Auto accidents can occur anytime, anywhere, even when you’re driving a rental car on vacation. If you have an accident in a rental car, you should first make sure everyone in the car with you is okay. Afterwards, follow these do’s and don’ts if you have an accident in a rented vehicle.
Do: Retain an Attorney
Having an accident in a rental car can complicate the process of getting the accident settled with the insurance companies involved, especially if you or anyone else was injured in the wreck. Contact experienced car accident attorneys, such as those at the Ladah Law Firm, PLLC. They can give you advice about speaking to the insurance companies and help you reach a settlement with them.
Don’t: Admit Fault
Don’t admit to anything or make any apologies after the accident has occurred because your words can be taken as an admission of guilt. Admitting or apologizing for something you are not responsible for can lead to you being sued by the other party involved in the accident.
Do: Contact the Police
After confirming everyone in the car is okay, you should dial 911 and report the accident. Even if it is a minor fender bender, you will want to have a record of the accident for the rental agency.
Don’t: Move Vehicles
Do not move your vehicle unless you are told to do so by police. It is important both cars stay in position so measurements and pictures can be taken so the accident can be evaluated to determine who was responsible for it.
Do: Call the Rental Agency
As soon as possible, contact the car rental agency and inform them about the accident. Ask them what you should do next, arrange for a new car with them as they will probably want to send the vehicle you were driving to an auto body shop, and contact their insurance agency if you bought coverage when you rented the vehicle.
Don’t: Talk to Other Insurance Company
If the other driver is at fault for the accident, their insurance company will want to settle the case as soon as possible. However, you shouldn’t answer any of their questions or take a settlement until you consult with an attorney, especially since the car rental agency will also be involved with any negotiations.
Do: Take Notes
Describe what happened in your own words, get the names of the other party involved in the accident, their driver’s license number and insurance agent’s telephone number. Also, make note of the names and phone numbers of everyone who witnessed the accident. If you have a smartphone, take pictures of the aftermath of the accident too.
Being in any car accident can be stressful, but if you were driving a rental car, it can be even more complicated. Seeking the advice of an attorney can help ensure your best interests are taken care of when trying to get the accident settled. Follow these do’s and don’ts so you know what to do after an accident occurs.