Getting into an accident is distressing enough, but when it involves a rental car, the complexity increases tenfold. Legalities can quickly become muddled, underscoring the importance of hiring a car accident lawyer.
At Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward, our team is committed to helping you navigate this tangled web. This article aims to answer your burning questions and guide you on the path to getting your life back on track.
Why Are Rental Car Accidents More Legally Complicated?
When you’re in a rental car accident, you suddenly find yourself in a three-ring legal circus. In addition to the other driver, you have the rental car company and various insurance entities to deal with.
Each party will seek to minimize their liability, often passing the buck to someone else. You might find yourself wondering whether the rules of a traditional car accident apply here. Spoiler alert: they don’t.
Rental car accidents come with their unique set of laws and conditions, making them notably different from other road incidents.
Who Is Liable in a Rental Car Accident?
There are three main parties who may share liability in a rental car accident.
You signed the rental agreement, so you have certain responsibilities. However, being the renter doesn’t automatically make you liable for everything.
The Rental Car Company
Believe it or not, there are situations where the rental company could be responsible. This could happen if the car had a defect or wasn’t maintained properly.
Sometimes other drivers or even pedestrians can be liable. If another driver’s reckless behavior led to the accident, they would be the liable party.
In essence, determining liability is a complex process that can involve multiple parties. Making heads or tails of it without proper legal advice is like walking a tightrope without a net.
What Are the Common Rental Car Companies’ Insurance Policies?
You’ll often hear terms like “Collision Damage Waiver” or “Liability Insurance” when you rent a car. What do these actually mean?
- Collision Damage Waiver (CDW): This covers the rental car’s repair costs, but not always the whole amount.
- Liability Insurance: This kicks in if you harm other cars or people. It doesn’t cover you or the rental car.
- Personal Accident Insurance: This can cover your medical costs if you get injured in an accident.
Companies usually offer these insurances when you rent. Each one adds to the rental’s total cost, but they can be a lifesaver in case of an accident.
What Compensation Can I Seek After a Rental Car Accident?
Compensation falls into three broad categories. Knowing these can help you set realistic expectations about what’s achievable.
- Economic Damages: These include medical bills, loss of earnings, and any other out-of-pocket expenses.
- Non-Economic Damages: Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment in life fall under this category.
- Punitive Damages: In extreme cases where the liable party’s behavior was egregious, the court might award additional money as a form of punishment.
Figuring out what you’re entitled to is a science and an art. We help you identify the true worth of your claim, ensuring you don’t settle for less than you deserve.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Rental Car Accident?
Time is of the essence when it comes to legal matters. Each state has a “statute of limitations,” which is a time limit for filing a lawsuit.
- Injury Claims: Usually, you have about three years to file an injury claim after an accident.
- Property Damage: The timeline for filing a property damage claim may be different and usually shorter.
- Wrongful Death: If someone dies due to the accident, the time limit to file a wrongful death claim is different too.
Missing these deadlines means you lose your chance to file a lawsuit. Don’t sit on your rights; act swiftly.
Why Hire a Rental Car Accident Lawyer?
Here’s the thing: a rental car accident isn’t like a regular car crash. You’re dealing with extra layers of complexity. You don’t just need a lawyer; you need one skilled in rental car accidents. Why?
- Experience: A lawyer skilled in this field knows the ins and outs of rental car company policies.
- Tactics: Insurance companies can be tough. A specialized lawyer knows how to deal with their tactics.
- Peace of Mind: With a lawyer by your side, you can focus on healing while they handle the legalese.
In short, hiring a skilled rental car accident lawyer could be the difference between getting compensated fairly and walking away empty-handed.
If I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer, What Steps Will They Take?
Our three-step process at the beginning of your case ensures you are in good hands.
Step One: Initial Consultation
The moment you hire us, we hit the ground running. First, we’ll schedule an initial consultation to get an in-depth understanding of your case.
Step Two: Gathering Evidence
Our next move is to collect all the evidence that supports your case. This includes everything from police reports to witness testimonies.
Step Three: Deal with Insurance Companies
Last but not least, we’ll tackle the insurance companies. These entities are notorious for complicating things, but we know their game.
It’s a no-holds-barred approach designed to cover every base. We dig deep into the details, ensuring no stone goes unturned as we build your case.
How Do I Contact a Rental Car Accident Attorney Today?
You’ve been through an ordeal. A rental car accident has turned your world upside-down. This isn’t just a bump in the road; it’s a seismic shift that affects you, your finances, and possibly your loved ones. Time is of the essence here. Legal timelines are unforgiving.
Here’s where immediate action is vital. The last thing you want is to miss your chance for justice and compensation by letting that clock run out. What is your best next step? Contact us. Known as The Thumbs Up Guys, we know how to navigate the complexities that come with rental car accidents.
Don’t gamble with your future. Put your case in the hands of people who understand the intricacies of rental car accident laws, insurance company tactics, and how to secure you the best outcome.