Having the ability to rent a car when needed is a huge convenience. This is especially true when you are traveling far from home and need to easily get around. However, there is always a chance, every time you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, that you might be in a car accident.
Usually, you need a rental vehicle when you are driving in a new area on roads that you are not used to driving. Also, the vehicle itself is new to you, so you may not be all that comfortable with driving. All of these things can contribute to you unfortunately getting into an accident with your rental car.
Call For Help
As with any accident, make sure to immediately call 911 so that police and EMTs can get there as soon as possible. If possible, try to help people who are hurt while EMTs are on the way. However, do not put yourself in harm’s way. You do not want to add to the casualty list and another person that EMTs have to help.
The police will be able to secure the scene, and if necessary, direct traffic to prevent secondary collisions. Also, with the police present, an officer can begin investigating the cause of the crash, take down everyone’s information, and take statements from the people involved in the accident as well as witness statements. This will ultimately help in the future if there is going to be litigation related to the crash and anyone who was injured. Make sure to make note of what police department responded as well as the name and badge numbers of any responding officers.
Contact the Rental Car Company
Every rental car has the rental car company’s emergency number either someplace within the vehicle or on the rental car contract and paperwork. Make sure to call the car rental company as soon as possible and fill them in on what happened. They will want to know the status of the vehicle, can it be driven, and if so, where to drop off the vehicle. Make sure to note the name or names of the rental car company representatives that you speak with as well as the dates and times of the conversations.
Call Your Insurance Company
The next phone call you should make is to your own insurance company. This is the insurance company that covers your personal vehicle. Almost every personal automobile insurance policy has some provision in the insurance contract that deals with rental cars.
You will need to know what your insurance company can do for you, if anything, especially if you were the cause of the crash and might ultimately be responsible for the property damages and any physical injuries suffered. The sooner you get your insurance company adjuster involved, the better. They will be able to coordinate things and represent your interests. Also, if you were at fault, it is possible that your insurance coverage allows for them to hire a lawyer on your behalf to represent our interests and be your representative to all of the various insurance companies involved.
Seek Medical Care
No matter who was at fault in the crash, if you believe you have been injured, seek medical care as soon as possible, even if you think it is a minor injury and will resolve by itself in a few days. What you think is a minor injury might turn into something serious days or weeks later. The sooner you get a diagnosis and a treatment plan the better for you.
Check if You Purchased the Collision Damage Waiver
The collision damage waiver (CDW) is something available to you when you rent a car. A CDW is additional insurance coverage offered to an individual renting an automobile. A CDW is optional, with the cost of the waiver dependent on a variety of factors, including the type of rental car and where the car is being driven.
With a CDW, you will not have to pay for the damage to the vehicle, assuming that a violation of the rental agreement was not the cause of the crash, such as reckless driving or driving under the influence. Also, CDW coverage does not cover responsibility for damages relating to someone being hurt caused by your negligent driving. You or your personal insurance company will be responsible for those types of damages.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
If you have questions about your rental car accident, the smartest decision is to contact an experienced car accident lawyer. You should contact a lawyer especially if you were injured in the crash.
Alexandria Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Are Here to Help Those Seriously Injured in Car Accidents
If you are seriously injured in a rental car accident, you may have a lot of questions. Our Alexandria car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King can help. Call us today at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Washington, D.C., Alexandria, Virginia, and National Harbor, Maryland, we serve clients throughout Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.