What Happens with Rental Car Accidents? Everything You Need to Know
As a society, we’re very dependent upon personal vehicles to get to and from our destinations. So when your car is in the repair shop or you’re traveling out of state for business or pleasure, it’s no surprise that so many people rent cars. Even though rental car companies carefully select models with safety features in mind, there are no super powers that can protect you from getting in an accident. If an accident strikes, what happens with the rental car afterwards? Here’s everything you need to know about rental car accidents in Florida.
To Insure, or Not Insure?
Upon renting a vehicle, you’ll be offered a mix of upsells and insurance offers. From GPS units and car seats to glass protection and additional insurance, it isn’t always so black and white on what to accept. Start by checking with your own insurance provider to see if you have coverage that extends to a rental vehicle. It’s common for most policies and would mean that you can comfortably decline any additional coverage they may offer you at the time of renting.
The Graves Amendment
The Graves Amendment is a federal law that protects leasing companies and rental car owners after one of the fleet’s vehicles have been involved in a crash. For Florida residents, this one could be extra tricky! Florida has a state law that places responsibility on the owner of the vehicle itself should something happen while an unauthorized person be driving their vehicle. Because these laws contrast, it’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side for all types of cases involving rental vehicle accidents. Even though Florida has its own laws, there have been previous state rulings that have aligned with the Graves Amendment.
First Steps after an Accident
Accidents happen, regardless of who may be at fault. Should you be in a car accident in your rental vehicle, stay calm. The highest priority is the physical health of all parties involved. Don’t hesitate to accept emergency responder’s offers to be evaluated. Stress has a crazy way of occasionally overpowering how you can feel physically, meaning injuries may not always be immediately noticed. Speak neutrally with the other party and exchange information at the scene of the accident. Make your next call to a skilled attorney to ensure your case is processed fairly.
An informed consumer is a safe consumer, and this statement certainly applies to rental cars. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of their offerings, but do your research ahead of time to know where you stand with insurance. With the logistics out of the way, you’ll be able to enjoy the flexibility that a rental car offers.