You could get into a car accident at any time, including while driving a rental car. Understanding what to do in this situation can help make the experience less overwhelming. The following includes important steps to follow after a rental car accident.
Treat it Like a Standard Accident
The first step is to make sure everyone is okay. Accept medical attention on the scene if you need it right away. If you do not, plan to seek medical attention later to make sure you do not have any injuries.
Next, move your vehicle to a safe location if you can. This may not always be possible. However, it is the best line of defense against making the situation worse by causing other accidents.
Exchange information with the other driver, such as your personal insurance information, name, and phone number. Remain polite, but never say that you are sorry or that you will pay for everything. You may not want to mention that you are driving a rented vehicle, either.
You should talk with the police, but do not admit guilt. Instead, answer all questions honestly and to the best of your ability. After speaking with the police, take photographs or videos of the scene. You may also want to gather the names and numbers of eyewitnesses if any have stopped.
Call the Rental Company to Report the Crash
The rental company needs to know about your crash right away. If you are healthy and able to call them, do it as soon as you can. You usually can find contact information in the glove compartment or console to call in the case of an accident.
Like you did with the police, only give your rental car company the details that they need to know. Try not to say that you or the other driver was at fault. You are under no obligation to make a judgment on why the accident happened.
The car rental company probably will want you to fill out a statement retelling what happened. As a reminder, be cautious. It is best to fill out this report with the help of someone else who can point out statements that might be used against you later. Make sure to know where they want you to take the rental car if it is drivable. You may be asked to take it directly to a different rental company location, depending on how far away your accident happened.
Call Your Auto Insurance Agent
Your auto insurance company also needs to know that you had an accident. It does not matter that you were driving a different vehicle, if you have collision and liability coverage. Unless you know your policy inside and out, you will want to ask your insurer a few questions.
Do not be surprised if the insurance company agent asks you a lot of questions and tries to get you to assign blame. Answer the questions truthfully but try not to make comments that you cannot take back. What happens if your insurance company is insisting that you take on all the blame? If the car was seriously damaged or totaled and you have medical bills or other out-of-pocket costs, you may want to contact a lawyer. Getting some advice from a lawyer can help you understand how to move forward.
Delco Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Understand How to Navigate Rental Car Crashes
If another driver caused your rental car accident, you may not know your legal options. If you were hurt in a rental car accident, contact our Delco car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. right away. We will address all your questions. Call us at 610-565-3701 or complete our online form for an initial consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.