There are hundreds of thousands of motor vehicles on our Texas roads every day. Many of them are owned outright, but some are rental cars. The greater Houston area is a major economic hub, and many visitors will rent cars when they arrive at William P. Hobby Airport or George Bush International Airport. With the number of rental cars on the road, you may find yourself involved in a car accident with one.
Because the car’s driver and owner are two different entities, people often have questions about whose insurance applies, and how these cases differ from the average auto collision. One of our well-versed Sugar Land rental car accident lawyers can help you navigate the civil claims process and hold responsible parties accountable for your damages.
When you rent a car from Enterprise, Alamo, or a similar company, the rental car agent will ask if you’d like auto insurance. You have the option of buying collision coverage for property damage and/or liability coverage for personal injury caused to others. If you choose to purchase liability coverage, this insurance will often be the first applied in the case of an accident.
Sometimes the driver is covered by his or her personal insurance as well. In these cases, it is usually the personal insurance that will cover any damages which are not covered by the rental car company’s auto insurance.
The first thing you should do after a Sugar Land collision involving a rental car is assess your physical injuries. If either you or the other driver has sustained serious injuries, you should call an ambulance and seek medical attention.
If you don’t need an ambulance immediately, you should speak to the other driver and exchange insurance information. It’s a good idea to take photos of both the other driver’s insurance information as well as their driver’s license.
You should also call the police for any collision where you will be making a claim. Even if there is only property damage to the vehicles, a police report will be helpful in the future to document the accident and help determine fault.
If you are feeling pain in the hours or days following the accident, you should see a doctor immediately to rule out any serious conditions such as internal bleeding or fractures.
Determining fault for a Sugar Land rental car accident works just like in other auto collision case. If you are hit by a person driving a rental car, and his or her negligence caused the accident, then he or she can be held responsible for the damages incurred. As it is with other accidents, insurance companies often pay for these damages.
The majority of rental car companies provide insurance coverage for these situations. However, there are occasions where the insurer will deny coverage. For example, the coverage may only apply to drivers who are listed on the rental agreement. So, if the rental car driver lent the vehicle to a friend or spouse, the rental car company’s insurance will not be applied in a subsequent crash.
Personal insurance coverage often follows the driver on any car he or she drives, regardless of whether it is rented. If the driver had such personal coverage at the time of the accident, his or her policy provider will step in on his or her behalf for the claim. They may require additional proof to show why the rental car company’s insurance does not apply.
In a scenario where the driver who is responsible for the Sugar Land rental car crash does not have any applicable car insurance policy, you will need to use your own Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage to recover for your losses. Insurance companies usually do not increase premiums when drivers use their own UM coverage, as they were not at fault for the wreck.
If you have been injured in a car accident with a rental car, it is advisable to speak to an attorney. Our Sugar Land rental car accident lawyers at Lone Star Injury Attorneys specialize in helping the injured recover what has been lost. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.