What Happens If You Get into a Crash in a Rental Car?


Experiencing a car crash can be a stressful ordeal, and the complexities multiply when it involves a rental vehicle. Ohio, a fault accident state, has specific nuances that can make it difficult to navigate the aftermath of a rental car accident. Understanding these subtleties is crucial, and if you are involved in a crash while driving a rental car, it is important to speak with a Cincinnati car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Who Pays for Rental Car Damage?

Determining who pays for the damage to a rental car in Ohio involves various factors, and it is important to speak with a lawyer to determine whether you are financially responsible. According to the Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI), there are multiple ways that damage to a rental car can be paid:

  • You may have added a collision damage waiver to your rental agreement, which can relieve you of liability for damage.
  • Your own car insurance policy may offer partial coverage to the rental company if you were responsible for the crash.
  • If the rental was charged to a credit card, the credit card company might provide coverage for vehicle damage.
  • If you purchased travel insurance before your trip, this coverage could also cover the rental car.
  • If another driver was at fault for the accident, you can file a claim against his or her liability insurance coverage.

Your Options for Compensation After a Rental Car Crash

Because Ohio is a fault car accident state, drivers whose actions cause a collision are financially responsible for any damages that occur. If you are involved in a rental car crash, your main option for compensation is to file a claim against your own insurance, or another liable party’s coverage.

Your pathway to compensation depends on who was at fault. If another driver was at fault, his or her insurance policy should cover the damage regardless of whether the vehicle was a rental. If you were responsible, however, your insurance policy may not cover damage to a vehicle that you rented. For this reason, it is important to purchase additional insurance through the rental company.

Investing in coverage like a collision damage waiver can provide crucial protection in the event of a collision. Be mindful that such waivers often come with restrictions, which might leave you responsible for certain types of damage or excess costs. An attorney can help you interpret your rental agreement, any additional insurance coverage you purchased, and your recovery options through insurance.

Steps to Take Immediately After a Rental Car Accident

In the immediate aftermath of a rental car accident, safety is paramount. Check on everyone’s well-being and exchange contact information with other involved parties. Call 911 to report the accident and seek medical attention, regardless of whether you have suffered obvious injuries. Gathering evidence at the scene, such as photos and witness statements, can be vital for any subsequent legal proceedings.

Your next steps should include contacting an attorney for guidance and notifying the rental car company about the accident. A lawyer can offer invaluable assistance during this time, advocating for your rights and protecting your best interests. To learn more about your legal options, contact a Cincinnati personal injury attorney to discuss your case and plan your path forward.

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