Anyone who has ever been in a car accident knows how stressful it can be. You or your loved ones may be hurt, the other vehicle's driver and passengers may also be hurt, and there is likely property damage. Being involved in a Nevada car accident is complicated enough if you are in your own car, but it can be even more frustrating if you are in a rental car. In short, just because you are in a rental vehicle does not make you immune from being involved in a Nevada car accident. This is because even the best drivers can experience a crash on the road. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident with a rental vehicle, below are some steps you can take to help protect your rights.
Things to do at the Accident Scene
Immediately after any Las Vegas car accident occurs, whether a rental vehicle is involved or not, the best thing to do is to make sure that everyone involved is ok. You cannot leave the accident scene. In fact, it is against the law to do so and serious penalties can result. If anyone is injured, contact emergency services right away by calling 911. If you are unable to do so, it is likely a witness or another party to the accident will contact first responders immediately. In addition to first responders, local law enforcement should also be contacted and notified of the crash. Before leaving the scene of the accident, make sure to file a police report and obtain the report number. Make sure to exchange insurance information with the other driver. Take photos of the accident scene, as well as your vehicle, and any visible injuries you may have. Try to get the names and contact numbers of any witnesses to the accident. If you are unable to do this yourself, make sure to ask someone else that you trust to do so.
Filing a Claim
In addition to the above, the rental company from which you rented the car must be contacted right away if you are involved in a Nevada crash with a rental car. It is possible that you may need a replacement rental vehicle and the rental company may need to schedule repairs for the original rental car. You will also need to confirm whether your own car insurance or the rental company’s car insurance will cover the damage that resulted from the accident. This will depend on the policy involved. The credit card you used to rent the vehicle may also provide rental car insurance coverage.
Who is Responsible to Pay?
It is important to understand that when you sign a rental vehicle contract in Nevada, the documents involved detail when you are responsible for any damages that happen to the car you rented. While you may not have been at fault for the car accident involving the rental vehicle, this does not automatically mean that you are not financially responsible for damages that result from the crash. Many vehicle rental contracts hold the renter responsible for any damages that happen to the rented car. Some scenarios that may result in your liability include theft, accidents, vandalism, a medical emergency, and even a hail storm.
For the above reasons, it is vital that you contact a skilled Las Vegas personal injury attorney right away if you are involved in a rental vehicle accident in Nevada. The experienced attorneys at Parry & Pfau can help you through this difficult time and make sure you are protected under the terms of the rental contract.
(image courtesy of Andras Vas)