T-Bone Accident

Why You Might Be Responsible for The Damages If You Weren’t at Fault

Driving around is the primary mode of transportation in the greater Los Angeles area. Outside of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, most residents and visitors might take their vehicle or a rental car for a drive.

If you typically opt for public transportation, you won't have to worry about the risks associated with car rentals. Before getting one, a Los Angeles personal injury attorney would recommend you learn more about CA laws regarding them.

Car Accident Liability in California 

Many renters often vacation to Los Angeles or travel for work. According to Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), rental companies around LAX airport received over $200,200,000 in revenue this year. This fact alone is why it is essential to know how getting into an accident will impact you.

With millions of vehicles on the road, accidents are likely to happen on busy highways and intersections. When it does, you might be responsible for the rental's damages even if it isn't your fault. It all comes down to insurance and whether you have the right coverage when the accident takes place.

What To Know About Insurance Coverage for Rentals?

After reporting a collision and seeking medical treatment, the best thing to do is reach out to a knowledgeable car accident lawyer in Los Angeles. Insurance coverages can make determining liability complex and challenging.

Before the car gets leased to you, the contract you sign usually includes language stating you would return the rental vehicle in the same condition. Even if you are not responsible for the damage, your car insurance, rental insurance, or credit will be used to pay for the costly expense.

Accident Liability – Negligent Drivers in Rental Cars

Suppose a driver side-swiped your car. The injuries you've sustained are minor, but now you must seek medical care and pay for the dents, broken taillight, or paint damage. Usually, the negligent driver's insurance kicks in when you get hurt, but there are different forms of coverage when they're operating a rental, including:

  • At-fault driver's personal insurance often provides comprehensive collision coverage.
  • At-fault driver's secondary insurance (from the rental car business) includes car damages.
  • At-fault driver's credit card might also provide renters insurance, which might extend to the victim's injuries and damages.

If you accidentally caused an accident or were injured because of another driver's negligence, liability coverage will be risky to ascertain on your own. An attorney for motor vehicle accidents in LA can narrow down the best source of reimbursement.

Note: Rental companies can also be liable for damages or injuries if they knowingly rented a defective vehicle to you or leased it to an unauthorized driver.

Types of Rental Car Insurance

This year rental car prices have shot up to cost more than $1,000 because of the pandemic. We understand your hesitance to add on rental insurance – but any lawyer for car accident injuries in LA would highly recommend you do to avoid any future losses down the road.

Most rental companies offer four types of supplemental protection:

Collision Damage Waivers protect drivers against collision damage that would require vehicle replacement or extensive repair. Keep in mind that negligent or unauthorized drivers would not get protected through this waiver.

It is not insurance. If your car insurance has great coverage for car accidents, chances are they might pay for damages directly. If so, you might only have to pay a small fee when you report the accident.

Coverage for Liabilities protects renters from property damage and medical expenses caused by other drivers in an accident. It works with your insurance. Those with "state minimum liability" insurance coverage might not have complete protection when involved in a car accident.

Personal Accident Insurance will cover any injuries rental car drivers and passengers suffered in an accident. It might also compensate for ambulance costs or wrongful death. This type of insurance can overlap with your own, usually with additional charges.

Coverage for Personal Effects will pay for lost or damaged property held in your rental car. Like homeowner's insurance, this can be helpful, but it is not always necessary.

If you were involved in a minor fender-bender or severe collision, a car crash lawyer from Gutierrez Law is the best resource to help you file a compensation claim. We can keep you protected from unlawful rental expenses as well.

About Gutierrez Law

Our law firm specializes in helping those injured due to an accident or someone else's negligence. Navigating the insurance agencies and legal framework for compensation can be difficult, especially if English is not your first language. That's why you should call the bilingual lawyers of The Law Offices of Oscar H Gutierrez to make sure you get compensated for your pain and suffering.

Don't leave your medical bills and property damage to chance; instead, hire a law firm that can win you the maximum settlement. Contact our office for a free consultation at 323-999-3500 or email us at contact@gutierrez.legal.