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Being involved in a car accident is a stressful experience, but when it happens in a rental car, navigating the aftermath can add an extra layer of complexity. If you find yourself injured in a rental car accident in California, understanding your rights and responsibilities is crucial. Here’s what you should know.

Steps to Take After an Accident

If you have been injured in a rental car accident, there are steps you are responsible for in order to protect yourself and your rights.

1. Seek Medical Attention

Your health is the top priority. Even if injuries seem minor, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly. Some injuries may not manifest symptoms immediately, and a medical examination provides documentation for any potential personal injury claims.

2. Inform the Rental Car Company

Inform the rental car company about the accident as soon as possible. Follow their specific guidelines for reporting accidents outlined in the rental agreement. Failure to notify the rental company promptly may impact your ability to claim certain coverages.

3. Review Your Rental Car Insurance Coverage

Review the rental car insurance coverage you opted for when renting the vehicle. Policies typically include Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Liability Insurance. Additionally, check if your personal car insurance or credit card offers any coverage for rental cars.

4. File a Police Report

In California, it’s generally advisable to file a police report for any car accident, including rental car accidents. This report can serve as valuable documentation when dealing with insurance claims and legal matters.

5. Determine Liability

Determining liability is a crucial aspect of rental car accidents. California follows a comparative negligence system, meaning each party’s degree of fault is considered. Understanding liability is vital in pursuing compensation for damages.

6. Consult with an Attorney

If you’ve sustained injuries in a rental car accident, consulting with a California attorney specializing in personal injury can provide valuable insights. An attorney can assess your case, help determine liability, and guide you through the process of seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Recovering for Your Damages

If you have been injured in a rental car accident, you may have a couple of types of insurance for your recovery. 

  • The Renal Car Company’s Insurance. California law mandates minimum insurance requirements for rental cars, including $15,000 for injury or death per person, $30,000 for injury or death per accident, and $5,000 for property damage. Rental car companies typically provide coverage that complies with these minimums. The rental car company’s insurance may cover damages to the rental vehicle itself. However, be aware of deductibles, limitations, and exclusions that may apply. Some coverage options offered by rental companies may not cover injuries.
  • Your Personal Auto Insurance. Your personal auto insurance may extend coverage to rental cars. Check with your insurance provider to understand the scope of coverage and any limitations that may apply.

Being injured in a rental car accident can be a challenging experience, but understanding your rights and responsibilities is crucial for a smooth recovery process. 

The Attorneys at Ardalan & Associates, PLC Help Those in California Who Have Been Injured in a Rental Car Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured in a rental car accident, it’s crucial to understand your rights and the potential legal remedies available to you. A knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer can advocate for justice and to hold those responsible accountable. 

At Ardalan & Associates,PLC, our qualified California personal injury attorneys will help to walk you through the process every step of the way. We will fight for your rights. To learn more or schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

About the Author
P. Christopher Ardalan has been a champion for the people since becoming an attorney in 2000 and establishing Ardalan & Associates, PLC. His practice, rooted in Southern California, emphasizes personal injury law where he, alongside a formidable team, tirelessly advocates for his clients. A Cum Laude graduate of California State University, Northridge, and Loyola Law School where he also graduated Cum Laude and Order of the Coif, Ardalan's early legal acumen earned him the moniker “The kid with the golden tongue.” His accolades include numerous mock trial victories, prestigious memberships, and high-profile awards such as being a Litigator Award® recipient and an inductee into ABOTA and the Million and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forums. Recognized by both his peers and prestigious legal associations, Ardalan’s relentless pursuit of justice is fueled by a lifelong dedication to learning and a heartfelt commitment to his clients. With a reputation as a seasoned trial lawyer and a compassionate advocate, he finds the greatest fulfillment in making a positive change in his clients’ lives, honoring his role as their voice for justice.