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Chicago Rental Car Accident Lawyers

Rental vehicle accidents can happen to anybody. Locals and visitors to Chicago alike can get into accidents while operating rental vehicles, but what happens afterward? Often, victims struggle to recover compensation, even if they are not at fault for the incident. We strongly suggest speaking to a car accident attorney in Chicago who can help you stand up to the rental agency or any other at-fault party involved in your claim.

Rental Car Accidents and Compensation

When involved in a rental car accident, the process of recovering compensation can be more complicated than with a personal vehicle. Victims may need to navigate through various insurance policies, including their own, the rental company’s insurance, and the at-fault party’s insurance. Understanding the layers of coverage and their implications is crucial.

  • Personal auto insurance. Your personal car insurance policy could cover damages and injuries sustained in a rental car accident. It is important to review your policy and understand the extent of your coverage.
  • Rental car insurance. Most rental car agencies offer their own insurance options, including collision damage waivers and liability coverage. Knowing what you opted for at the rental counter can affect your claim.
  • Credit card coverage. Many credit card companies offer rental car insurance as an added benefit if you use their card to pay for the rental. However, the coverage can vary widely, so it is important to understand the specifics.
  • Third-party liability. If another driver was at fault, their insurance should cover your damages. However, dealing with third-party insurers can be challenging without legal assistance.

Determining Liability After a Rental Vehicle Accident in Chicago

Determining liability in a rental car accident involves several factors and parties. In Chicago, where traffic is dense and accidents are common, understanding who is responsible is crucial for a successful claim.

Liability After a Rental Vehicle Accident in Chicago

  • Driver negligence. If the accident was caused by the carelessness or negligence of another driver, their insurance should cover the damages. Common causes include distracted driving, speeding, and failure to obey traffic signals.
  • Rental company liability. In some cases, the rental company may be held liable if the vehicle was not properly maintained or if there was an issue with the rental agreement. For example, if the brakes failed due to poor maintenance, the rental company could be responsible.
  • Manufacturer liability. If the accident was caused by a defect in the rental car, the manufacturer might be held liable. This could involve issues like faulty airbags or engine failures.

Steps You Can Take After a Rental Car Crash

Taking the right steps immediately after a rental car accident can significantly impact your ability to recover compensation. Here are some crucial actions to take:

  1. Ensure safety. Move to a safe location if possible and check for injuries. Call the police and EMS for medical assistance and to report the accident.
  2. Document the scene. Using a phone, take photos of the accident scene, including all vehicles involved, damage, road conditions, and any visible injuries. This visual evidence will certainly help if another driver caused the incident.
  3. Gather information. Collect contact and vehicle insurance information from all parties involved. Get eyewitness contact information as well. Note down details like license plate numbers and the names of responding police officers.
  4. Report to the rental company. Inform the rental agency of the accident as soon as possible. Follow their instructions regarding the return or exchange of the vehicle.
  5. Make copies of the rental agreement. Immediately make copies of the rental agreement by either scanning it or taking photos with a phone. Every page of the rental agreement needs to be photographed to ensure you have all the necessary details.
  6. Seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, it is important to see a doctor. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and a medical report will be useful for your claim.
  7. Contact an attorney. Speak to a car accident attorney in Chicago to understand your rights and the next steps. An attorney can help you navigate the complexities of dealing with multiple insurance companies and pursuing compensation.