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Liability If I’m Involved in a Car Accident with a Rental Car

Posted on June 16, 2023

Individuals use rental vehicles for various reasons. This can include going on vacation, renting a vehicle while getting repairs on a personal car, or maybe a person simply needs a vehicle for a few days. However, if an accident occurs with a rental vehicle, how does liability work? Who will be at fault, and who will pay the expenses?

Liability in a Rental Vehicle

When an accident involving a rental vehicle occurs in Illinois, the process of reporting the incident is the same as any other vehicle accident. In general, the police need to get involved so they can conduct an initial investigation and fill out an accident report. For situations where individuals sustain injuries or significant property damage, there may need to be a more extensive investigation, particularly if a lawsuit is filed. Consulting a Chicago auto crash attorney can also be beneficial in navigating the complexities of such cases.

This investigation may include gathering photographs from the scene of the incident, examining video surveillance footage, and speaking to eyewitnesses or those directly involved in the incident. For severe incidents, it may be necessary to work with an accident reconstruction expert who can help piece together what happened and present their information to an insurance carrier or to a personal injury jury.

Again, determining liability is no different with a rental vehicle accident than it is with any other type of accident. However, if you are inside the rental vehicle when the incident occurs, this can significantly complicate your process of recovering compensation or paying compensation to another party if you were completely or partially responsible for the incident.

Insurance With a Rental Vehicle

Individuals need to protect themselves when they rent a vehicle, and the main way they can do this is by ensuring they have adequate insurance coverage before they even hit the roadway. The good news is that individuals will likely already be covered with insurance in some way when they get behind the wheel of their rental.

  • If an individual has an insurance policy, then this will typically go with them to the rental vehicle. Every driver in every state across the country is responsible for carrying a certain amount of liability insurance. Usually, this will apply to the accident and cover the individual involved.
  • If an individual does not have a personal auto insurance policy or if they think they may need more coverage, there is a possibility of purchasing insurance from the rental car company or a third-party insurer that provides insurance for these circumstances.
  • Nearly every single rental company in the country requires that individuals use a credit card to pay for the vehicle. In most situations, credit card companies will provide some sort of collision coverage as part of the credit card agreement. We encourage you to check with your credit card company before you rent a vehicle so you understand the limits of the coverage available to you.

Do You Need an Attorney After a Rental Vehicle Accident?

If you’ve been involved in an accident involving a rental vehicle in Illinois, you should reach out to a skilled car accident attorney for a free consultation. If you have been harmed due to the negligent actions of another driver, your attorney can advocate on your behalf. They will investigate the incident, handle communication with insurance carriers, and help recover the compensation you need for medical bills, property damage expenses, and pain and suffering losses.