Were You Injured while Driving a Rental Car?
Car accidents involving rental vehicles can be confusing. There are many issues involved, including fault for the collision and identifying which insurance policy applies. At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, our Indianapolis car accident attorneys have extensive experience helping people involved in rental vehicle accidents. We can review your situation and identify the best course of action.
Analyzing fault for accidents involving a rental vehicle is the same process we would use for any car accident. We need to look at the actions each driver took and whether they were sufficiently careful. If not, the negligent driver could be to blame for the accident, which means they would need to pay compensation.
One wrinkle involving rental vehicles is that a defect in the car could be to blame. For example, the rental car company might have had inadequate repair work done on the brakes or another critical car part. If the brakes fail, then the rental company is typically at fault for the crash.
Making an Insurance Claim
If the other driver was at fault for your collision, you should make a claim on their insurance policy. It doesn’t matter if you were driving a rental vehicle. If they are to blame for the accident, they may have a legal responsibility to cover the costs of repairing the rental vehicle and paying damages for your personal injuries. Many of our clients have received compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
In some situations, you might be injured by a driver who does not have insurance, or you were the victim of a hit and run. In these types of cases, you could use your uninsured motorist (UM) insurance policy to cover your losses. Under Indiana law, all policies should have at least $50,000 in UM coverage.
It is also possible that you purchased insurance when you picked up your rental. You should definitely check. Most car rental companies offer many kinds of insurance: collision, personal accident insurance, liability insurance, etc. Alternately, your credit card company might have provided some bare-bones coverage as well, which could prove useful.
Paying for Compensation when You Are to Blame
If you were at fault, then you must make sure you have insurance that covers the accident. If not, you could be sued personally by anyone who was injured. Once a person wins a court judgment, they can try to foreclose on your property in satisfaction of that court award.
All drivers should have bodily injury liability and property damage coverage. You can use them to pay out benefits if there is a “substitute vehicle clause” in your insurance policy. This clause basically states that the insurance will cover an accident if you were temporarily driving another vehicle because your insured vehicle was not in normal use.
You might also have bought liability insurance from the rental company that would apply.
Were You Injured in a Crash? Call Us
Our Indianapolis car accident lawyers are prepared to help those injured while driving rental vehicles get the compensation they need. Please call Keffer Hirschauer LLP today to schedule a free consultation.