Rental cars provide motorists with the flexibility to land somewhere far from home and still have a vehicle for getting around. However, if you are in an accident involving a negligent driver in a rental car, it can add an additional set of complications.
If you were injured by a rental car, speak to an experienced Long Beach rental car accident lawyer today.
Rental Car Insurance Coverage
If the driver who causes you to be injured is in a rental car, the matter of which insurance policy or policies will be involved can be confusing. In California, anyone renting a vehicle is required to carry a minimum amount of third-party liability coverage, which means the driver’s own car insurance must cover such accidents, or they will need to purchase coverage through the rental car company.
Some rentals come with a small amount of liability coverage, but rental companies also offer robust liability insurance for purchase.
The credit card that the renter used to pay for the rental car may also offer some degree of liability coverage on rentals — and may offer more comprehensive coverage for purchase. As such, you may have to take several insurance policies into consideration concerning your rental car accident claim.
The Losses You Face in a Rental Car Accident
If you are injured in a rental car accident, your losses can be substantial and involve economic and non-economic damages.
When you’re in a car accident, you can expect property damage to your car and its contents.
The medical costs associated with a car accident can include all the following:
- Emergency care
- Surgical care
- Hospital care
- Medical treatments, procedures, and tests
- Prescription drugs
- Pain management, which can include chiropractic care
- Occupational and physical therapy
The more serious your injuries, the more extensive your medical costs will be and the more likely they will be ongoing.
If you have been injured in a car accident, your recovery will probably lead to lost wages on the job. Your losses in this category can be even more extensive if your earning potential takes a hit. If your career is affected, you may also experience a considerable emotional setback in addition to your financial losses.
The Driver in the Rental Car’s Negligence
The motorist driving the rental car is likely far from home and may not be familiar with the area, which can contribute to car accidents. In addition, they are just as susceptible to driver negligence as any other driver is.
Excess speed is more prevalent than any other form of driver negligence, and the statistics shared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) bear this out. Consider the following:
- In 2020, there were 11,258 traffic fatalities involving excess speed, which translates to 29 percent of all fatalities that year.
- Over the last 20 years, a third of all traffic fatalities involved excess speed.
When motorists speed excessively, they not only limit the amount of time they have to react to dangers ahead but also increase the risk that any resulting accidents will prove fatal.
While nearly anything can qualify as a distraction, the most alarming of all – according to NHTSA – is texting, which combines all three categories of distraction: manual, vision, and thoughts.
Drunk drivers experience impairments that can affect their vision, balance, and judgment, making an accident in a rental car much more likely.
When you are tired, it can be difficult to make good decisions — even going to bed can feel like a tough call. Getting behind the wheel while under the influence of exhaustion does not negate its effects. Drowsy drivers can suffer many of the same forms of impairment that drivers under the influence of alcohol do.
Negotiating an Accident Settlement With the Insurance Company or Companies
Regarding rental car accidents, you may be dealing with the driver’s car insurance provider, the rental company’s insurance provider, or the insurance coverage associated with the driver’s credit card.
This fact often means you have some serious negotiating ahead. It is important to remember that insurance companies are for-profit businesses that will engage in whatever practices they can get away with to keep their settlements low, including yours.
Keep all of the following in mind:
- If the insurance company denies your claim from the outset, it does not necessarily mean your claim does not have merit. Consult with a dedicated rental car accident lawyer.
- If the insurance company quickly offers a settlement offer, discuss the matter with your rental car accident lawyer prior to accepting. While the insurance company’s move may feel like an offer you cannot refuse, it is very likely an attempt to finalize your claim before you recognize how extensive your overall losses are.
- If the insurance company is making the claims process especially lengthy or otherwise challenging, it likely means they are hoping you will give up.
- Attempting to push the blame toward you and away from their policyholder is another tactic the insurance company might try.
Contact an Experienced Long Beach Rental Car Accident Lawyer Today
The accomplished Long Beach rental car accident lawyers at One Law Group have an impressive reputation for negotiating settlements that fairly address our clients’ complete losses. If the insurance company is unwilling to negotiate fairly, we do not shy away from litigation.
We are on your side and here to help, so please don’t put off contacting or calling us at 310-923-9420 today.