What to do if your rental car gets into an accident

rental car accident Clark, NJ

You may choose to rent a vehicle if you travel to another city for vacation or business, or if you plan on taking a long road trip and want to avoid wear and tear on your own vehicle. Or you may need to rent a car if you’re having repairs performed on your own vehicle. However, when you rent a car you should be mindful of the possibility of getting into an accident while driving that vehicle and the financial consequences of an accident. 

What Steps Should I Take after an Accident in a Rental Vehicle?

If you do get into a crash while driving a rental vehicle, you should remember to take the following steps:

  • Exchange information with each of the other drivers involved in the accident, including contact information, driver’s license numbers, vehicle registration information, and insurance information. You should also provide the other motorists in the accident with information from your rental paperwork, including what company you rented from, your reservation number, and the location where you rented the vehicle from.
  • Take photos or video of the accident scene, including vehicle damages, debris or skid marks in the road, weather/lighting conditions, traffic controls, and road/traffic conditions. Also remember to photograph any visible injuries you may have suffered.
  • Notify the car rental company as soon as possible that you have been involved in an accident. The rental company can inform you about what next steps to take, including how to hand the damaged vehicle back to the rental company and whether and how you can obtain a new rental vehicle for the remainder of your reservation. 
  • Also notify your insurance company of the accident, even if you purchased supplemental insurance from the rental company.

Read more: The Top 100 Deadliest Days Of Summer

The Effect of Rental Car Insurance

When you rent a car from a rental company, you have an obligation to return the vehicle in the condition in which you received it (minus normal wear and tear). If the vehicle was damaged during your rental, even if you were not at fault for the accident, you still have an obligation to ensure that the rental company is compensated for putting the vehicle back in the condition it was in prior to the accident. If you have comprehensive or collision coverage under your own auto insurance policy or through other insurance (such as insurance provided from your credit card company), you may not need to purchase insurance coverage from the car rental company.

However, if you don’t have appropriate liability coverage, purchasing insurance from the car rental company can help protect you in the event of an accident while driving a rented vehicle. You may be offered the option to purchase various insurance coverages when you reserve or pick up a rental vehicle, including:

  • Collision damage waiver: The most common form of rental car insurance. This coverage means that the rental company will waive any costs arising from the damage, destruction, or theft of the vehicle while in the renter’s possession.
  • Liability coverage: Provides insurance in the event the renter causes bodily injury or property damage to someone else while driving a rental vehicle.
  • Personal accident insurance: Pays for expenses arising from injuries that a renter sustains in a car accident.
  • Personal effects coverage: Pays for damage or destruction of personal property, including if property is left in the rental vehicle.

Filing a Claim After a Rental Vehicle Accident

If you get into a rental vehicle accident without having purchased insurance coverage from the car rental company, you will need to file a claim with your own personal auto insurance company or another insurance provider, such as your credit card company. Your personal auto insurer may or may not cover losses arising from a rental car accident, depending on the terms of your policy. 

If you have purchased insurance from the car rental company, you would file a claim with the rental company or their insurance provider for coverage.

Read more: What Car Accident Injuries Would Lead To A Personal Injury Claim?

Contact a Clark Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in New Jersey?  There are steps that should be taken immediately to ensure that you are fully compensated for the damages caused by the negligent party.  Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Team Law represent clients injured because of car accidents in Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 540-1394 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 136 Central Ave., Clark, NJ 07066, as well as offices in West New York, Perth Amboy, Edison, Summit, Newark, New Brunswick, Orange, Plainfield, and Jersey City.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

Curious If You Have a Valid Claim?

Free case evaluation

Quickly Find Out If You Have a Case for Free!

*not applicable to family matters

5 Stars

Team Law is outstanding. Everyone is courteous and knowledgeable and I felt that I got the personal attention that I needed.

what our clients are saying

our awards

certified trial attorney
super lawyers
national trial lawyers
Martindale Preeminent
Million Dollar Advocate Forum
Martindale Distinguished