Before the Crash

When you decide to rent a car for a business trip or vacation, you should understand the different insurance coverages available to you and the rental agreement you’re signing. Insurance coverages and rental agreements can significantly impact your post-accident experience, and being well-informed beforehand can ensure that you’re adequately protected.

The Rental Car Insurance Maze

When renting a car, it’s common for rental companies to offer various types of insurance. Familiarizing yourself with these options can help you make an informed decision.

Here are a few key types of rental car insurance to understand:

A Collision Damage Waiver, often called CDW, is an optional coverage that relieves you of financial responsibility for any damage to the rental car resulting from a collision or accident. It can give you peace of mind by eliminating your responsibility for costly rental car repairs or high

Liability insurance covers damage or injuries caused to others in an accident for which you are at fault. If an injured party tries to file a lawsuit or claim against you, this insurance will provide the money to pay those claims.

Personal Accident Insurance, or PAI, covers medical expenses from your rental car accident. This may include hospital and medical bills for both you and your passengers.

With a clear understanding of the differences between each type of rental car insurance, you’re ready to choose the best coverage for you and your family.

Your Auto Insurance Policy

While rental car insurance options are available, it’s essential to consider how your own auto insurance policy might help if you get into a car accident while driving a rental vehicle. Your existing auto insurance policy may extend some level of coverage when you’re renting a car.

Here are a few aspects to consider:

Review your auto insurance policy to understand which coverages may apply when renting a car. These may include collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, or liability coverage.

When you need to make a claim on your insurance for a rental car accident, you must pay your deductible first. Understanding your deductible can help you plan for potential out-of-pocket costs.

Your auto insurance policy will have specific coverage limits that dictate the maximum amount your policy will pay out after an accident. It’s crucial to be aware of these limits to ensure adequate coverage in case of a rental car accident.

By understanding the interplay between rental car insurance options and your auto insurance policy, you can decide which coverages to select to avoid unnecessary duplications or coverage gaps.

Immediately After the Crash

You may not know what to do if you need a rental car after an accident. Who do you call, and how can you get a car fast? Before you try to rent a car after an accident, consider the following.

Prioritize your health and well-being regardless of the accident’s severity. If anyone involved in the accident is injured, including yourself, immediately call for emergency medical help. When you call 911, the dispatcher will send police and emergency medical teams to the accident scene. Remember, your health is paramount, and seeking prompt medical attention is important, even for minor injuries.

In Arkansas, you must notify local police or law enforcement about your accident. They will arrive at the scene, assess the situation, and create an official accident report. Cooperate fully with the authorities and provide accurate and detailed information about the incident.

After the accident, you must exchange information with the other party. This means sharing your driver’s license, insurance, and vehicle details. Make sure to gather the same information from them as well.

Gather as much information as possible at the scene of the accident. Write down the names and contact details of all involved parties and any witnesses. Note the time, date, and location of the accident for future reference.

If you’re uninjured, you can use your phone or camera to capture images of the vehicles involved, the damage sustained, and the surrounding area. These visual records serve as crucial evidence during the claims process.

If there were witnesses to the accident, ask them for their contact information and request their statements regarding what they saw. Their testimonies may be valuable when determining fault and liability.

Remember, every detail counts when it comes to documenting the scene. The more comprehensive and accurate the evidence you gather, the stronger your case will be.

By following these critical steps, you’re taking proactive measures to ensure your safety, comply with legal obligations, and preserve crucial evidence.

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Notifying the Rental Car Company

When involved in a rental car accident, it is crucial to promptly notify the rental car company and adhere to the terms outlined in your rental agreement. This includes reporting the accident to the rental company, understanding rental agreement procedures, and clarifying liability and potential costs.

Carefully read your rental agreement to familiarize yourself with the specific accident-reporting procedures and timelines set by the rental car company. Rental car agencies outline this information in the terms and conditions section.

Take note of any deadlines or specific timeframes within which you must report the accident to the rental company. Adhering to these timelines is crucial to ensure compliance with the rental agreement.

Pay attention to any specific instructions the rental company provides regarding accident reporting. Some companies may require you to call a designated phone number, while others may want you to complete an online form.

After the accident, contact the rental car company as soon as possible. Be prepared to provide detailed information about the accident, including the date, time, location, and relevant circumstances.

Each insurance company has specific information you must provide when reporting a crash. They may require you to provide information such as the police report number, other parties’ insurance details, and any documentation or photos. Follow these instructions precisely to ensure a smooth reporting process.

Keep a record of all communication with the rental company, including dates, times, and names of individuals you spoke with. This documentation can be valuable for future reference or in case of any disputes.

The rental car company will hold you responsible for certain costs and damages as outlined in your rental agreement. These costs may include repairs to the rental vehicle, loss of use charges, and administrative fees. Consult your rental agreement or contact the rental company directly to clarify these liabilities.

Review your rental car insurance policy, including any coverage you opted for, such as Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) or liability insurance. Talk to your insurance agent about the extent of coverage your policy provides and how it applies to the accident. Sometimes, your auto insurance may also offer coverage for rental car accidents.

If you have concerns about liability, insurance coverage, or potential costs, consult with legal professionals experienced in rental car accident cases, such as Rainwater, Holt & Sexton. Our team will provide guidance tailored to your situation and help protect your rights to compensation. Best of all, when you work with us, you pay nothing until we win your case.

Dealing With the Insurance Company

After a rental car accident, navigating the claims process with your insurance provider and the rental company’s insurance can be challenging. However, by taking the proper steps, you can effectively deal with the insurance company after a rental car crash.

You must immediately notify your auto insurance provider about the rental car accident. Follow their specific instructions for filing a claim. This may involve submitting a claim form, providing accident details, and submitting copies of supporting documentation.

When communicating with your insurance company, be honest and provide accurate information about the accident. Include details such as the date, time, and location.

Your insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to assess the damage and investigate the accident. Cooperate fully with the adjuster. Be responsive to their inquiries and keep detailed records of all communication.

Follow the rental car company’s reporting procedures to notify them after a crash. Provide them copies of the police report, rental agreement, accident details, photos or videos, and witness statements. The insurance provider may request specific accident documentation from you. If they do, cooperate and share that information.

As an accident victim, you have rights, including the right to fair compensation for damages, injuries, and related expenses. Research Arkansas’ applicable laws and regulations or consult a car accident attorney to understand the protections available to you.

If you encounter difficulties or disputes with the rental company’s insurance provider, talk to an experienced rental car accident lawyer at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton. We’ll help protect your rights and guide you through any challenges you may face.

When Should You Seek Legal Assistance?

You must seek legal assistance in certain situations following a rental car accident, especially if you or someone involved suffered severe injuries. A skilled Arkansas rental car accident lawyer can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the claims process.

If your rental car accident involves any of the following, contact our law firm immediately!

  • Disputed fault or liability
  • Multiple parties
  • Insurance company disputes
  • You are partly to blame for the accident
  • The insurance company isn’t calling you back or unfairly denied your claim
  • The rental car company isn’t honoring their agreement
  • You or someone involved in the accident suffered serious injuries
  • You or another passenger suffered long-term or permanent disabilities
  • The rental car accident resulted in a fatality
  • You sustained extensive vehicle or property damage

The Role of a Lawyer

A lawyer experienced in Arkansas rental car accidents will first assess the strength of your case and determine if you have a valid personal injury claim.

Preserving evidence is crucial in building a solid case. Your rental car accident lawyer can help ensure that crucial evidence, such as accident reports, medical records, witness statements, and expert opinions, is properly collected, organized, and presented to support your claim.

Once your attorney identifies all liable parties, they’ll negotiate with insurance companies to ensure fair compensation. If your rental car accident lawyer cannot reach a fair settlement through negotiation, you can rest easier knowing you have solid legal representation in court. Your attorney will fight for what you deserve.

Connect With the Attorneys at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton

If you’ve been involved in a rental car accident and are navigating the complexities of insurance claims, liability disputes, and the pursuit of fair compensation, don’t face it alone. Contact Rainwater, Holt & Sexton for help.

We have a track record of successfully advocating for our clients, ensuring their rights are protected, and fighting for the compensation they deserve. Our experienced attorneys will do the same for you. You’ll pay nothing until we win your case — it’s our No Fee Guarantee.

With eight offices in Arkansas and Tennessee, our car accident lawyers are here when you need us most.

We’re here to help.

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