San Antonio Rental Car Accidents

Getting into a car accident while you are driving a rental car is a much different experience than driving your own car. Your car insurance policy may not cover damage to a rental car. Find out how to handle the insurance process after this type of accident in San Antonio, as well as when to hire a San Antonio car accident attorney to help you protect your rights.

Are Rental Car Companies Liable for Accidents in Texas?

In Texas, liability (the legal term for financial responsibility for someone else’s injuries or losses) for a rental car accident will depend on who or what caused the crash. This is due to the fact that Texas is a fault-based car insurance state, in which at-fault parties can be held responsible for car accidents rather than drivers seeking coverage from their own insurers.

Whether or not a rental car company is liable for an accident depends on the circumstances. The company could be held responsible if it rented out a dangerous, defective or poorly maintained vehicle and if this caused an accident. More often, however, rental car companies offer insurance coverage options to renters to pay for car accident damages.

How Does Rental Car Insurance Work?

Rental car insurance is offered to every renter in Texas at the time that a rental agreement contract is signed. This insurance is not mandatory, but it can be extremely helpful to a victim in the event of an accident. Rental car insurance can provide coverage for rented vehicles even if the driver of the rental car is at fault.

There are various types of rental car insurance available, including:

  • Collision-damage or loss-damage waiver insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Supplemental liability protection
  • Personal accident insurance
  • Personal effects coverage

In addition to insurance offered by the rental car company, a renter’s credit card company may provide coverage. This could be primary or secondary coverage, depending on the credit card company’s policies. Finally, coverage may be available from the renter’s personal auto insurance policy.

What Happens if You Get Into an Accident in a Rental Car in San Antonio?

When a collision is reported to a rental car company, they will give instructions to the renter regarding the next steps to take. This may include contacting their own car insurance provider and having the vehicle towed to the nearest service station. The rental company may also arrange for a replacement vehicle.

If you contact your own car insurance company to report a rental car accident, they may inform you that you do not have the correct type of coverage. In this situation, you could rely on rental car insurance or coverage from your credit card company to help you pay for rental vehicle damage. If another driver is at fault for causing the crash, you will also have his or her car insurance to use under state law.

Steps to Take After a San Antonio Rental Car Accident

If you get injured in a car accident while driving a rental vehicle in San Antonio, there are certain steps you should take to protect your rights. Start by reporting the car accident and getting medical care for your injuries. If there are other drivers involved, gather their information. Take photographs before you leave the scene of the accident.

Gather information about the crash, including a detailed description of what happened and a copy of the police report. Report the car accident to the rental car company and your insurance provider. Then, follow the rental car company’s instructions on how to deal with the damaged rental car and process an insurance claim.

To get help with the claims process, consult with an injury lawyer in San Antonio as soon as possible. An attorney can represent you during your accident claim to protect your rights, including negotiating with an insurance company for you to recover maximum compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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