If I’m Involved in an Accident While in a Rental Car, What Should I Do?

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Whether you’re on vacation or your car is at the mechanic, renting a car is something exciting for many. However, when you’re involved in an accident, it can ruin your vacation. Unfortunately, handling an accident in a rental car is different than one in your own car, so knowing how to proceed is vital. Keep reading to learn what you must do and discover how you a Baltimore County auto accident attorney can assist you during this challenging time.

What Do I Do Following a Rental Car Accident?

A rental car accident is often more anxiety-inducing than a regular collision, as you don’t own the vehicle. However, you must take the necessary steps following a crash to protect yourself.

The most important thing to do is to call 911. This helps place a police presence at the scene to direct traffic to keep the area safe. Similarly, this brings medical technicians to the location to help treat injuries sustained in the crash.

Next, you’ll want to exchange information with the other driver. Give your name, address, phone number, vehicle registration, and insurance details. You should also take photos and videos of the damage to the vehicle.

Finally, you must contact the rental company to report the accident. They can help walk you through the steps relative to their company policy following a collision, and a representative likely have you fill out an incident report using the information collected at the accident scene.

Who’s Responsible for Damages?

Generally, the driver determined to be at fault for the collision will be held liable. If you are responsible for the accident, you will be held liable for the damages to the rental vehicle and other cars involved. The Graves Amendment also prohibits drivers at fault for collisions from suing the rental car company. The only exception is if mechanical or maintenance issues with the vehicle caused the crash.

If another driver is responsible for the crash, they will be liable for the damages. It is important to note you may be required to pay for repairs before the insurance claim or lawsuit is settled. However, you will be able to sue the negligent party for reimbursement if this is the case.

If you are partially responsible for the injuries you incurred, you cannot pursue compensation. This is because Maryland follows a contributory negligence statute, meaning even those found 1% liable relinquish their right to sue a negligent party for compensation.

Car accidents can be a headache without taking who owns the vehicle into consideration. Rental car crashes can be even more anxiety-inducing than usual. As such, understanding who can be held liable is vital. If you were injured, receiving compensation is essential to getting the justice you deserve. At the Law Offices of Markey & Orsi, we understand that dealing with the legal implications of an accident can be overwhelming. As such, our legal team will do everything g possible to fight for you. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.

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