What to Do After a Rental Car Accident

Published on: 04/10/24 — In 

Having an accident in a rental vehicle can be a stressful and frustrating experience, especially when you're supposed to be enjoying your vacation. However, it's important to know what steps to take to protect yourself and minimize potential damages.

For further information on rental car crashes contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Ktenas Injury Attorneys. Call us at (312) 300-2515 to schedule a free consultation.

Determine if Anyone is Injured

After a car accident, the first and most crucial step is to determine if anyone is injured. The safety and well-being of all individuals involved should be the top priority.

Here are the key actions to take:

  • Stay calm and assess the situation: Take a deep breath and try to remain composed.
  • Evaluate the severity of the accident by quickly assessing any visible bodily injury or signs of distress.
  • If anyone appears to be seriously injured or in need of immediate medical treatment, call emergency services right away.

Call 911

If you're involved in a rental car agency accident, prioritize safety for yourself and others. Call 911 immediately. This action ensures prompt medical attention and notification of authorities.

911 serves multiple purposes: dispatching emergency medical services, notifying law enforcement of a police report, and documenting incident details. The police report helps determine fault, liability, and financial responsibility. Stay at the accident scene unless it's unsafe to do so to avoid legal consequences.

Exchange Insurance and Contact Information

First, make sure the scene is safe and take any necessary actions. Then, exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved in the accident. This step is important for legal and practical reasons. By exchanging contact information, you can stay connected for further communication or to resolve the incident.

Provide key details like names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. This is crucial for direct communication and prevents delays in processing rental car insurance claims or settlements.

a man holding his neck after a car accident

Remember to exchange auto insurance company information, including your own personal auto insurance policy, rental agency insurance, and policy numbers. This allows for accurate filing of claims and helps determine liability. Through this comprehensive exchange of rental insurance information and personal auto insurance policy information, everyone can navigate post-accident procedures smoothly.

Take Notes and Pictures

When involved in a rental car agreement accident, it is crucial to take the time to gather detailed information about what happened. One way to do this is by writing notes and taking pictures. Using the notes feature on your phone can be extremely helpful in recording important details accurately. Additionally, taking a large number of photos can provide valuable visual evidence.

In terms of note-taking, it is important to document specific details such as the year, make, model, and color of every car involved in the accident. This information will help with identifying the vehicles later on if needed.

Learn More: How to File a Car Accident Claim in Illinois

Furthermore, noting down any standout details about the cars involved can also be beneficial. For instance, any visible vehicle damage or modifications could be relevant for insurance claims or legal proceedings.

Another essential aspect to document is the exact location of the auto accident collision. This includes gathering details like street names and which lane the accident occurred in. Precise location information will assist authorities in understanding how the incident occurred and determining liability. Such documentation becomes even more critical if there are disputes over fault or if legal action needs to be taken.

Taking detailed notes and pictures after a car accident can greatly assist when filing insurance claims or engaging in legal processes for personal injury or property damage claims. Documenting important information about the vehicles involved is crucial.

Contact Your Insurance Company

After being involved in a rental car accident, it is essential to contact your own insurance company to inform them of the incident. This step is crucial if you are relying on your existing personal auto policy as your primary coverage.

By informing your personal accident insurance company of the accident, you can establish a damage claim and ensure that the necessary steps are taken to resolve the situation.

rental cars in a parking lot

When contacting your personal insurance company, there are several important questions that you should ask.

  • First, inquire whether they will handle filing an accident report with the local police, or if it's your responsibility to do so. This information will help ensure that all necessary reports are made and provide a legal record of the incident.
  • Additionally, find out if you have collision coverage and comprehensive coverage in your policy along with the required liability coverage. Understanding the extent of your coverage will give you a clear picture of what expenses may be covered by your insurance company.

Contact the Rental Company

When you have been involved in an accident with a rental car, it is important to contact the car rental offices as soon as possible. This should be one of your first steps after ensuring everyone's safety and gathering necessary information.

By informing the rental company promptly, you can follow their specific procedures and comply with any requirements they may have. Most rental cars have a sticker inside the glove box or an emergency number listed on the rental agreement that you can use to contact them.

Once you are connected with a representative from the car rental company, ask them for guidance on how to proceed. They will likely request details about the accident such as location, date, time, and any other relevant information that you have collected.

Furthermore, the car rental company will typically require you to fill out their version of an incident report. This report would usually include similar information as what you gathered at the scene of the accident. By completing this paperwork accurately and promptly, you ensure that all parties involved are aware of the situation and can begin working toward a resolution efficiently.

What Happens If You Were Injured in an Accident?

Being injured in an accident can be a daunting and overwhelming experience. Not only do you have to deal with the physical pain and recovery, but numerous financial and legal concerns arise. Medical bills can quickly add up, especially if you require ongoing treatment or rehabilitation. In addition to that, you may also experience a loss of income if you are unable to work due to your injuries.

a man holding his head after a car accident

To alleviate some of these burdens, it is important to pursue compensation for your injuries. This can be done through your auto insurance or by filing a claim against the at-fault driver's insurance. However, since injury damages often exceed just the costs of vehicle repair or replacement, you must take your injury claim seriously and seek legal representation.

An experienced attorney can guide you through the process and determine the best course of action - whether it involves filing a claim with your auto policy, seeking damages from the other driver's insurance, or even pursuing compensation from the rental car company.

Whose Insurance Will Cover a Rental Car Accident?

Getting into a car accident can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, especially when it involves a rental car. In the aftermath of a rental car accident, it is essential to determine whose insurance will cover the damages and potential liabilities.

In most cases, the primary insurance responsibility will lie with the person who rented the vehicle. When you rent a car, you are typically required to provide proof of insurance or purchase insurance coverage through the rental company. This insurance coverage is known as a collision damage waiver (CDW) or loss damage waiver (LDW), and it protects you from liability for physical damage to the rental car.

If you have your auto insurance policy, it may also provide coverage for rental cars. However, this coverage can vary depending on your policy, so it's important to contact your insurance provider to confirm what is covered. It is also worth noting that credit card companies may offer some level of insurance coverage for rental cars if you use their card to pay for the rental.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

If you get in a car accident with a rental car, it can be overwhelming. Contact an experienced car accident lawyer from Ktenas Injury Attorneys right away. They can help with complex insurance and legal proceedings, especially if you're injured.

Contact their accident attorneys for a consultation to learn more about their services, including investigation, evidence gathering, witness interviews, and communication with insurance companies for fair compensation.