What If You Got Into An Accident With A Rental Car In Dallas?
Getting into an accident with a rental car in Dallas is the last thing anyone needs. Maybe you rented the car because you’re on vacation. Or maybe you needed to rent it because your primary car is at the mechanic’s – maybe even because of an accident.
In either case, you were probably blindsided and are not in the headspace to deal with an accident right now – especially when you’re unsure of your legal responsibilities in such a situation.
If you’ve been in a rental car accident in the state of Texas, a Dallas car accident lawyer can help.
Assess the Situation
Your first step in an accident involving a rental car is the same as any other accident: make sure everyone is okay. If you or someone else has been hurt, call the police immediately. If there are any imminent dangers, such as fire or leaking fuel, get as far away from the vehicles as possible in case of an explosion.
Next, exchange contact information with the other driver, and take notes and pictures at the scene of the accident while it’s still fresh in your memory. Be sure to get a copy of the police accident report. You will need this later to prove who was at fault. When you’ve received the all-clear to leave, the next thing you should do is phone the car rental company.
Speaking To The Car Rental Company
To find the number for the car rental company, look inside the glove compartment. There is usually a sticker there with the company’s information on it. When you’re in an accident in a rental car, there will be additional paperwork for you to fill out on top of the normal paperwork involved in car accidents.
Be sure to read the fine print on your insurance policy, as well as the copy of the insurance policy provided to you by the company. The rental company will ask you to fill out an accident report. If you purchased insurance through the rental company when you rented a car, you may not need to involve your primary insurance company, depending on the plan you selected.
However, the company can still refuse to pay for damages if you voided the contract in any way. Prohibited behaviors that are typically listed in a rental car contract include:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving recklessly or otherwise negligently
- Driving somewhere you were not authorized to drive, such as taking the car out of state
- Letting someone drive who was not approved on the rental contract
However, there are certain situations where the rental company can actually be found liable. If the company did not repair any known safety defects, or if they did not properly maintain the vehicle, then they may be responsible for your accident. A car accident lawyer can review your case and determine who is at fault and how best to represent you.
Calling Your Insurance Company
If you did not purchase additional insurance and you need to speak with your insurance company, ask the insurance agent what damages they will cover. Additional questions you can ask include:
- Whether they will be filing the accident report with the police, or whether this is your responsibility
- Whether you have collision and/or comprehensive coverage built into your plan
- Whether you have a deductible in this situation, and the amount of that deductible
If you did purchase additional insurance from the rental company, be sure to mention this to your primary insurance company.
In a rental car accident, it can be difficult to determine who is responsible for what. If the other driver knows you were renting a car, then he may claim that the accident was your fault. His reasoning may be because you are an out-of-towner who didn’t know Texas’ laws and the sights and sounds of the local roads. For this reason, it is best not to mention you are in a rental car unless it is absolutely necessary.
To learn more about your rights in a rental car accident, contact a Dallas car accident lawyer today.
Rental Car Accident In The State Of Texas? We Can Help!
While no one ever wants to get into an accident, perhaps even more dreaded is the possibility of getting into an accident in a rental car. Who do you call first? The rental car company, the police, or your insurance company? And who handles the claim? Your insurance company, the rental car company’s insurance company, or the insurance company of the other driver? In some ways, a rental car accident can be even more confusing than a regular accident – and with twice as much paperwork.
You may want to consider hiring a Dallas car accident lawyer to help you handle your case. If you would like to speak with a member of our team, fill out our contact form, or give us a call at 214-305-8277. Our lawyers have years of experience navigating the confusion that often accompanies rental car accidents. Let us help you today!