Being involved in a car accident can be a stressful experience on any given day. There is an added level of stress and anxiety when you are involved in a car crash while driving a car that is not yours. You may not know what steps to take when the car does not belong to you. In some cases, the person who lent you the car may not be its owner because the car belongs to a rental company.
If you are involved in a car accident while driving someone else’s rental car, the first step is to determine what insurance covers the accident. The person who rented the car is required to have insurance under California law. Identifying the applicable insurance policy helps determine coverage and liability after the accident. The best way to ensure that you are protected while filing a claim is to consult with an experienced California car accident lawyer.
4 Steps to Take After a Rental Car Accident
After an accident, your first step should be to ensure the safety of yourself and others involved in the accident. It is crucial to call emergency services and authorities to the scene immediately. Once authorities and emergency services are on the way, you should take the following four steps after a rental car accident:
Collect Information and Document Evidence
An accident is likely to leave you shaken, even if you did not sustain any injuries. Rather than trying to write things down, it may be easier to take photographs. Photos can be beneficial when reconstructing the accident. Take photos of the other involved vehicles’ license plates. Snapping photos of weather conditions, street signs, vehicle damage, and any other elements involved in the accident is a great way to make sure that you have all the documentation and evidence needed to file an insurance claim or pursue legal action.
Contact the Rental Car Company
Most rental car companies will provide the renter with an emergency number to call, should any problems with the vehicle arise. If the person who lent you the car is not with you, contact them so they can contact the rental company. The company will provide you with a list of instructions to follow after the accident. Whether the car is drivable or needs towing, the rental company will instruct you on how to handle the situation.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Since you are driving a car not owned by you or the person who lent you the car, determining whose insurance covers the accident can be complicated. Filing an insurance claim in such a complex situation can be confusing and challenging. A talented car accident lawyer can navigate and guide you through the complex process of filing an insurance claim.
File a Report with the Rental Company
Every accident requires a report to be filed with the police. When the car in question is a rental car, you must also file a report with the rental company. The company may ask you about the at-fault party, the damages the car sustained, any injuries, and any other information related to the accident. Both of these records will be good to have while filing an insurance claim or when deciding to pursue legal action.
Contact the Experienced California Car Accident Lawyers at Setareh Law
A talented and experienced car accident attorney can significantly help you with your claim or legal case, especially when dealing with complex accidents like a rental car accident. Your lawyer can communicate with the rental company, your insurance company, and the other drivers involved.
At Setareh Law, we understand how complicated insurance claims can become. With over fourteen years of experience, our attorneys have the necessary skills and resources to handle any car accident insurance claim or lawsuit, regardless of how challenging the situation may be. Setareh Law has handled numerous traffic accident cases, and our attorneys know how to build strong claims on behalf of our clients. For a free case evaluation, you can call (310) 659-1826 or fill out our online contact form.