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What Happens if You’re in an Accident While Driving a Rental Car?

The steps you need to take following an accident in a car you own are fairly straightforward. But what if you get into an accident while driving a rental car?

First, there are some things you should know before renting the vehicle in the first place:

  • You have the right to assume the vehicle is safe. Rental companies have a duty to ensure all vehicles they provide to their customers are in a safe, roadworthy condition. Vehicles must be regularly inspected before being rented to customers. If you read your rental agreement, you will see what is covered if defects are found in the vehicle, but it doesn’t hurt to do a quick inspection of the vehicle yourself before driving away with it.
  • You are responsible for driving safely. If the auto accident was the result of your own negligence, the rental agency won’t be held responsible. However, if the agency rented to someone it knew to be an unsafe driver, it could still be sued in the aftermath of a crash.
  • Insurance coverage. Your standard auto insurance policy likely has some coverage for rental cars, but check on this before you decide whether to purchase additional insurance from the rental company.

If you do get into an auto accident with a rental car, you should follow all the same steps you normally would in any other crash, but also report the incident to the rental car company as soon as you can. Do not offer to settle or pay without first talking to the rental provider, and never admit any degree of fault. If the rental company requests information from you, be as compliant as you can.

If you’ve been involved in an accident with a rental vehicle, speak with a knowledgeable Atlanta personal injury attorney at McMenamy Law LLC.