What Happens If You Crash a Rental Car? 

Posted On March 21, 2024

A person operating a rental car is tasked with doing so safely, the same as they would their own vehicle. If you are in a car accident as a rental car driver, you may be responsible for the losses that you caused other people, including the damage to the rental vehicle. Yet, there are various factors that play a role in whether or not it occurs. Talk to a Las Vegas car accident attorney at Bighorn Law today.

What to Expect After an Accident in a Rental Car

If you total a rental car, you can expect there to be financial concerns. If you caused the accident, you could be held responsible for any losses to the vehicle as well as to other parties involved. Your auto insurance policy should follow you to the rental car, meaning that unless it states otherwise, you have auto insurance liability coverage to meet these losses up to the coverage limit.

In some situations, you may have purchased a rental insurance policy at the time of renting the vehicle. If you did so, that insurance should cover the losses that you have in this incident depending on what occurred.

  • Collision damage waiver. This type of potential rental coverage protects you if the car is damaged in an accident. This only applies in situations where you were not engaging in any reckless behavior that caused the incident to occur.
  • Supplemental liability coverage. If you purchased this type of insurance for the rental car, it should help to supplement your existing liability insurance. That could help you pay for the medical expenses and other losses you cause to other people.
  • Personal accident insurance. This type of coverage is often purchased to cover any medical expenses you or your passengers have in situations where you cause an accident to occur. It helps to cover your medical costs.

If you did not purchase additional rental insurance at the time of renting the vehicle, check with your existing auto insurance provider. You also may have coverage through some credit card companies. Before you pay out of pocket, make sure you know what your insurance coverage is.

The Other Driver Caused the Accident

In situations where the other driver caused the accident, and your rental car has damage, that other driver’s insurance policy should cover the losses. This can become challenging, but the rental car company, as the owner of the vehicle, will seek compensation for the losses from the at-fault party. This typically means you do not have to cover these costs yourself. Yet, there are limitations to this. You will need to prove the other driver was fully at fault for the losses.

In all situations, if you are facing financial loss due to a rental car accident, it helps to seek out legal help from an attorney who can guide you. Do not simply pay for the damages, especially if you suspect that you did not cause the accident. Instead, rely on your car accident attorney to help you navigate the rights available to you in these challenging cases.