What do we do if we get into an accident with a rental car? This unpleasant topic raises important questions, whose answers you should we aware of if you are about to rent a car. First, we would like to use this opportunity to remind you to drive carefully and responsibly. This is the most important piece of advice we can give to any driver, whether they are using a rental car or their own vehicle. Nevertheless, we cannot foresee everything that happens on the road. So, if you do get into a car accident with a rental vehicle, here is what you need to know and do.
In every road accident, your first priority should be ensuring safety. You must stop and check what the consequences are. Yet, you need to do that carefully by finding a safe place to park, so that your vehicle does not pose a further safety risk. Your main priority is preserving the life and health of everyone on the road and everyone involved in the accident, including yourself.
Is anybody injured?
If there are injured persons
After parking and making sure your vehicle does not endanger the traffic, you need to check if anybody is injured. If so, you are obligated by law to call the authorities. Check the condition of the injured persons if you can do so safely. If anybody is injured, you must await the arrival of authorities. You are only allowed to leave the site of the accident is if you need to take someone to the hospital. After that you must return immediately.
If nobody is injured
If everyone is safe, you can move on to assessing the damage. Being involved into a car crash, you are obligated by law to cooperate in determining the damage. Moreover, you must not try to mend the damage or alter the condition of the vehicle before the arrival of the authorities. Being involved in a traffic accident, it is your responsibility to preserve as much of the evidence as you can and by doing so to assist in establishing the circumstances.
Call the police and provide information about the accident and the situation on site. Wait for the authorities to come. Assist in establishing the physical damage. It is vital to assess the situation because this affects insurance mechanisms that kick in. Do not forget to take and keep all formal papers, issued by the police. The insurance company would need these later.
Call the car rental company
You must inform the car rental company you have rented the vehicle from about what has happened. You must do that as soon as possible but not before having ensured traffic safety and taking care of the injured. Get in touch with the company and provide as much reliable information as you can about the accident and the state of the vehicle. The representatives will let you know what documents you need to get. They will also tell you what to do next.
Every car rental company has its own policy on accidents involving their vehicles. You should get familiar with these in advance. Mind the fact that any expenses you might incur in the form of damages are entirely dependent on insurance agreements. Therefore, it is necessary that you keep all documents that attest to what has happened. Most importantly, do not try to deceive the company representatives about the circumstances and who is to blame. Bear in mind that their extensive experience allows them to assess the actual state of the vehicle and what has caused it. They are also experienced in working with report forms and insurance papers. So, be honest and do not conceal any information.
If you are involved in an accident with a rental car, prepare for a damage claim filing procedure. It is your responsibility to provide reliable information and a full stack of documents that attest to the occurrence causes. The procedure is rarely brief and might take from a week to two months. This is why complete and genuine information concerning each detail is vital to alleviating your responsibility. The more you cooperate during the insurance procedure, the less likely you are to pay for damage repair.
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