- January 2014
- Posted By JohnnyG
- 0 Comments
In at least one point in your life, you have rented a car from a reputable car rental agency but the probability of becoming involved in a car accident did not enter your mind. But it should because its probabilities can be greater because of your unfamiliarity with the vehicle or with the roads.
In case of accidents, the legal aspects of the business including the insurance can be a nightmare because there are more people involved. You must not only deal with the driver of the other vehicle but with the rental agency as well. Your decision to hire the best law firm like the Farar Law Group will then make the difference in your legal woes.
Here then are the things that you must know before renting a car and after being involved in an accident while behind its wheel.
Rights and Responsibilities of Both Parties
A car rental agreement imposes rights and responsibilities on both parties, namely, the rental agency and the customer – you, in this case. Basically, you are placing the trust in the rental agency that, indeed, the vehicle covered by the agreement is safe to be driven. The rental agency, in turn, places its trust in you in that you will drive the vehicle in a responsible manner.
Rental agencies are mandated by law to ensure that the for-rent vehicles used by their customers are in roadworthy (i.e., safe) condition. These companies must then perform regular maintenance and inspection procedures in this regard; otherwise, they will be held liable for injuries directly caused by known defects in the rental car – or even those defects that should have been discovered with reasonable inspections.
But as any lawyer in the Farar Law Group will say, don’t take the rental agency’s word for it. You should then take precautions like:
* Reading the rental agreement to determine coverage in case the vehicle is found defective; and
* Performing a quick inspection of the vehicle especially its tires, brakes and steering wheel, among others.
Just be sure to perform the quick inspections while the vehicle is still within the rental agency’s grounds. Be sure to call out the staff about any possible problems in safety as well as in present exterior damage like dents – you can be charged for these damages, too, so it is best to have these things noted on the contract.
On the other side of the coin, you also have the responsibility of adopting responsible and reasonable car when using the vehicle. Keep in mind that the rental agency will not be held responsible fo accidents caused by your reasonable care when driving its vehicle.
And then there’s the matter of insurance. Be sure to check that your current policy covers instances when car rental is a must but if it does not, you can buy additional insurance coverage from the rental agency.
Tip: Always review your options to avoid double coverage, which may seem like getting double the protection but it means double the cost.
Steps After Accidents
Except for a few additional steps, reporting an accident with your rented car is similar to reporting an accident with your own car. Keep in mind these steps for the former event:
* Report the incident to the police as soon as possible
* Report the incident to the rental car company
* Avoid offering to pay or settling with the driver of the other car without the consent of the rental car agency (This is a foolhardy attempt at escaping any liability or profiting from the accident)
* Avoid admitting liability (Let your lawyer from Farar Law Group take care of the matter)
* Assist the rental car agency in the matter particularly in submitting any formal statement or gathering any information necessary to resolve it
* Call your insurance provider to determine your eligibility for filing a claim under your personal car insurance policy
The bottom line: It is always a good idea to face the problem of vehicular accidents with a rented car than to run away with it.
In case you believe that the car rental company was in any way responsible for the accident, you must file a complaint with the assistance of your lawyer. You will then have an easier point proving negligence against the rental agency.