People often need to rent a car after an accident while they wait for their regular vehicle to be repaired. People also like to rent cars for road trips – their regular vehicle may already have a lot of miles on it, or they may want to rent a larger vehicle for extra storage, among other reasons.
No matter your situation, the last thing you want is to get into a crash. You are not in your own car so you may have questions about seeking compensation.
What if you were in your own vehicle and got into a crash with someone driving a rental car?
Below, Schmidt Kramer’s experienced Harrisburg vehicle crash attorneys discuss filing a claim after a crash in a rental car. If you suffered an injury that required medical treatment and you are unable to work, you could be eligible to seek significant compensation.
It is to your advantage to hire a licensed attorney to guide you through the process. Insurance companies are notorious for lowballing crash victims who do not have legal representation.
Insurance Coverage for a Rental Car Crash
There are various insurance coverages that you may be able to use to pay for damages from a rental car crash:
Personal Injury Protection Coverage
One of the benefits of living in Pennsylvania is you are required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This is no-fault coverage that you can use no matter who is at fault for the accident. That means you should be able to use your PIP insurance to pay your medical bills from a rental car crash.
It is important to review your policy to make sure your PIP coverage will apply. You do not want to make that assumption and then be surprised about your lack of coverage after a crash. You can also call your insurance company to learn more about coverage if you get into a crash while driving a rental car.
While you are only required to purchase $5,000 in PIP coverage, you should strongly consider purchasing more. A serious injury could easily cost more than $5,000 to treat.
Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
If the crash damages the rental car, your collision and/or comprehensive coverage should pay for repairs. If you have this coverage, there is no point in duplicating it by purchasing additional insurance from the rental car company.
Coverage From Your Credit Card Company
Sometimes credit cards provide coverage for damages when you rent a car. However, it is important to note the coverage is usually for damage to the car or theft of the rental car. Your credit card is unlikely to cover damages you suffered in the crash. Damages suffered by others will not be covered by your credit card.
Credit card coverage typically only kicks in after your primary coverage has been exhausted. Primary coverage is either from the rental car agency or your own car insurance.
You must also have used the credit card to rent the car, otherwise coverage does not apply.
Contact your credit card company to learn more about coverage for a rental car crash.
Coverage From the Rental Car Company
You can sign a loss damage waiver that waives your financial responsibility if the rental car is stolen or damaged. The loss of damage waiver may also cover loss of use if the rental car must be repaired while you are renting it.
Rental car companies also offer personal accident insurance to cover the medical bills incurred by you and your passengers. Drivers may decide to do this if they do not have personal car insurance, as state law allows you to rent a car without purchasing no-fault coverage required by state law.
You may decide to purchase this additional coverage just to make sure you are covered in case of a crash, but you might not need it. Your personal insurance and insurance from your credit card company may provide more than enough compensation in case of a crash.
The Other Driver’s Insurance
If the other driver is at fault, you may be able to seek compensation from the liability coverage in his or her insurance policy. You may also be able to seek compensation for damage the rental car suffers in the crash.
You would need to prove the other driver is liable for your damages to obtain coverage in a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurance.
Sorting through the coverages that may be available after a rental car crash can be a complex process. That is why it is best to leave it to an attorney.
The experienced attorneys at Schmidt Kramer are prepared to aggressively pursue full compensation from the available coverage. We are also prepared to file a lawsuit if necessary, such as if the insurance company refuses to provide fair compensation or there is a dispute about liability.
Contact Schmidt Kramer to Discuss Your Car Crash Claim
Want to find out if you may have a valid case and what it might be worth?
Give us a call today to schedule a free legal consultation. We are ready to assist you in pursuing maximum compensation.
We help accident victims every day and have obtained millions to help people move forward after an injury. There are no upfront fees with our services.
Schmidt Kramer. Licensed Attorneys Ready to Help. (717) 727-2089