soon as possible if you were driving the rental car. It is likely that your rental car agreement included information about what to do when reporting collisions. After you have taken these important steps, contact an attorney for assistance with your rental car accident claim.
Is a rental car company liable for accidents?
Typically, when someone is involved in an accident with a rental car, the rental company is not liable for damages unless the driver who rented the vehicle opted for the insurance that went through that company. You will typically need to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company to be compensated for your lost wages, medical bills, and other damages.
If you were hit by another party driving a rental car, however, the rental car company may be held liable. This depends on the type of coverage that applied during the rental period and whether the driver purchased rental car insurance.
How does the fault system in Georgia apply to rental car accidents?
Georgia follows a traditional fault based rule system when it comes to vehicle accidents. This applies to injury or death related damages. However, you could still potentially be held liable for a rental vehicle even if the other driver was responsible for the crash. Your insurance coverage may be able to assist with these costs.
Due to the complexity involved in pursuing lawsuits like this, it is extremely important to retain the services of an experienced and qualified lawyer. An attorney can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
Get Support from an Athens Rental Car Accident Lawyer
No victim has to go through a lawsuit filing alone. Handling all the communication with the insurance company and rental car company is overwhelming. Let an Athens rental car accident lawyer step in on your case to handle evidence collection, case preparation, and all communication with stakeholders.
Hire an experienced lawyer at Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys to guide you through your rental car accident claim. Attorney Larrison is licensed to practice before all Georgia courts and has been recognized as a 4-year Super Lawyers Rising Star for his efforts on behalf of clients.