RENTAL CAR ACCIDENT – THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
Your company has posted you in Tampa, Florida for some months. After a busy week, you decided to check out some of the nearby areas along with your colleagues. Since you do not have a car, you planned to rent it for the weekend. Everything was going good, until you met with an accident on the highway. Thankfully, none of you were seriously hurt, but the car was badly damaged. However, your first concern should be getting medical assistance because there are many injuries which are not visible immediately after an accident. After that, your next task would be getting help from a Tampa injury lawyer, who can guide you to deal with the rental accident. The ways to deal with this kind of accident is similar to handling a collision in your own vehicle. All you need to do is follow the legal protocol as directed by your lawyer to avoid any confusion or unnecessary paperwork.
Things to do at the Accident Scene
Stop freaking out! You need to cool down first to handle such a serious situation. If you can move, get out of the car and find out how other passengers are doing. In case anyone has been through a serious injury, call 911 for help. If you have a reliable medical app installed in your mobile, reach out to it and try to give the victim the possible medical assistance as guided by the online doctors. Keep on doing that till the medical team arrives.
You also need to check the condition of the rented car and take pictures as a proof to show the service provider as well as to the injury lawyer for making claims. If you think there can be any danger of explosion, get all the passengers out of the car as early as possible and move to a safe distance. Do not forget to exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved. But while doing so or while getting help, do not mention that you are driving a rental car as that can make you lose the claim.
Although apparently the steps of handling an accident in a rental car are the same as the one in your own car, the difference lies in the paperwork. In case of a rented car you should expect to deal with more of it.
Inform the Rental Company and Your Insurance Provider
Once you have taken care of everything at the accident scene, call the rental company and inform them about the incident. Look for the emergency number in the glove box and ask the company how to proceed. However, before that do not forget to read the insurance provided by the rental company because you need to combine it with your personal insurance plan.
Contact your own insurance company and inform them about the accident. Since you are away from your home, ask them whether the company will send any representative to take care of filing an accident report with the local police, otherwise you have to take the responsibility. Clarify confusions you have about your policy, like whether it can offer collision and comprehensive cover along with the liability coverage. This coverage will help you deal with the rental car. Remember to ask about the deduction because you have to clear the rest of the loss on your own. Make sure you inform your insurance company about the purchased insurance while renting the car.
If you have avoided buying the extra insurance or a collision waiver while renting the car, it is your insurance company who needs to pay for the damages (depending on your plan). This means, it doesn’t matter whether the claims have passed or not, you need to pay your deductible to the rental company to fix the damages. Once this is done, it is the responsibility of your injury lawyer in Tampa to get hold of the responsible party, if the fault is not yours.
Any kind of restrictions in your insurance policy can cost you a lot. For instance, if your policy has not covered the rental part, this means you have to bear the expenses. So that means, along with the repair charges you need to pay rent for the number of days the car will be spending at the technicians’
Florida Car Rental Policy
There are many more things you need to know, if you are involved in a Florida rental car accident case. For instance, you can avail up to $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. This will cover medical bills and missed work. The rental car policy will not pay anything above that amount. So, this can be divided as $8,000 for your medical bills and $2,000 for the number of days you couldn’t work due to the injuries. One of the advantages of this policy is that even if you have not bought any rental car insurance, you can still avail of this benefit.
Some of the rental company in Florida can ask you to opt for bodily injury liability coverage. Others may cover up to $10,000 per person. However, this is still optional. It is also not mandatory for you to buy uninsured motorist (UM) liability coverage when renting a car in Florida.
Purchasing Extra Insurance
Though there are many options available while renting a car in Florida, but if you purchase extra insurance, there are chances that your claim will get handled in a different manner. So, if you decide to purchase them, read the details on both the additional insurance and your own policy. There are many rental insurances that offer complete coverage for any accident, only if you are ready to pay the premium.
Getting involved in an auto accident in a rental car is the last thing you would want. Unfortunately, you cannot control your destiny. But you can hire a Tampa injury lawyer to help you out of the confusion. Although protecting your legal right is important, you must not ignore your medical necessities in the process. You must get the medical assistance first and then call your lawyer.