Rental Car AgreementThere are many reasons why you might rent a car. Maybe your personal car is too small, and you want something bigger for a road trip. Perhaps your vehicle is in the shop. Or, out-of-town guests are visiting, and you need a second car. Whatever the case, the reality is that rental cars are just as likely to get into car accidents. Driving an unfamiliar vehicle may even increase the chances of a crash.

If you get into an accident while driving a rental car in South Carolina, you may wonder what to do next. Who pays for damages? The at-fault driver or the car rental company? How does rental car insurance work for claims? Who do you call? A qualified South Carolina personal injury lawyer can answer these questions and more. Put your mind at ease with sound legal advice.

Steps to Take Following a Car Accident

At its most basic level, an accident with a rental car is the same as any other car accident. What you should do after a car crash follows many of the same steps:

  1. Call 911 to alert the police. They will document the accident and file an official police report. This can serve as evidence for the accident claim and any legal action you might pursue.
  2. Seek immediate medical attention. Especially if someone is seriously hurt, attending to injuries is the top priority. Even if your injuries are minor, see your doctor for a diagnosis and assessment.
  3. Take pictures. Gather evidence from the accident scene. Take photos of any damage to the cars, plus the surrounding area.
  4. Make a note of the accident details. This includes the date and time, weather, and traffic conditions. You should also write down the make, model, and license plate of the other car.
  5. Exchange information. If possible, get their driver’s license, insurance details, and contact information of the other drivers involved.pracht

How Does Rental Car Insurance Work?

The fact that one of the cars is a rental does change a few things, though. Most notably, rental car insurance can be more complex. This is similar to the added complications of a Lyft accident in South Carolina. The insurance is not as straightforward as a regular accident. What kind of rental car insurance did you have at the time of the accident? The following are a few of the options that may be available:

  • The rental car company may sell its own insurance. Coverage may include collision damage, liability damage, personal accident coverage, and personal effects coverage. The rental car company may also sell third-party insurance.
  • Insurance on your own car may cover rentals also. Be sure to read your insurance policy carefully. Not all policies cover rental cars.
  • Your credit card may offer rental car coverage. This is a common perk from some credit card companies. However, it may not cover personal injury. Check the fine print carefully. Credit card insurance often charges for damages upfront and you may not get reimbursed until after the claim is resolved.

The amount of coverage can vary. Also, most rental car agreements state that renters accept full liability for damage. This can be true even when you’re not at fault. It often falls on you to seek reimbursement from an insurance company. Determining fault can take time. A dedicated car accident lawyer can navigate this process with you. The situation gets more complicated with more than one insurance policy involved. Out-of-state drivers can add complexity to the situation too.

Who to Call in the Case of a Rental Car Crash

Whenever you are involved in a car crash, one of your first calls should be to your attorney. They can deal with insurance and rental car companies on your behalf.

It is important to report the crash to your insurance and rental car company. But, before you do, it is prudent to seek the counsel of an experienced lawyer. Everything on the record serves as evidence. You don’t want to misspeak and risk undermining your claim to recover damages.

Christopher Pracht
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Christopher Pracht is an experienced attorney at Pracht Injury Lawyers.
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