What to Do if You have an Accident in a Rental Car

Getting involved in a car accident whilst using a hired car is a dreaded situation that no one wants to find themselves in. However, accidents do happen. Herein we will look at what you should do, should you find yourself in such a situation.

There are 4 things that you should do immediately after the accident. These are:

  1. Ensure Everyone Is Safe

In the immediate aftermath, it is critical that you get everyone, including yourself to safety as quickly as possible. That being said, you should note that the NHS.uk cautions against moving anyone if they have broken leg, they are experiencing a lot of pain, they have broken back, or if they think they are seriously injured.

  1. Call the Emergency Services

It is important to have the emergency number for the country you are visiting or traveling through. Do note that some countries have different emergency numbers for different emergency services. Use resources such as Wikipedia to get this information.

If your road trip is in any of the European Union nations, contact emergency services is a bit easier. You just call 112 for free from your landline or mobile phone and they will divert you to the local ambulance, police, and fire service.

  1. Record What Happened and Exchange Details

After ensuring everyone is safe and you have emergency services on their way, you should exchange details (your names and contact details) will all the affect parties. As such, you should exchange details about whether the affected person is there or not.

For instance, if you crashed into the property, you should exchange details with the property owner. If you hit a parked vehicle, you should leave a note with your details in the windscreen wiper. If the accidents involved other vehicles, ensure everyone involved in the exchanges’ details, including car registration number, and the telephone numbers and addresses.

If it is possible, you should take photos of the accident scene and the damage to the various properties involved. While at it, make a note of the following:

  • The make, model, and color any cars involved.
  • The time and date of the accident.
  • The weather conditions, street lighting, and the condition of the road.
  • The damage to any property and vehicles.
  • Any injuries the passengers, the drivers, and the pedestrians sustain.
  • It may be necessary to seek legal advice following an accident, visit www.accidenttampa.com to ensure you are getting the best advice.
  1. Contact the Rental Company

You should also contact the rental company. Their number should be easy to find; for instance, the rental agreement will have the contact number. Explain the situation to arrange the recovery and repair of their care and a replacement of the rental car should you need one. They should also deal with the insurance company and any other party involved in the incident.

Typically, rental companies will not refund the money you paid them unless you had agreed beforehand. As such, chances are you will not get your back, especially if you pay someone directly.

Rental car Insurance: How It Works

Hire cars typically come with a basic insurance package consisting of Theft Protection, Collision Damage Waiver, and Third-Party Liability cover. (A waiver is not an insurance cover. It is just the rental company agreeing – waiving their rights, and therefore, not to make you pay for the damage.)

Collision Damage Waiver

If the damage arising from the accident includes bodywork damage, the Collision Damage Waiver covers the associated cost. However, the waiver does not cover damage to other types of damages. Therefore, you will have to contribute a share of the cost in what is called excess. It is usually £600/€600 and £3,000/€3,500. Typically, they will just deduct this money from the deposit you made while renting the car.

Theft Protection

Should the care get stolen, this cover will cater for the cost of a new car. However, you will have to pay some money towards the overall cost.

Third-Party Liability

Third-Party Liability covers damage to other people’s property. For instance, if you knock down someone’s fence, this cover will cater for the damages.

There are numerous other insurance and covers you can buy too. Ask the rental company for the list of covers and purchase before picking up the car.

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