You’re from out of the area, or having some work done on your vehicle and so you’re in a rental. Rental cars can be a treat, you get that almost new car smell, a completely clean vehicle, and it’s a different model than what you typically drive. But what happens when you’re in a rental car accident?
Unfortunately, all the good things that come with a rental vanish in an instant when there’s even a tiny fender bender. Then if you have any injuries, there are other obstacles that may see outright unmanageable.
If you’ve been injured in a rental car accident, a Cleveland auto wreck attorney may be able to help.
“You’re Responsible” for Everything
When people are driving a rental car, they often assume that the car is insured through the company. While it may be insured, the company won’t take responsibility for anything if you were driving. To explain this a little better, if the car was parked legally and correctly, then a bus comes tearing through you’re probably not responsible.
The issue that many people have is that they weren’t responsible for the crash, but because they’re in a rental car, they’re now responsible for the damages. The result is that your primary insurance provider would “kick in.” But it doesn’t extend to cover the time frame that you’re restricted to.
Returning a rental car often includes the requirement that you will return the vehicle in the same condition. That means that if you have a rental for three days but smash the back end of the vehicle, that back end will not be the same at the end of the three-day rental. Renters can rack up hundreds in fees and fines waiting for the repairs.
Did You Get Rental Insurance?
There are few different options for rental insurance, including a rental car damage waiver, which is not insurance but waives your responsibility for accidents, losses, and similar instances. However, you can still get collision coverage, Personal Accident Insurance, and more.
Collision insurance simply covers the vehicle, and if you don’t have full coverage on yourself, they may require it before agreeing to rent to you. Personal Accident Insurance is what you want if you think you’ll have any injuries. The PAI should provide coverage for the passengers as well as the drivers. PAI is meant to covers everything from ambulance rides to accidental death.
What are the Extents of Your Coverage?
Many times people don’t have extensive coverage, or they have “full” coverage, not realizing that it’s not zombie apocalypse, car parked on the Titanic level courage. Before you get a rental, call your personal insurance company and find out if it covers you in a rental. Often, personal insurance for an auto policy will cover the driver and the car independently of each other in various situations. It’s great to know before you sign a rental agreement.
The most extensive coverage option you can have is comprehensive insurance, which pays out in the event of accidents, falling objects, earthquakes, hitting animals, and more. You still won’t know if it covers your rental though, until you call and ask.
How Much Will Your Injuries Cost in a Rental Car Accident?
Injuries can be serious, and even a single trip to the ER for minor injuries can cost you thousands of dollars. You shouldn’t count on an insurance policy through the rental company covering anything unless you took out the PAI. Then you should expect support, although that might not kick in right away.
The bigger step that you can take is to file a claim with the at-fault driver and explore what your compensation options are there. Usually, the rental company will have you pursue the at-fault person first anyway, so it could save you a fair amount of time.
With the at-fault system in place, you should be able to recover full damages for your injuries if you did not contribute to the crash. That means that you weren’t breaking laws while driving.
Call an Ohio Attorney if You’ve Been in a Rental Car Accident
When looking for the right Ohio car wreck injury law firm for you, it’s important that you explain the entire rental situation. You may have purchased additional coverage, or your personal policy may have limitations on driving rentals. At 1Ohio, you can connect with an Ohio car accident lawyer that can help you take on your case. Cleveland car wrecks can leave people worried about everything, but in a rental car accident, there’s a greater level of complication.
As the rental car accident likely wasn’t your fault, you may have to jump through a few hoops to manage your compensation while also returning the vehicle in the same condition.