How to File a Claim after an Accident in a Rental Car

Categorized: Auto Accidents

How to File a Claim after an Accident in a Rental Car

If you are in an accident while driving a rental car, you will need to file an auto accident claim. However, this is often more complicated than your typical insurance claims process. The vast majority of people use their own auto insurance coverage when they rent a car, but the type of coverage you have can greatly impact how much compensation you can recover. Other factors include whether you accepted the waivers from the rental company and if the credit card you used to pay for the rental offers extra protections.

How does my recovery differ based on the type of insurance I carry?

Pennsylvania law allows motorists to choose between full or limited tort insurance. Drivers injured in an accident while driving a rental car will retain the same rights with regard to full or limited tort policy if they keep their own insurance when renting the car.

While both include medical benefits and liability coverage, each type comes with distinct rules governing your ability to take further legal action.

Full tort means that you can file a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy with no limitations. If you carry full tort car insurance and are in a rental car accident caused by another driver, you can recover compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • Other related costs

If you carry limited tort insurance, you can file a liability claim against the other driver, but you cannot recover compensation for pain and suffering unless your injuries are severe and meet certain criteria. These criteria include:

  • Broken bones
  • Disfigurement
  • Severe scarring
  • Permanent disability

Filing an insurance claim after a rental car accident is rarely a simple process, whether you have a limited tort or a full tort policy. Having an attorney guide you through the complicated Pennsylvania insurance laws can make a big difference in the outcome of your claim, especially when your crash occurred in a rental car.

What if I purchased insurance from the rental company?

Rental car companies offer several types of coverage. This includes:

  • Loss-damage waiver (LDW): Sometimes known as a collision damage waiver (CDW), this waiver is not insurance but rather a waiver that prevents the rental car company filing a claim against you to recover compensation for damages after a collision or theft.
     
  • Supplemental liability protection: This liability insurance policy pays for any damage sustained by others involved in an accident you cause.
     
  • Personal accident insurance: This policy acts like healthcare coverage, paying medical bills associated with any injuries you or your passengers sustain in a crash.

You do not need to buy rental car insurance if you already have a policy. However, if you did purchase rental car insurance from the rental company, make sure your attorney examines its terms and coverage and how it may apply if you file with your own auto insurance company.

Does my credit card offer insurance coverage for a rental car crash?

Many credit cards also offer coverage for cardholders who use the card to rent a vehicle. For this reason, it is important to check if the card you used provides any coverage for an accident. Be sure to check what coverage your card provides and how that can apply to your claim as well.

In most cases, credit cards do not offer personal injury or personal liability coverage. They instead focus on property damage and coverage for theft. Most cards offer only secondary coverage, filling in the gaps after you file with your insurance or with the at-fault driver’s insurance.

How can Cordisco & Saile LLC help me after a rental car accident?

If you suffered injuries in an accident in a rental car, Cordisco & Saile LLC can help you file your claim and get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 215-642-2335 to set up a free consultation with one of our attorneys. 

 

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