If you are injured in a Columbia MO auto accident while driving a rental car, who will pay for the damages to the car, and to you? If you have your own car insurance policy, that frequently covers your medical costs from a car accident, regardless of what vehicle you are driving--but it might not.
Before renting a car, always check your own policy and make sure that rentals are covered, and what the amount of the coverage is. If they are not covered, or you do not have your own car insurance, then it is extremely important to purchase the personal accident insurance (PAI) offered by the rental car company at the time you pick up the car. If another driver was responsible for the accident, in Missouri the other driver's insurance will reimburse you for medical expenses.
Don't wait until you have been in a rental car crash to discover that your personal policy doesn't cover you while driving a rental car. What if the other party is an uninsured driver?
Not only will you have no medical compensation, but frequently will not be able to get any damages from the uninsured driver, as they are often penniless. On top of your own injuries and medical care, you might wind up owing the rental company for damages to their property, as well as lost income while the car is being repaired.
What if the accident is your fault, and you not only damage the car, but cause injury to the occupants of the other vehicle? You could be risking your entire financial future...
As you can see, a case involving a rental car accident can be much more complicated than a regular auto accident that happens in your own vehicle. If you drive the rental car out of state, or even out of the country--the situation can get even more complicated.
Steps to take if you are involved in a Columbia MO rental car accident:
1. Immediately call the local police. This advice is the same for any traffic accident, regardless of whose vehicle you are driving. You will likely need the police report both for your insurance company and for the rental car company.
2. Call the rental car company. Their contact information should be in the glove box. Have your account info ready as well when you make the call.
3. Call your insurance agent to file a claim. Most insurance agents are highly experienced in dealing with rental car companies.
4. It is also a good idea to contact the credit card company you used to charge the rental, as many cards to day also offer rental car insurance as one of the card's perks.
Obviously, if you have been injured the most important thing is to go immediately to the hospital, or see a medical professional as quickly as possible after the accident.
Columbia car accident lawyers recommend knowing exactly how your car insurance policy covers you in a rental vehicle, in state, out of state, or out of the country. If the coverage is not there, consider adding it before renting a car, or purchase insurance from the rental agency. Make sure you are protected!
If you have been injured in an accident in a rental vehicle, or with a driver of a rental vehicle, have an experienced rental car accident attorney take a look at your case to make sure your rights are protected, and you can get the damages and compensation you are legally entitled to. The car accident attorneys at Aaron Sachs offer a FREE consultation. Call us to see how we can be of assistance.