Rental cars are an important means of transportation for work trips and vacations or in a situation when you cannot use your vehicle. However, rental cars are more likely to be involved in a crash than nonrental cars. Being in a motor vehicle accident is a stressful experience, but it can be even more so when a rental car is involved.
Complex legal questions arise. Whether you were the driver of the rental car or you were driving your own car and were injured by someone else driving a rental car, the situation and coverage dispute can be complicated. It can be tricky to untangle questions of insurance, liability, maintenance, and other factors when rental cars are concerned.
If you have suffered in a rental car accident, our Macon rental car accident lawyers can help. We will go above and beyond to help bear the burden while you get your life back on track.
Why Choose Us
What Can a Macon Rental Car Accident Lawyer Do For You?
Dealing with all the legal work and legal details associated with a car rental car accident claim can be stressful. The claims process often doesn’t go smoothly. It is a tedious, time-consuming one. If you try to handle it alone, you could get frustrated or miss something and accept a settlement that is less than you deserve just to “get it over with.” It’s important to have a skilled Macon rental car accident attorney to increase your odds of maximizing your settlement.
A rental car accident attorney can do the following:
- Conduct an investigation
- Determine who was liable for the crash
- Gather evidence
- File a claim
- Negotiate with the insurance company or companies involved
- Prepare court documents and handle opposing attorneys.
In short, a Macon rental car accident attorney will pursue the full compensation you need and seek justice for you.
Many victims underestimate the number of tasks involved in handling a rental car accident claim. The amount of stress involved is higher than expected because the insurance company rarely makes a fair settlement offer. Add the claim to the stress of managing your medical care, missing work, and paying for treatment, and it could turn out to be one of the most stressful events of your life. You should have someone by your side to take the case completely off your plate and help bear the burden you face.
The insurance company might even deny your claim. Without a trusted representative, you might not have anyone to turn to and guide you through how to handle a denial. Entrust your case to a rental car accident attorney in Macon, who will handle conversations with aggressive insurance agents for you.
Our Rental Car Accident Lawyer Knows the Legal System and the Law
You likely do not understand the legal system like a lawyer does. You also don’t want to hire just any lawyer. Do not make the mistake of overestimating your legal knowledge or that of another attorney. You deserve someone who focuses on this area of law and knows its intricacies.
There is legal procedure to worry about. There are substantive laws. You need to know how to file the correct pleadings and need to make sure they have the correct contents. You want someone who knows which laws apply to your specific circumstances and which do not. A rental car accident attorney with experience handling cases like yours can help ensure you are not taken advantage of.
If you have been hurt in an accident involving a rental car, or have lost someone you love in such an accident, it is important to contact a Georgia rental car wreck lawyer. The personal injury attorneys at the Mann Law Firm can help by reviewing your circumstances and discussing all available legal options. Call us at 478-707-0137 or fill out our online form.
In addition to cases handled in Macon, we are prepared to handle claims on behalf of clients in Dublin, Warner Robins, Milledgeville and other Georgia communities. We would like to meet with you to discuss your case, and we are proud to offer free initial consultations.
Reasons for Rental Car Accidents
Rental car accidents occur for the same reasons as any other accident. This includes driver error or recklessness, road conditions, and sometimes manufacturing defects. However, certain factors contribute to a higher collision rate for rental cars. These are:
- The driver is unfamiliar with the rental vehicle and its features and technology.
- The driver treats the vehicle less carefully because it’s not theirs.
- Many rental cars are used on vacation, meaning . . .
- The territory is unfamiliar.
- Drivers are unaware of traffic customs, rules, and laws.
- The driver may be using drugs or alcohol.
- The driver is more relaxed than normal.
- The driver may be fatigued from travel or jet lag.
- The driver engaged in distracted driving, like checking GPS
- The renter drives carelessly because of trying to “test” features of the vehicle.
- The rental agency failed to maintain and inspect the car on a regular basis.
- The rental agency failed to verify the renter’s driving history.
- The rental agency allowed a person who was visibly impaired, drunk, or falling asleep to rent a car.
Regardless of the reason for your rental car accident, you must contact a skilled Macon rental car accident attorney to represent you.
The Mann Law Firm can help investigate the exact reasons for your rental car accident and get you the compensation you deserve. Call today: (478) 742-3381.
Let a Rental Car Accident Attorney Battle the Insurance Company for You
Car rental agencies work by securing fleet vehicles that they loan out for a fee. Rental contracts are complex and include a number of conditions which can vary between companies. Common rules are that the car . . .
- Must be returned in the same condition
- Can be driven only a certain number of miles
- Can be operated only by the authorized driver who signed the rental agreement
- Can be rented only to licensed drivers of a minimum age.
Breaking any of these conditions can result in a host of problems, ranging from extra fees to voiding the contract. For example, if you fail to return your rental car in the same condition in which you received it, you could face a huge bill for fixing the damage. Therefore, an insurance agency will do its best to say you didn’t follow their rules. Our Macon rental car accident attorney has the experience needed to ensure your contract is honored.
Our Macon Rental Car Accident Lawyers Understand Insurance
Depending on the circumstances, a rental car accident may involve the renter’s insurer, the insurer of any other drivers involved, the rental car agency, and the credit card company.
Georgia requires a minimum amount of liability insurance on car insurance policies, so all insured drivers are already covered to some degree when it comes to bodily injury liability and property damage liability. Therefore, in any car accident case, the way to recover compensation is to go through the responsible person’s insurance.
However, extra coverage can be purchased, especially for rentals. The rental car company likely offers add-on options at the time the vehicle is rented. Various forms of supplemental insurance and damage waivers are offered to renters, such as:
- Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) — covers the cost of damage from a moving accident. As the name suggests, non-collision based damage is often not covered. Often, if the accident results from the customer’s reckless or careless behavior, the accident won’t be covered.
- Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) — covers the cost of damage to the rental car in the event of an accident.
- Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) — covers medical costs and accidental death for the renter and passengers.
- Personal Effects Coverage (PEC) — ensures against risk of loss or damage to the renter’s personal belongings.
- Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI) — provides coverage where an accident causes bodily injury or property damage to someone other than the renter and passengers.
Renters may decline these options because they believe their own car insurance policies are sufficient. Coverage varies widely, though the general rule is that a rental is considered a replacement vehicle, so the coverage extends to it from the main vehicle. In cases of accidents, consulting a knowledgeable vehicle accident lawyer is crucial to navigate the legal aspects.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, if you do not buy CDW coverage or are not covered by your personal auto insurance policy, you accept responsibility for any damages and could be liable for the full value of the car.
If you purchase CDW, your coverage still could be revoked if you damage the rental car while:
- driving in a negligent manner
- driving on unpaved roads
- driving out of state
- driving while intoxicated
- an unauthorized driver operates the car.
Collision coverage not under a driver’s car insurance is likely offered by the credit card used to pay for the rental. Major credit card companies may offer more loss and damage insurance than a standard auto policy, or at least supplemental insurance.
It is important to review the specific policies and limitations. For example, a driver’s car insurance may have limitations on how long it applies to a rental. Even if you purchased coverage through the rental car company, certain actions might void the coverage.
Allowing an unauthorized driver to operate the car in breach of a rental agreement’s terms is sufficient to terminate the contract, void all liability protection, and make the renter liable for all penalties, liens, fines, and legal fees. Implied consent, such as leaving the keys in an accessible place, may be enough to hold the renter responsible for any damage done by an unauthorized driver.
Because multiple insurance companies could be involved, including your own, that of the rental car company, and even your own credit card company, it is important to work with an attorney familiar with rental car accident claims. Our Macon car rental accident attorney is focused on recovering a fair settlement and will not quit until you get the compensation you deserve.
Defects in Rental Cars
Sometimes, a rental car company may be liable for a rental car accident. Relying on an experienced rental car accident lawyer is essential for you to seek damages from the right party.
Rental car companies may bear legal responsibility for an accident where they failed to properly maintain a vehicle or knew about some dangerous defect associated with a vehicle and one of those factors played a role in the accident. A federal law was recently passed that now requires rental car agencies to fix any and all open safety defects before renting out vehicles to customers. Federal law now prohibits any company or dealer with fleets of greater than 35 vehicles from renting unrepaired recalled vehicles, and it extends the recall authority of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to cover rental car companies. The NHTSA now has the power to investigate and punish violators.
Frequently Asked Questions
After a rental car accident, you might have a lot of questions. Here are a few that we’ve heard.
Do I need a car accident lawyer if it was a minor accident?
Yes. It is best to consult with a rental car attorney in Macon after any crash, no matter how minor. Anytime something happens where someone is to blame, you need to seek trusted legal advice. You never know if the other party may blame you. You might have obligations under the law or your insurance policy that you weren’t aware of. An attorney can manage communications with the other party and the insurance company, and ensure you are protected.
Is the rental car company at fault?
If the rental car company contributed to the rental car accident, they might be liable for the injuries sustained. There are a few ways this could happen, including failing to verify that the renter has a valid license or failing to maintain the vehicle. It is important to talk to a lawyer about your situation to see if and how the company could be at fault.
How long will it take to get a settlement?
It depends. Many claims can settle within a few weeks, and most within a few months. However, it is important to know that the length of the process varies. One thing that can determine whether it will take longer is the extent of your injuries and the complexity of your case. You shouldn’t rely on an attorney who tells you an exact time frame for collecting compensation. A good attorney, like our Macon rental car accident lawyer, understands that the duration of your case will depend greatly on the facts.
How much can I get for my rental car accident?
The value of a rental car accident is not something that you can calculate with an app. It is determined by an insurance adjuster, or by a judge or jury if your case goes to trial. The major indicator of a case’s worth is the extent of injuries. The more serious the damage and injuries, and the more profoundly they impact your life, the higher the compensation that can be sought. Don’t trust an attorney who gives you an exact dollar estimate of your case. A qualified and respected attorney seeks a fair settlement based on the strengths and weaknesses of the case at hand.
If you have any additional questions, call our attorneys at (478) 742-3381.
Our Car Rental Accident Attorney Advocates for You
The car rental industry is a big business. Estimates for last year put the U.S. car rental market’s annual revenue at more than $27 billion, with 2.181 million cars being rented at 21,067 rental locations. If you have been involved in an accident in a rental car, don’t go up against the big companies without a Georgia rental car accident lawyer by your side. Allow our rental car accident lawyer to take charge of your case so you can focus on your recovery.
At Mann Injury Law, we have been helping members of the local community with their injury claims for over 50 years. Some of our guiding principles are to ensure that when you’ve been hurt you receive the compensation you are owed and fair representation under the law. We also seek to inform our clients about the law. One of the many questions we ......