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If you were hurt in a crash involving a rental car, you probably have a lot of questions about what to do next. Picking up the pieces after a collision is always a stressful and overwhelming experience, and the situation is complicated by the fact that one of the vehicles was not owned by the motorist who was driving it.
Consulting an attorney is the easiest way to determine how best to proceed. In the meantime, here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the subject, so you can confidently go into the consultation.
The steps you take after a car accident involving a rental car are similar to those you would take after getting into any other crash. First, make sure you and any passengers in your vehicle are safe. If possible, pull out of the flow of traffic and then call the local police, so officers can process the scene.
Then, exchange information with the other driver(s) involved. This includes contact details and insurance information. Be sure to take photos of the damage to both vehicles, as well, and of any visible injuries you or your passengers sustained. Whether you were the one driving the rental vehicle or you were the one hit by it, you’re inevitably going to have delay in determining who the primary liability insurance carrier is.
The party responsible for the resulting losses depends on the circumstances surrounding the collision. In general, if you were at fault for the collision, you will have to cover the damage to the rental car and any other vehicles involved. On the other hand, if another driver was at fault, their insurance company may be responsible for paying for the damages. Some credit cards offer some property damage coverage if using that card to rent the vehicle, so check with your credit card company for details.
If you were driving the rental car and purchased insurance through the company, they may also be responsible for covering the damages. This will often depend on what type and the amount of insurance you purchased.
If the rental car company is trying to charge you for damages, it's important to review the rental agreement and any insurance policies [hopefully] purchased with the rental. If you believe the charges are unfair or inaccurate, you can dispute them with the rental car company. If you cannot resolve the dispute with the rental car company, you may want to consult a personal injury attorney who can help you understand your legal options.
You might be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the rental car company if their negligence contributed to the accident. For example, if the rental car company failed to maintain the vehicle properly or rented the vehicle to someone who was clearly intoxicated, they may be held liable for your injuries. However, it's important to note that personal injury cases involving rental cars can be complex, so it's recommended that you consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before taking any legal action.
In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is typically three years from the collision date. However, it's important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you don't miss any other important or alternative deadlines or opportunities to gather evidence to support your case.
At Hodge & Langley Law Firm, we understand how overwhelming dealing with the aftermath of any kind of car wreck can be. That’s why we’re here to help. Call 864-585-3873 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free initial consultation with a car accident lawyer in South Carolina.
Submission of information in this contact form does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In order to establish such a relationship with our firm we require a direct meeting with the attorney.