Being in a car accident is not something that anyone would want to experience. In fact, if you’re behind the wheel, you do everything in your power to be extra careful. Defensive driving, maybe even slowing down here and there just to avoid any accident no matter how minor it is. But what if it happens? And worse, what if you get in an accident and you are using a rental car?
Rental Car Accidents
A rental car accident during your vacation is the last thing that you want to deal with. However, this does not also mean that you have to take it lightly. You have to be prepared, especially for this kind of situations. It is very important that you follow proper protocol to avoid unnecessary problems. You have to deal with it just like in other vehicle collision incidents. Here are some tips to make sure that you are doing the right thing:
- Check Everyone In The Car, Including Yourself. Right after the incident, you have to make sure that all of your passengers, including yourself, are safe. Take a look around you and see if there are any other cars involved. If you see someone that is injured, or if you are hurt, call 911 right away. If you think there is any danger of explosions, like smoke or fire, get away from the scene as soon as possible.
- Secure Pieces of Evidence. Once you are sure that everyone is safe and nobody is seriously injured, you can go ahead and exchange any contact information with anyone who is involved in the accident. Make sure that you also take pictures of the damage to your rental car and to the other vehicles. Even if you are abroad, you can contact your car accident lawyer to ask for the best advice regarding the situation you are in. As much as possible, refrain from mentioning that you are driving a rental car unless you are talking to the police officer. Some people might take advantage of the situation. Once it’s safe to leave the scene, you can go.
- Inform The Rental Company. This is the same steps that you have to take when you are driving your own vehicle. However, with a rental car, you have to deal with additional paperwork. Once you informed your car rental company about the incident, ask the company what to do next. Also, make sure that you read any fine print of your insurance plan and also of any insurance that is provided by the rental company.
- Insurance Claim Process. If in any case, you have not purchased any insurance or collision waiver when you rented the vehicle, your insurance company will be the one responsible to pay for the rental car company. It covers only the car if your active policy includes first-party coverage. However, payments will still depend on the terms of your policy. So whether you are the one at fault or not, you still have to pay for the deductible to your rental company.
Nobody asks for incidents like this to happen, but you have to remember that it is better to be prepared than to be sorry in the end. This is why it is important that you fully understand everything, about car accidents, insurance claims, and all of that in case this happens, especially when you are using a rental car which is not yours, but have a responsibility for it.