Getting in a car accident is distressing enough, but what happens if the crash occurs when you are driving a rental car? If you were injured in a rental car accident in Arkansas, you can file a claim through your insurance company or sue the other driver who was at fault for the accident to obtain compensation.
The basic process of dealing with a rental car accident mirrors that of a crash in which you were driving your own vehicle. However, a rental car accident involves some additional complexities that arise from the rental car agreement and rental car insurance.
Your actions after a rental car accident in Arkansas can significantly affect any future claim you file to recover compensation for your injuries. Be sure to take the following steps right away:
- Report the crash. Make sure you and others involved in the rental car accident are safe. Call 911 if there are serious injuries. Notify the police about the crash. A police officer will create a report based on their examination of the scene. Get copies of all the resulting paperwork, as it can help your insurance claim.
- Get immediate treatment for your injuries. If you are seriously injured, you may be treated by first responders. Otherwise, be sure to see a medical professional after the rental car accident. A doctor can document the extent and severity of your injuries.
- Collect evidence about the collision: Gathering as much information as possible about your rental car accident is crucial to show the extent of damages you sustained. Use a smartphone to take photos and videos of the scene, road, and weather conditions, street signs, vehicle damage, license plates, and your injuries.
- Exchange contact information: Along with physical evidence, it is important to collect the contact information of other parties involved in the crash. Get their names, phone numbers, addresses, emails, driver’s license details, and insurance information. Also, gather the contact details of any witnesses who saw your rental car accident. However, do not disclose that you were driving a rental car. The other parties may try to use that against you and blame you for the accident.
- Contact the rental car agency. Rental cars often contain an emergency number inside the glove compartment or on the rental car agreement. Notify the rental car company about the accident and find out what its procedures are. They may ask you to fill out an incident report.
- Tell your insurance company about the crash. Inform your insurance company about the rental car accident without going into excessive detail. Do not agree to make any statements without first talking to a lawyer. Tell the company about any additional insurance you purchased from the rental car agency.
- Talk to an Arkansas rental car accident attorney. With so many parties involved in a rental car accident claim, things can quickly get complicated. A lawyer can advise you on the next steps and determine whether you can pursue a car accident claim to obtain damages.
Pursuing Compensation through a Rental Car Accident Claim
The Arkansas rental car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. can help you navigate the aftermath of a rental car accident. One of the challenging aspects of a crash that involves a rental vehicle is determining who is responsible for damages. There are multiple factors involved, such as your own insurance coverage, the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage, the rental car company’s policy, and the terms of the rental car contract.
A rental car accident can leave you with expensive medical bills and a lengthy recovery period during which you are unable to work. In such circumstances, filing a personal injury claim against the negligent party who caused your crash allows you to recover damages for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
The at-fault driver’s insurance typically pays for damages to a rental car. You can’t pursue a legal claim against the rental car agency except in rare situations. The company may be liable, for example, if it gave the customer a car with a known defect or unaddressed mechanical issue that presented the risk of an accident. In such cases, the rental car company should be held responsible for damages.
The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. will help you identify who is at fault for your Arkansas rental car accident. Some crashes may have multiple liable parties, such as the driver, rental car manufacturer, and rental car agency.
Contact the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield Today
As an Arkansas rental car user, you have important rights. Because there are strict time limits involved with filing a personal injury claim in the state, you should discuss your case with a lawyer as soon as possible.
If you or a loved one was injured in a rental car accident, we can help. The Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. represents clients across Arkansas. Call us today for your free consultation at (479) 361-3575.