Auto accident claims are often complicated. They can be even harder to deal with when you were in an accident while driving a rental car. Rental car accidents usually happen when the driver is from out of town, adding another obstacle to resolving your case expediently. You will also need to talk to the rental car company. On top of all this, you may still want to file a car accident claim. Clearly, there is a lot to juggle. Do you know what to do after a Colorado rental car accident?
In many ways, a rental car accident is similar to any other car accident. For instance, you will want to check immediately for any injuries to yourself, your passengers, and anyone else who may have gotten hurt during the crash. You will also want to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver right away. Contact the police to report the accident.
Furthermore, you must start documenting evidence as soon as possible. Take photographs of the accident scene, any damage done (or not done) to the vehicles, any personal injuries sustained, and any other relevant information. You may even want to ask around to see if you have any potential witnesses. Consider asking nearby business owners if their surveillance cameras caught the accident on tape. Make sure to get a potential witness’s contact information down in case you need to talk to them again later. You can do all this while waiting for the officers to arrive at the scene.
Once the police arrive, make sure to stick only to the facts. Try to let them know what happened without editorializing. A police report can be an incredibly valuable piece of evidence in an auto accident claim. Make sure to take down the officer’s name and badge numbers, and do not forget to collect a copy of the report later.
Finally, get to a physician as soon as possible—even if you are not planning on filing a claim. Doing so is crucial to your well-being. In the aftermath of an accident, it is not uncommon for drivers to be pumped so full of adrenaline that they do not feel injured until some time has passed. Let a professional confirm that you are okay. Many injuries only get worse over time. The sooner you can receive proper treatment, the better. Plus, any hesitation to see a physician may be used to argue that you are not truly injured. Getting timely treatment is your responsibility.
You may wonder how you are meant to deal with the rental car company in this situation. Contact them immediately after an accident and make sure you are doing everything to adhere to their policies. It may keep you from getting hit with any extra fees and fines, and it may also help build your overall case. Of course, you will need to contact your insurance company about the accident as well. Confirm with your provider that you have (or do not have) any additional collision coverage in the event of a rental car accident. In conjunction with your rental car’s liability coverage, this can be a huge help in covering any remaining costs. Unfortunately, not all insurance companies offer this. Some companies have little to no coverage for rental car accidents at all. Even if an insurance company covers rental car accidents, their coverage may come with stipulations that can further complicate your case. For example, there may be a hierarchy of claims or a low limit to each policy. Working with an experienced Colorado rental car accident lawyer will ensure you know what your best options are at each turn.
Different rental car companies carry different types of liability insurance. In most cases, rental car insurance will cover no more than any damage done to the vehicle. It is not likely for rental car insurance to cover any personal injuries or property damage you have incurred. If you paid for your rental car with a credit card, however, your card company may offer collision coverage. Not all companies offer collision coverage, and the coverage will not extend to your medical bills. Still, you may want to call your credit card company to confirm. Additionally, if you have “first-party” coverage, your personal insurance provider will be required to pay the rental car company. If you were at fault for the accident, then you will need to pay the deductible to the rental car company. Make sure to review all the rental car company’s policies. Their insurance may cover all the costs of the accident, but you may still need to pay your personal car insurance deductible.
Colorado is an “at-fault” state, meaning that victims can choose to seek damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance provider or the at-fault driver themselves. If the at-fault driver is either uninsured or underinsured, victims may also choose to file a claim with their own insurance company. Compensation in Colorado auto accident claims adheres to a modified comparative negligence theory. To receive any compensation, you must be determined to be less than 50 percent at fault for the accident. Your percentage of fault will determine your award amount. For instance, if you are determined to be 15 percent at fault, 15 percent will be deducted from your total compensation.
Taking care of a rental car accident claim can be overwhelming, especially if you do not have a full and comprehensive understanding of the law. You need someone you can trust in your corner. We at Injury Victim Law may be able to help. Though we are a Colorado-based firm, our team of experts and investigators is ready and available to assist personal injury victims all across the country. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our trusted nationwide rental car accident attorneys. You should never have to pay for somebody else’s mistakes. Let us fight for you and get you the compensation you deserve.