Being involved in a car accident in Maryland is stressful enough when the car is privately owned. When the other car is a rental, or you are injured while driving a rental, the case gets much more complex.
If the vehicle involved in an accident is a rental car, the other party involved would most likely be a large rental car company. These companies are well-equipped and prepared to push liability onto you, protect their own assets, and make you responsible for their losses and damages. Having an attorney to help you protect your rights and interests and pursue your legal claims against the person ultimately responsible for your losses can make a significant difference in the outcome of the car accident.
Contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291 to receive your free case assessment with our Maryland car accident lawyers.
What Should I Do if a Rental Car is Involved in a Maryland Car Accident?
If you ever find yourself in a car accident involving a rental car, it is crucial to know the necessary steps to take to safeguard your legal rights. It is natural to feel frightened and overwhelmed following the incident, but there are actions you can take to increase your chances of receiving compensation in the future. Once you have taken these initial steps, our Baltimore car accident attorneys can take over and work to secure the compensation you deserve. To maximize your potential for recovering damages, follow these guidelines if you ever get into a car accident in Maryland:
In case of a rental car accident, it is important to immediately notify the authorities. Regardless of the severity of the damage or injuries, law enforcement officials will arrive at the scene for investigation and to speak to those involved. Once all relevant information has been collected by the investigating officers, an official report will be generated that outlines the details of the accident and any potential legal actions. Our team will assist you in obtaining this report from the appropriate police department.
Exchange Information with Other Parties
In case of a car accident, it is crucial to exchange information with the other driver. Gather their insurance details, name, address, and phone number, if possible. This should be done regardless of whether you were driving the rental car or were injured by one. This information can be used if a lawsuit is required. If the other driver is uncooperative, don’t worry, as you can usually find this information in the police report.
It is also wise to talk to any witnesses present at the scene as they might have observed important details that could be useful later on in court. Be sure to gather their contact information to avoid forgetting it later. While it’s possible to win a case without witnesses, having others provide statements about the other party’s negligence increases your chances of success.
Gather Evidence from the Scene
Before you leave the accident scene, it is important to use your cell phone to take pictures. This will help you capture important details such as damages to the vehicles, debris on the road, the position of the vehicles after the accident, and any skid marks. Taking photographs can also help to demonstrate where you were injured and preserve important information like the time of day and weather conditions.
It is crucial to document any injuries you sustained, as they might heal by the time of your court appearance, making them less visible. Taking pictures of your injuries will help to demonstrate their severity.
Get Medical Treatment Immediately
In case of a rental car accident, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention, regardless of whether you feel any pain or discomfort. There might be hidden injuries that could show up later on, so consulting with medical professionals is necessary for your body’s healing process and to determine if you need additional treatment.
Although visiting the emergency room after an accident might seem like an unnecessary expense and a time-consuming process, it’s crucial to have a record of your injuries if you plan to pursue compensation through legal action. Your medical records will serve as evidence that the injuries you’re currently suffering from were caused by the car accident you reported.
Review Your Car Insurance Policy
It’s important to check if your insurance policy covers rental vehicles, as some policies are quite generous in their coverage. Contact your insurance representative to clarify the scope of your coverage before renting a vehicle. If your insurance company does cover rental cars, you can confidently decline the rental company’s offer for its own insurance policy, as it might not provide adequate coverage.
Check if Your Credit Card Company Provides Perks for Rental Cars
Did you know that some credit cards offer rental car insurance as a benefit? By using the credit card to pay for the rental, you can activate the insurance and decline the rental company’s insurance, potentially saving you money. It’s important to check with your credit card company beforehand to see if this benefit is available to you and to understand the specific coverage and limitations of the insurance policy.
Review the Rental Car Company’s Insurance Policy
Often, insurance plans advertised as comprehensive might not cover as much as you expect. You might end up having to pay for expenses out of your own pocket before the insurance company steps in.
Reach Out to Our Firm
Our goal is to support you every step of the way during the legal process. We are committed to ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve for the damages you have suffered. Our top priority is to assist you in securing payment for your medical bills and lost wages while also protecting your legal rights. We can help you prepare important documents like your complaint and communicate with the other parties involved in your case. If negotiations do not lead to a resolution, we are fully prepared to represent you in court.
How Do You Recover Compensation Through Insurance if a Rental Car is Involved in a Maryland Car Accident?
When involved in a car accident while driving a rental car, the next steps will be determined by your insurance coverage. If you have personal car insurance, contact your insurance company, as they will take care of the situation on your behalf. In this case, your experience will be similar to a regular car crash in your personal car.
However, the worst-case scenario is if you are not insured by your personal insurance company, and you either did not purchase insurance from the rental car company or the policy you bought does not cover the accident. In this situation, you will need an attorney to represent you and help you obtain the compensation you need from those responsible for the accident.
There are two other common scenarios in between these two extremes. Firstly, you purchased insurance from the rental company, and the policy covers the accident. However, rental car companies often offer inadequate insurance policies that come with numerous loopholes, which can make it difficult to enforce their policies. Secondly, if you rented the car using a credit card that includes rental car insurance, this could cover the collision and any liability. In this case, it is essential to check the details of the insurance policy to ensure it covers the accident.
Our Maryland Rental Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
For a free case review with our Potomac car accident attorneys, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.