The state’s metropolitan areas host thousands of visitors each year. Many people visit the state for business and pleasure, and many of them rent vehicles so they can drive through the state during their visits. When accidents occur, rental car drivers are likely to encounter more complex legal issues than they would after accidents in their own vehicles. However, like any other accident, proving fault is an essential first step in recovering from a rental car accident.
When you rent a car in the state, you typically have the option to purchase insurance coverage for your rental period. Most of these coverage options protect you should you cause an accident while driving the rental vehicle. However, it is important to know what to do if you are not at fault for a rental car accident. California law allows you to seek compensation for your losses from the party responsible for causing them, but this can be very challenging for some accident victims, and the involvement of a rental car company can further complicate a victim’s recovery.
How to Prove Fault for Your Car Accident
Regardless of whether you are driving your own vehicle or a rental car, it is important to know how to navigate the aftermath of any car accident. The state upholds the fault rule, so it is essential to identify the driver responsible for the crash and prove they are directly responsible for the damages before you can recover any compensation for your losses. This is easier for some accident victims than others, but one constant that applies to every car accident victim in the state is the value of experienced legal counsel.
When you have an attorney you can trust on your side, it is much easier to navigate the aftermath of any car accident you did not cause. If you were driving a rental vehicle and another driver injured you, your attorney can help file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. Because you did not cause the accident, you should not face any legal trouble with the rental vehicle company, but if any issues arise, your attorney can assist you with these problems as well.
Most car accidents result from negligence, or failure to exercise reasonable care in a certain situation. Some result from intentional disregard for the safety of others and illegal behavior, such as driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. Before you can recover compensation for your losses, file an insurance claim against an at-fault driver, or build a personal injury case for your car accident, you must prove the exact cause of the accident. This rule applies to an accident in a rental vehicle just as it would after an accident in your own vehicle.
Q: What Should You Do First After a Car Accident That Was Not Your Fault?
A: If you experience a car accident due to another driver’s actions, the first steps you take immediately after the collision can significantly impact your recovery. If you did not sustain severe injuries and can do so safely, you should try to document as much as possible from the scene of the crash, such as your injuries and the damage to your vehicle. These photos can help prove liability. Make sure that someone has reported the accident to 911 and wait for first responders. Once you have addressed the immediate aftermath and received medical care for your injuries, you should contact an attorney you can trust to begin the recovery process.
Q: How Does Car Insurance Work When You Are Not at Fault?
A: When you have been hurt in a car accident someone else caused, you have the right to file a claim against their auto insurance policy. You are required to prove how the accident occurred and identify the party responsible. Once you have proven fault, you can seek compensation for your damages through the insurance claim process. Hiring legal counsel can make this process much easier and more likely to generate a swift and satisfactory result.
Q: Can You Sue a Rental Car Company for an Accident?
A: When you experience an accident in a rental car, the process of recovering your losses typically follows the same procedures as any other car accident. You have the right to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance and then follow this up with a personal injury claim if their insurance can’t fully cover your losses. You would only have grounds for legal action against the rental car company if they violated their contract with you in any way or if they provided an unreasonably dangerous vehicle without informing you of any associated risks.
Q: What Happens if an At-Fault Driver Does Not Have Insurance?
A: If the driver who caused your accident does not have insurance, the rental car company may have some insurance that will assist you with your recovery. However, you are more likely to need to make a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. Navigating the legal aftermath of a rental car accident can be very challenging, so working with an experienced attorney is ideal if you want to maximize the compensation you obtain for your damages.
Q: How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Rental Car Accident?
A: State law upholds that if another driver injures you, they are responsible for the entire scope of economic damages they caused as well as your pain and suffering. However, your recovery process can become complicated depending on how insurance comes into play and whether the at-fault driver accepts responsibility for their actions. Working with an experienced attorney significantly improves your chances of maximizing your final case award.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton have years of professional experience helping injured car accident victims throughout the state, and we are ready to provide the legal counsel you need after a rental car accident. If you are unsure how to recover from your recent rental car accident, contact us now to set up a consultation with us to learn more about the legal services we provide.