Getting into a car accident is always a stressful experience, but it’s even more so when you’re driving a rental car. If you do not have your auto policy when renting a car, you may be wondering what the consequences are, how much it’ll cost, and who is responsible in the case of an accident.
Car lending companies often keep a form of payment on file while a car is being rented, and additional charges may appear in terms of the agreement being broken. In addition, many companies offer additional coverage that you can purchase for the rental when it is being used. Those who may opt-in for this additional coverage may still find themselves in a financial bind after a serious rental car accident. At the Law Office of Dale R. Rose, our car accident attorney can help you settle your case. Below you will find more information about who is responsible for a rental car accident in Texas and what to do if you find yourself in one.
Car Rental Contracts and Car Damage Costs
When you’ve been injured or involved in an auto accident while driving a rental car, the lending company may not wait for a processed claim to pay for the damage and repairs on the vehicle. Depending on the rental contract policies you agreed to, you may experience financial difficulties from having to pay the costs right away. Surprisingly, you may file a claim against the driver responsible for the crash and seek reimbursement for the trouble and any injuries caused to you.
Credit Cards and Car Rentals
When you rent a vehicle, you often have to leave a credit card on file. The majority of credit card companies offer some form of rental car coverage. If your personal auto insurance is used to cover the damages and costs from the accident, a credit card can cover the costs if they exceed your coverage. However, there are limitations to this, and it is essential to check your benefits policy to determine what you may be able to use.
Primary and Secondary Credit Card Coverage
In addition, credit card coverage for car rental accidents only covers collision and loss coverage. This coverage does not include injuries endured in an accident. Primary coverage on a credit card pays for the costs first, helping you avoid the deductible and use of your personal insurance. However, your auto insurance pays the costs with secondary coverage, and your credit company reimburses the claim.
It is essential to know what your coverage entails, whether your auto insurance, a credit card benefit, or any additional coverage you opted for while signing an agreement. Many credit companies also offer some coverage for towing, administrative costs, and loss of use for the rental company. The driver on the contract is responsible for the costs of the car they signed for. But, a skilled auto accident and personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim and seek compensation to be reimbursed and recover costs for damages and injuries you have endured.
Do I Need Additional Coverage for a Rental Car?
Since a personal auto insurance policy is not a requirement for renting a vehicle, car rental agencies offer additional coverage to purchase and add to your agreement. However, the costs of these policies may double or triple the costs of your rental. If you do not have your auto policy at the time of the rental, you can opt for coverage with the rental company, a credit card’s coverage, or use a third-party insurance policy.
When you opt out of coverage altogether, you opt only to use the minimal policies that come with a rental, and you are responsible for the rest of the costs. Since you are under an agreement with the car rental, it can be tricky to dispute charges and seek coverage in the case of an accident. Even if you are not at fault in the car crash, you are under an agreement and may be charged all damage costs to repair the vehicle. However, if you have your own policy, it may cover you while driving a rental.
Rental agencies also offer damage waivers and liability policies, but the waiver isn’t equilivent to insurance for your rental. According to the law, you do not have to purchase a collision damage waiver (CDW) in Texas. However, this means that a rental company can charge you for damage to the rental vehicle. To seek compensation for any injuries and be reimbursed for the costs you have endured due to another’s negligence behind the wheel, contact our car accident and personal injury lawyer to help you.
Who Is Liable in a Texas Car Rental Accident?
When you have been involved in a car crash in Texas, you have a right to file a claim against the person responsible. If you were using a rented car at the time of the accident, you may be confused about who is responsible for the accident. While you may be financially responsible for covering the damages right away since you are under a contract with a rental car company, a lawyer can still help you seek the compensation needed to recover the costs of damages owed to you.
You may recover rental company charges, medical expenses, reimbursement for wages lost after the accident, and damages for your pain and suffering with an attorney. As with any car accident, the person that caused the accident is usually liable for the damage done. Since a car rental and contract are involved, insurance coverage and procedures can be more complicated. With the right legal team and a dedicated attorney, you can file a claim and be rightly compensated for your losses.
Seek Professional Legal Advice with Car Accident Attorney Dale R. Rose
At our law firm, attorney Dale R. Rose has years of experience helping our clients recover compensation and feel at ease throughout the car accident claim process. If you have suffered injuries in a Texas car rental accident, our legal team can help you gather what you need for a successful claim. Contact our office by calling (972) 737-1333, or fill out a contact form to get in touch with our team and schedule a free consultation.