What if the Driver Who Caused the Crash Was in a Rental Car?

yellow car rental sign
yellow car rental sign

Many of us are unsure of what to do after car crashes involving personal vehicles, particularly if the at-fault driver was in a rental car.

Friedman, Domiano and Smith discusses liability for rental car crashes and your options for seeking compensation for injuries and damages. If you have legal questions after suffering an injury in a rental car crash in Cleveland, give us a call.

Our Cleveland-based car accident lawyers have assisted many vehicle crash victims in securing favorable compensation for their damages. The initial consultation is free and there are no upfront costs.

Contact us today to discuss your crash: 216-621-0070.

Who Can Be Held Liable For a Rental Car Crash?

Even though the at-fault driver does not own the car, he or she still bears liability for the accident and any injuries and damages that may have occurred. There may be rare circumstances where the rental car company bears liability for the accident. However, in these situations, the driver and the rental car company may share liability.

When Could The Rental Car Company Bear Responsibility For Your Injuries?

The only way the rental car company could be found liable for your injuries is if they were negligent in maintaining the rental vehicle. Negligent maintenance could result in someone driving a rental car with any of the following issues:

  • Broken taillights
  • Malfunctioning brakes
  • Bald or worn tires
  • Underinflated tires
  • Problems with steering
  • Broken turn signal lights
  • Broken windshield wipers
  • And more

If you file a claim against the rental car company, they might argue they did not know about the problem that caused the crash. However, you could counter this argument by pointing out that the company should have known. It is reasonable to expect the rental car company to do routine inspections of vehicles to discover any potential problems.

Rental car companies have a legal obligation to properly maintain their fleet of vehicles. That means they need to take reasonable steps to fix any problems they know about or should know about. If a vehicle is unsafe to drive, then they should not allow people to rent it.

Will the Driver’s Personal Car Insurance Cover the Accident?

Many Ohio car insurance policies extend liability coverage when the policyholder is driving a rental car. This is explained in the Ohio Department of Insurance’s Auto Rental Insurance Guide. That means you may be able to file a claim against that driver’s personal liability insurance for your medical costs and other damages. The process for seeking compensation would be much the same as when the at-fault driver was driving his or her personal vehicle.

Can You Seek Compensation From the Insurance on the Rental Car?

When you rent a car, you have the option of purchasing additional coverage from the rental car company. Even if you file a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance, you might still be able to file a claim against the additional coverage you purchased on the rental car.

If the at-fault driver does not have personal insurance, he or she is going to be required to purchase coverage from the rental car company. In this situation, your only claim would be against the rental car company’s insurance.

Another option for compensation after a crash caused by someone driving a rental car is the at-fault driver’s credit card company. Some credit card companies provide insurance coverage when you use their card to pay for a rental car.

One of the advantages of hiring an experienced attorney is that he or she can sort through the insurance coverage options for a rental car crash. At Friedman, Domiano and Smith, we are committed to securing full compensation for your damages at no upfront cost to you.

What You Should Do After a Crash With a Rental Car

You should treat the aftermath of a rental car crash the same way you would treat any other crash. Call 9-1-1 so the police will come to the scene, investigate the crash and complete a report. While you wait for the police to arrive, you can gather information from the other driver involved. At a minimum, this should include the driver’s name and contact information, insurance details, and the name of the rental car company.

You should go right to the hospital from the crash scene, so doctors can evaluate your injuries and begin treatment.

Once your injuries have been stabilized, you should give serious thought to contacting an experienced lawyer to review your legal options. An attorney may be able to help you seek compensation. Medical care is not cheap. If the accident was not your fault, you should receive compensation to cover your medical costs, lost wages and other damages.

You may think you can just deal with the insurance company on your own. However, insurers know how to manipulate crash victims. If they offer you compensation it is bound to be below the full value of your claim. Even if you try to negotiate, the insurance company is unlikely to increase the offer if you are not being represented by an attorney.

Insurance companies tend to take cases more seriously when an attorney is involved. This is especially true when the attorney has taken cases to court. The possibility of a lawsuit often encourages the insurance company to offer more compensation.

Call Friedman, Domiano and Smith To Discuss Your Accident

You do not need the stress of the legal process after suffering an injury in a Cleveland car crash. You also do not need to be spending time sifting through insurance policies to determine which ones may provide compensation.

These are things that you can leave in the hands of an experienced lawyer who will be dedicated to your best interests. Friedman, Domiano and Smith has been fighting for crash victims for decades, securing millions from liable parties.

We are ready to take your call. Phone: 216-621-0070.


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