Rental Car Accidents: Who Pays for Settlements?
Life is better when you have an EPIC road trip on the cards! You got a great deal on the car rental, packed up supplies, and cranked up the Dolby Atmos, and you are set to explore America the right way – on the roads!
Just before you were pulling in for the night, a pesky pickup truck came out of nowhere and collided from the rear side! Alas! Should you have paid more attention to the rental guy when he insisted you take the rental insurance?
If you are in a rental and are injured in a car accident in New York City or on the interstate, it is often confusing to figure who pays for the settlement to cover the damages. Read on.
First things first; get Medical Help
It’s quite alright to worry about the financial situation, but the first thing you do if you meet with an accident is to get medical help. That’s not different from any other car accident. Make sure you and everyone else (even the other driver) are safe. Call 911 if you think it’s more than a little scratch. Exchange contact numbers so that you can keep in touch later.
Contact the rental service on their helpline and inform them of the accident and your location. If cops do not show up (which is a rare chance), file an FIR with the nearest station. A police report is usually important evidence that you’ll need to get a claim.
Finding out who is at Fault – Liability Assessment
The first thing in deciding who pays for the accident is to find out who is at fault. In New York, liability for an auto accident is based on negligence, when someone doesn’t follow through with proper drunk driving norms and causes the accident.
- If the other driver is at fault – Their insurance policy covers the damages for your rental.
- If you are at fault – You and your insurance company have to pay for damages to your rental and the other car.
What happens if the Driver is not covered?
While it is mandatory (in most states) for all drivers to carry minimum insurance coverage to cover liability that covers rental cars, some drivers don’t follow this through. If you are stuck with a driver who is not insured, there are two ways –
1. Your insurance company will cover the rental damages if your policy covers Uninsured Motorist incidences, or
2. You will have to pay up and file a lawsuit against the driver to recover some part of it back.
Filing a lawsuit might not do you any good because if the driver didn’t have insurance, he probably doesn’t have the funds or assets in the place.
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All car accidents are traumatic, but if it involves a rental, things get a little trickier if you don’t have the right car insurance. But the good news is that you never have to struggle with the nuances alone. Hire the right car injury attorney to help you get fair compensation (or pay as little as possible) if you ever meet with an accident.