Perhaps more upsetting than being in a car accident in the state of California is being in a rental car when the accident happens. It’s bad enough when you wreck your own property, but what do you do when the car you crashed isn’t even yours? Can you be punished, even if the accident isn’t even your fault?
Rental Car Insurance
When you rented the car and the rental company asked you if you wanted to take out extra rental insurance, you turned it down. You probably thought to yourself, why tack on an extra expense to cover a situation that, more than likely, will never happen? Now you find yourself in that next-to-impossible situation…and you’re kicking yourself for not taking out that extra insurance.
The good news is, all is not lost. You may actually have rental insurance coverage and not even know it.
First, there may be a clause in your primary insurance policy that covers you in the event you get into an accident in a rental car. Another place to check is the company of the credit card that you used for the rental. Some cards have rental insurance as a perk for using their credit for the rental. In either case, if you need help understanding your policy to determine what is covered and what isn’t, don’t hesitate to give a Los Angeles car accident lawyer a call.
Speaking To Your Own Insurance Adjuster
After getting into an accident, you must notify your primary insurance company. Some people worry that telling their insurance company about an accident will increase their monthly premium, but this is not always the case. California is an at-fault state, which means that only the person who is responsible for the accident will be penalized – as it should be.
However, there are a few things you can – and should – ask your insurance adjuster, including:
- Whether you have a deductible
- How much that deductible is, and if you can get it back
- Whether your policy includes collision and comprehensive coverage
- How much coverage you have in the event of a rental accident
If you find it intimidating to talk to an insurance agent, a personal injury lawyer can help handle this part of the claim process for you. A lawyer should understand that communications with your insurance company are crucial to your case. You certainly shouldn’t avoid calling them because you are afraid of potential consequences.
When You May Need A Lawyer
Suppose you were in one of the worst possible rental car accident situations:
- You don’t have rental car insurance as part of your primary insurance policy.
- You didn’t buy extra rental car insurance when you signed up for the rental.
- Your credit card doesn’t have rental car insurance as an added perk.
Now what? Well, the rental car company will turn to you personally to pay for the damage. But what if you weren’t at-fault for the accident? And how do you prove it? This is when you may need a lawyer who specializes in traffic accidents to step in. You should not have to shoulder the burden of the expenses involved in a car accident if the accident was not your fault.
A car accident lawyer can review the details of your case and request the proof necessary to show that you weren’t at fault, and that the rental company should be focusing their efforts on the other driver in this situation – not you.
If You Have Been In An Accident In A Rental Car In California, We Can Help!
The last thing you need while you’re trying to “get away from it all” on vacation is to get into a car accident – especially while you’re in a rental car. Added to the stress of not being in your own car is that fact that you might even be in a different state when the accident happens. Then you have to not only deal with your accident and the fallout from it, but you also have to try to learn the law in the state you were visiting. Some vacation!
Our team of lawyers is here to take that stress off of your shoulders. You can rest assured that a Los Angeles car accident lawyer is well versed on the laws that apply to traffic accidents in the state of California. By hiring a lawyer, you don’t have to worry about learning how California laws apply to your case. We can handle all of that for you and hopefully help you enjoy what’s left of your vacation.
If you’re interested in speaking with one of the lawyers on our team, fill out our contact form, or give us a call at 310-997-4688. We have helped many clients who were once in the same position as you, and with positive results, so call now!