What to do After an Accident in a Rental Car

By Greg Kohn

A car accident is stressful enough without worrying about how driving a rental car will factor into the accident claim. You may be out of town when a rental car accident occurs, but not always. Sometimes we need to rent a vehicle while our car is in the repair shop. 

Whatever the reason might be for driving a rental car, a car crash was not in your plans. If your accident occurred in New Jersey, contact our New Jersey car accident attorneys for help.

Seven Steps to Take After a Car Accident in a Rental Car

1. Report the car crash to the police

New Jersey traffic laws require that you report a car accident that resulted in injury or death or caused more than $500 in property damage by the “quickest means possible” to the nearest police department. The easiest and quickest way to report the accident is to call 911. If the police do not investigate and issue a report, it is your responsibility to file a written report on the correct form within ten days of the collision.

2. Gather evidence at the accident scene

While you wait for the police to arrive, gather evidence of the cause of the accident. Take photographs and make videos of the accident scene and the vehicles. Ask witnesses for their names and contact information. Do not discuss the accident with the other driver or anyone else at the accident scene. Never claim responsibility for causing the crash. 

3. Seek medical assistance

As with any car accident, it is important to see a doctor to assess your injuries as soon after the car crash as possible. Documenting your injuries is as important as documenting the cause of the car crash. 

4. Notifying the car rental company

Most car rental agencies provide written instructions with the rental agreement for reporting car accidents involving the rental car. Beware of signing additional forms or providing statements to the car rental company before speaking with an accident attorney. The statements you make and the forms you sign could restrict or hurt your ability to recover compensation for injuries in a personal injury case.

5. Notify your car insurance provider

Your car insurance provider may have some liability for the car crash. Notify your insurance company that an accident occurred. Verify your insurance coverage for a rental vehicle, including your deductibles and medical payments coverage. 

6. Continue medical treatment and document damages

Continue your medical care, according to your physician’s treatment plan. Document your injuries with photographs and notes about your pain level and inability to perform tasks. Keep detailed records for expenses and losses related to the accident, including medical expenses, loss of income, and other out-of-pocket costs.

7. Contact a Car Accident Attorney in New Jersey

Contact an attorney to determine who is responsible for the cause of the rental car accident. A lawyer investigates the crash to determine fault and analyzes the rental car contract and insurance policies to determine who might be liable for your damages and injuries. Beware of providing statements or signing releases and other forms before talking to an attorney. You could unknowingly sign away your legal rights.

Contact Our New Jersey Car Accident Attorneys for More Information 

If you are injured in an accident involving a rental car, we can help. Contact our New Jersey car accident lawyers to request a free case review to discuss the steps to take to protect your legal rights and best interests. 

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.