Accidents involving a rental car can make an already stressful situation even more complicated. While rental car companies will offer you insurance coverage at the counter, many people choose not to buy the additional coverage. If you choose not to select the company’s insurance coverage, there are still several coverage options that could be available to you in the event of a crash.
If another motorist caused the accident, the at-fault driver’s auto liability insurance should cover the cost of injuries to you and your passengers and damage to the rental car. While different states have different negligence statutes, Florida operates under a pure comparative negligence standard. This means that your recovery will be limited by the amount of negligence that could be assigned to you in an accident. This means that if you are found to be partially at-fault for the accident, it may reduce the amount of compensation you could receive.
Who Pays if I’m at Fault in a Rental Car Accident?
As mentioned above, you may be responsible for all or part of the accident, depending on the circumstances. If you are at fault for a collision in a rental car, and you did not purchase collision damage waiver insurance coverage from the rental car company, your auto liability policy should pay for vehicle damage that you caused and the medical bills of those you injured in the crash.
- Your personal insurance policy – Most insurance policies through major providers have coverage for the policyholder when they are in a rental car. It is a good idea to read the fine print on your policy to see what coverage you have. Before traveling, you can always call your insurance company to find out exactly what your policy states. That way, you can decide whether to elect for the optional coverage provided by the rental company.
- Credit card rental insurance – If you rent a car using your credit card, you might have coverage provided by your credit card company. Most major credit cards have rental car insurance that covers all property damage (regardless of who is at fault) and may even have some level of personal injury coverage, as long as you use that card to pay for the rental. You should report any accident to your credit card company.
Keep in mind that there may be limits to the coverage that is provided, especially in the case of credit card rental coverage. In some case, the credit card’s rental insurance only covers vehicle damages that exceed the limits of your primary auto insurance. It is a good idea to understand the types of insurance coverage you have policies for before traveling and renting a car.
If I Live Out of State, Should I Hire a Local Lawyer?
Because car accident laws can vary from state to state, you might want to consider consulting with an attorney who is licensed in Florida if the rental car accident occurred in Florida. You will want an experienced lawyer who has handled many car accidents and is familiar with applicable insurance laws and civil laws pertaining to personal injury accidents in the state where the crash occurred.
Contact a Florida Rental Car Accident Lawyer Today
Since 1973, the attorneys at Chiumento Dwyer Hertel Grant have proudly served individuals in Flagler and Volusia counties who have been hurt in car accidents. If you were injured in an accident involving a rental car, we’re here to listen to you and discuss your legal options during a courtesy consultation. Contact us at (386) 753-3221 today.