What to Do if You are in a Car Accident in a Rental Car?

By Greg Kohn

Getting in a car accident can be stressful enough when it is your personal vehicle, but this can be exacerbated if the vehicle is a rental. If you have never been in an accident, or have maybe only been in one or two in your life, you may think that they are rare enough that you wouldn’t have to worry about getting into one while driving a rental, but you might be surprised. 

New Jersey is a popular destination for pleasure and business, and more drivers mean a higher risk of collision, which could result in injuries serious enough to need a New Jersey personal injury attorney.

If you are in an accident while driving a car from a rental agency, the first thing you may wonder is what exactly you should do. While the process for handling and recovering from the accident will be largely the same as with an owned vehicle, there are a few differences you may want to know about.

Contact Emergency Services

This is the most important thing to do right after the accident occurs. While you are checking yourself and any passengers for serious injuries, begin calling emergency services to summon police and medical transport to document your injuries. The police will also create the accident report.

Exchange Information

Once emergency services are on their way begin to exchange information with any other drivers involved. You should exchange personal contact information, as well as insurer and policy info, and driver’s license information. This also includes license plates and registration information for all vehicles as well.

Limit Interactions and Niceties With Other Drivers

This one is simple. Limit your interaction with other drivers to the needed information swapping, and do not discuss the accident. Don’t apologize or say anything that may assume blame, since this can affect the strength of your claim later.

Document the Scene & Gather Evidence

Take pictures of everything, as well as take notes on your phone. Documentation and evidence you gather should include:

  • Year, make, and model of all vehicles involved
  • The precise location of the accident, including things like the direction of travel, the speed, and which lane the collision occurred in
  • Information about how the accident happened
  • Contact information and statements from any witnesses present

Reach Out to Your Rental Agency & Your Insurer

This is where the normal process will diverge a bit. You will need to contact both the car rental agency and your insurance company to advise them of the accident. In most cases, there will be a sticker inside the rental vehicle with an emergency accident report number. 

Get Medical Attention

Even if you don’t feel like you need it, get checked out. Have an urgent care facility or emergency room check you out and document any and all injuries. This will be essential to build any personal injury case and recover damages.

Being Injured in an Accident While Driving a Rental Car

If you have sustained injuries in an accident that happened while you were driving a rental car, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your losses. The first step to building a strong claim is to contact a local personal injury attorney for a confidential discussion. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

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.