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Legally Reviewed by:

Jonathan Rosenfeld
J.D

March 2, 2023

Over $400 Million worth of case results

Awarded The Best Lawyer in 2024 by U.S. News

Nationally Recognized in Legal Community

Over 6.75 million car accidents happen in the US annually, a significant percentage of which occur with rental vehicles. Being a victim of any accident can be traumatic, even with minor damages and injuries.

The experience is even more nerve-racking if you’re a victim of a rental car crash.

People in an accident involving rental vehicles may wonder how to collect the compensation they deserve.

Whose insurance policy should be used to cover personal injury when driving a rental car?

While every state in the US requires every driver to have minimum liability coverage, claiming compensation from an insurance company for rental auto accidents can be difficult.

The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC represent people injured in rental car crashes.

Complete the contact form or call (888) 424-5757 to receive a free case evaluation with a Chicago accident injury lawyer.

There is never a fee charged unless there is a recovery for you.

Chicago Rental Car Accident Lawyer

When to Sue a Rental Car Company

At the least, a person hit by a rental car driver can act against the other motorist directly involved in the incident.

However, victims of rented vehicle accidents cannot simply sue a rental agency.

According to the Graves Amendment, a rental agency is not liable for an accident caused by negligent car rental drivers despite the company’s automobile ownership.

The Graves Amendment does not protect rental agencies from lawsuits resulting from their negligence.

For example, a victim of a rental automobile can sue a rental car agency for accidents resulting from the agency’s failure to maintain the vehicle’s brakes.

In addition, these agencies are usually bound by rules that apply across the US. For example, agencies should not allow anyone under 21 to use their vehicles.

When Young Drivers Are Involved

Younger drivers pose higher risks to pedestrians and motorists, especially those under 21 who lack the necessary driving skills and may not have the financial capacity to cover insurance claims.

The mandate also precludes rental agencies from renting their cars to individuals who do not have a valid driver’s license and insurance.

If a rental agency allows a minor to rent a car, the company can be held responsible for the untoward incident.

Therefore, rental auto accident victims can sue the rental agency if the latter fails to comply with the rules and laws governing rental car agencies.

How to Prove Liability of Rental Car Companies in Accidents Claims

A rental agency can be held responsible for damages and injuries caused due to their negligence.

They are liable in an accident when the following factors are present:

  • There was a breach of duty when negligence on the part of the rental agency caused the accident.
  • The accident harmed the claimant, which would not have happened had the rental agency diligently performed its duty of care.

An example of these two conditions is when a rental company releases a car to a 17-year-old driver.

The rental company has the duty of care to release cars only to drivers who are not at risk.

The company breached this duty of care by releasing the automobile to the minor.

If the rental car driver has an accident, the victim can file a car accident injury case against the self-drive agency.

That being said, proving negligence on the part of the rental car company can be rather challenging. If you’re a victim of a rental car accident, call us today for a free consultation.

What to Do When Hit by Someone Driving a Rental Car

Rental car accidents can happen even to the most cautious person.

If you’re in an auto accident in a rented vehicle, you should act the same way as in any crash.

Here are the things to do immediately in a rental car crash:

Exchange contact and insurance details with the other motorist and anybody else caught up in the collision. Use a camera to take a photo of the rental documents to know the whereabouts of the auto rental business.

This information is essential should the aggrieved party file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver or the car rental agency.

Some of the information to take down includes:

  • Full name of the other motorist
  • Driver’s license number
  • Car hire company name
  • Contact information of the motorists insurer

Call the police after the accident, and a trained professional has to investigate the incident.

The police will gather evidence at the scene and interview the victim, the other motorist, and witnesses before preparing a police report.

The police report typically includes the following:

  • Details of the incident and the people, vehicles, and properties caught up in the event
  • Accounts of the events based on interviews with motorists, passengers, and witnesses
  • Drawn illustration of the accident to describe to location and point of collision
  • Officer’s findings of violations of traffic rules
  • The report may also include the officer’s conclusions about how the accident might have occurred. Interested parties can obtain a copy of the police report by requesting a copy from the local law enforcement agency that drafted it. Review the agreement between the renter and the rental car company. Many believe determining liability in many incidents works much the same as in other automobile accidents.

However, automobile accidents involving rental cars can be complicated.

For this reason, it is essential to understand the agreement between the company and its renter.

Call a personal injury lawyer. No one wants unfair treatment, especially not after being through an accident.

Some of the information in the agreement between the renter and the self-drive company can be confusing.

A personal injury lawyer can provide a free evaluation of a case so a victim of automobile crashes will better understand their legal rights and claims.

Who Is Liable in a Rental Car Company Accident?

A personal injury lawsuit’s success against a negligent party depends mainly on presenting strong evidence.

The aggrieved party can compile relevant information, statements from witnesses, and photographs of the scene to have sufficient evidence to support the insurance claim.

Filing a claim against the parties involved in an accident can be daunting.

Victims deal with the motorist and the self-drive company, who can also be held responsible in some circumstances.

When the Driver of a Vehicle-for-Hire Is at Fault

The successful outcome of car accident claims mainly depends on proving that the other motorist is to blame.

“Fault,” in situations where the act of one person causes harm to another, is an essential concept in personal injury law.

Establishing fault allows an injured person to recover compensation for their injuries when another party is responsible for the undesirable incident.

In an automobile accident, the liable party usually is financially accountable for all damages caused to others.

The aggrieved parties, however, will have to prove that:

  • They were reasonably careful
  • The other person was not careful
  • The aggrieved party suffered losses such as physical injuries, vehicle damage, and lost income
Chicago Rental Car Accident Lawyer

Supplemental Insurance for Rental Cars

Since the likelihood of an accident with a car rental is high, all companies offer supplemental protection and may also provide additional insurance-like coverage.

Illinois does not require consumers to purchase supplemental policies, but it is often beneficial, especially for rental car drivers.

However, consumers should check their family’s auto insurance policy, which might extend to rental cars.

The most common motorist supplemental coverages are:

  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
  • Supplemental Liability Protection (SLP)
  • Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)

Rental car company agreements are often more complicated than they seem.

There can be many parties involved when a rental accident occurs, including:

  • The vehicle renter and the driver’s insurance company
  • Car rental agency, as the owner of the vehicle, and its insurance company
  • Supplemental insurance coverage if the renter opted for additional liability coverage
  • The credit card issuer, and its insurers, if the client opted for credit card coverage
Chicago Rental Car Accident

The Unique Issues Our Chicago Rental Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You With

A rented automobile accident claim can be more complicated than other types of accident claim due to the processing, claiming, and negotiating of liability insurance.

Such processes often involve multiple lawyers and insurers, making it difficult for the renter to protect their rights and interests.

Therefore, the renter must hire legal representation as soon as possible after the accident.

An experienced Chicago car accident lawyer can access multiple sources and layers of insurance available to mitigate each party’s financial obligation.

Why an Accident Lawyer Is Necessary

Our lawyers can also be beneficial in situations where the rental company itself is responsible, in whole or in part.

The Chicago car accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC have experience representing clients injured with the following auto rental companies:

  • Hertz
  • Avis
  • Enterprise
  • National
  • Thrifty
  • Budget
  • Alamo

Some car and truck accidents involving car rental companies include collisions with uninsured motorists whose negligence caused severe injuries and death.

These injury victims often face years of mounting medical bills from follow-up treatment after the tragedy of another’s recklessness.

Chicago Rental Car Accident

What to Do in a Vehicle Rental Crash

If you experience an accident with a car rental, you should:

  • Contact the police immediately
  • Get medical attention
  • Contact the rental agency and comply with any reasonable instructions
  • Contact your own insurance company or credit card company
  • Return to the car rental office

Do not leave the car rental office until you receive the following:

  • A copy of the rental agreement
  • A copy of the rental car accident report, along with injury claim documents and repair estimates
  • Photos of property damage to all vehicles involved

Afterward, seek a personal injury lawyer’s advice with experience handling rental car property damage, injury cases, and rental car insurance to take legal action.

Negotiating with an insurance carrier can be challenging, particularly in this scenario, due to the multiple insurance companies that are potentially involved.

An attorney experienced with rental car crashes, rental insurance claims, and personal injury laws can determine whether you are or are not at fault.

It is generally in your best interest to involve your lawyer as early as possible so that the attorney can immediately protect your rights and interests.

Rental Vehicle Accident FAQs

Our personal injury attorneys understand that many families have unanswered questions in dealing directly with a car insurance provider offering compensation in a rental car accident.

An attorney from our law firm has answered some of those questions below.

Call (888) 424-5757, use the contact form for additional information, or schedule a free consultation to discuss your motor vehicle crash.

Will My Insurance Company Cover an Accident in a Rental Car?

In the United States, the primary car insurance coverage on your personal or family vehicle typically extends to cars for rent.

However, it is best to check with your insurance company to determine the liability coverage of your insurance policy.

If your car crash coverage extends to rental vehicles, in that case, the liability insurance likely pays up to the maximum coverage for any personal injuries and medical bills of rental car drivers and passengers and damages you cause to property and other vehicles.

What Happens If You Wreck an Enterprise Rent a Car?

Anyone in an auto accident with a car rental company should follow the same procedures as in an accident.

Call the car rental company where you rented the vehicle and give them a detailed description of what happened during the accident.

Typically, the car rental company will take you through their specific process of handling a claim to solve your rental car accident case that will not involve your insurance.

Will Other Driver’s Insurance Pay for My Rental Car Accident?

If another’s negligence caused your auto accident, they are legally responsible for the cost of repairs, injuries, and damages.

The driver at fault will typically pay all costs associated with your damage, including medical expenses and lost wages, through their insurance policy unless uninsured.

The other motorist’s rental car insurance coverage will pay for while your vehicle is under repair or replacement. However, not all insurance carriers provide rental car coverage or replacement and repair costs.

Does Full Coverage Cover a Rental Motor Vehicle?

Most insurance policies contain liability and comprehensive coverage that pays for damages to a rental vehicle if your vehicle was damaged anywhere in the United States.

Typically, the policy will provide coverage to pay you for renting a car of the same classification as your car or truck damaged in the collision.

What Happens If You Hit a Deer in a Rental Truck or Car?

If you hit a deer that resulted in an auto crash with damages, your family’s insurance policy likely covers all losses paid out by a comprehensive package.

The extent of the coverage often includes the price of a car rental while your vehicle is under repair.

Hire a Rental Car Accident Lawyer to Collect Compensation

If you have been involved in an accident with a rental truck or car in Chicago or Illinois, speak with a car accident attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC.

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers can perform a comprehensive case review and provide legal options for proceeding.

While our law firm is headquartered in downtown Chicago, IL (Cook County), our trial lawyers serve clients nationwide.

Contact our auto accident lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through this contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

- Giulia

This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

- Daniel Kaim

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

- Lisa
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