Rental cars provide convenient transportation when you cannot use your personal vehicle to get around. However, this helpful service turns into something more complex if you suffer injuries in a car accident involving a rental car. If you plan on filing an insurance claim, you may wonder if you should file a claim against the rental car agency, against your own insurance company, or against the insurance company of the other driver who hit your vehicle.
The Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can answer all of your questions and help you recover compensation for your losses. Our knowledgeable lawyers can help you file an insurance claim with the right insurer and sort through the complex legal issues involved in rental car accidents. Contact us today at 865-546-1111 for a no-obligation, complimentary case evaluation with a rental car accident lawyer in Knoxville.
What If Another Driver Caused the Crash?
If another driver caused your wreck while you were driving a rental car, we can hold them responsible for your damages. To do this, we will need to show the other driver behaved negligently behind the wheel, that this behavior caused your crash, and that you suffered injuries and damages because of it.
What If I Was Partially at Fault for the Wreck?
If you were partially to blame for your rental car accident, your case will be more complex. You may still recover partial damages under Tennessee’s comparative negligence rules. The amount of damages you can claim will depend on your degree of fault for the crash.
Depending on the specifics of your situation, we may file a claim with your own auto insurance provider, another driver’s insurer, or another party’s insurance company. That is why it is best to contact one of our lawyers immediately after a rental car crash. We can help you understand your fault in the crash and how to file a claim for compensation.
Will My Personal Car Insurance Policy Cover a Rental Car Accident?
Your auto insurance policy may already cover a rental car and any damages or injuries that may result from an accident. If it does, it will comply with Tennessee’s Financial Responsibility Law. This law requires all drivers to have the following minimum limits of liability car insurance in case of an accident:
- $25,000 to cover each injury or death per crash;
- $50,000 in coverage for the total injuries or deaths per accident; and
- $15,000 to pay for any property damage that occurs in an accident.
If your insurance policy does not include coverage for rental cars, but you purchased insurance from the rental company, this policy may cover you.
Does It Matter What Type of Rental Car Insurance I Purchased?
If you purchased insurance from the rental car company, the type of policy you chose may affect your coverage. Rental car companies offer many different insurance policy options, including:
- A damage waiver that eliminates or reduces the renter’s costs for loss or damage of the rental car;
- Personal accident insurance, which provides drivers and their passengers with coverage for accidental death, accident medical expenses, and ambulance benefits should an accident occur;
- Personal effects coverage, which offers coverage for damage, theft, or other losses of the driver’s and passengers’ personal property; and
- Supplemental liability protection, which provides additional liability protection.
Our lawyers can look at your rental car agreement to determine what level of coverage you purchased. We may be able to file a claim to cover your losses through your rental car insurance policy.
When Is the Rental Car Company Liable for an Accident?
We can hold a rental car company liable for an accident if we can prove that the company knew about a safety defect in a rental vehicle but did not repair it. Liability may also lie with the company if it failed to repair safety defects in vehicles under recall by an automobile manufacturer.
This is because a federal law, enacted in June 2016, mandates that rental car companies fix all open safety defects in recalled vehicles before renting them out to customers. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015 applies to companies or dealers with fleets greater than 35 vehicles.
If we can prove your rental car company knew about a defect or product recall and failed to take the necessary steps to protect consumers, we can hold them liable for your wreck and resulting damages.
Do I Need a Lawyer After a Rental Car Crash?
Recovering the amount of compensation you need for your injuries is a complicated process after any car accident. If you were driving a rental car at the time of the crash, however, it becomes infinitely more complex.
At this point, you may need to hire a personal injury attorney to help you through this ordeal. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, know how to protect your legal rights during this process.
After an accident, we can review the repair costs, administrative fees, and loss-of-use fees a rental car agency assesses to make sure the company does not overcharge you.
We will also thoroughly investigate the details of your crash to determine how much blame you share. We can examine the police report from your accident, photos of the scene of the crash, eyewitness accounts, and any surveillance photos of video that depict what occurred. We may also consult with accident reconstruction experts to recreate what caused the wreck. We will also check for any safety defects or active product recalls in your rental car.
After we compile the evidence we need to show what happened in your crash, we will file a claim with the insurance company. In this claim, we will request a fair amount of compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, future costs, and pain and suffering.
Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, for Help After a Rental Car Crash.
If you suffered an injury while driving a rental car, the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help you navigate the complex insurance process to get the reimbursement you need to recover. Call our lawyers today at 865-546-1111 for a free case evaluation.