The first thing you should do if you are injured in a rental car accident in Houston is to get medical care. Some medical conditions, such as concussions, may not be noticeable at first. You may need a CAT scan or other diagnostic tests. Be sure to keep medical bills and other accident-related receipts.
After a doctor or other medical professional examines you, there are a few other things you need to do to protect yourself:
- Avoid speaking about your accident to anyone. (The insurer or other party can use anything you say against you.)
- Refuse to give the insurer a recorded statement. If the insurer requests one, call a lawyer.
- Continue with your medical care.
- Keep track of any documents or receipts related to the accident.
- Call a car accident lawyer in Houston. If you are driving a rental car, you are likely in Houston on business or pleasure. Speak to a car accident lawyer to find out how Texas laws can impact your situation.
You Could Recover Damages
Sometimes it is difficult to tell who caused a car accident. Texas allows you to seek financial recovery even if you played a minor role in the collision. However, most people do not have enough knowledge of liability and negligence statutes to fully protect their rights. We encourage you to call a car accident lawyer in Houston after a rental car accident.
You should also be aware that as the renter, you signed a legal contract with the car rental company. The company expects you to pay for any damage or loss to the vehicle, even if someone else is primarily responsible for the accident. However, our team will assess the situation and tell you if you qualify for financial recovery from the other driver.
Potential Sources of Financial Recovery in a Car Rental Accident
If you are injured in a car rental accident in Houston, there are several potential sources of financial recovery for damages such as medical bills and property damage. These sources are:
- Rental car insurance (collision damage waiver and liability coverage)
- Your personal insurance
- The other driver’s insurance
Below is a more detailed explanation of each type of coverage and if it could apply to your situation.
Rental Car Insurance or Collision Damage Waiver
If you chose to pay for this optional coverage, the rental car company will waive any repair or replacement costs in most situations. A collision damage waiver also covers the theft of the vehicle during your rental period. Of course, collision damage waivers typically exclude reckless driving or if the accident occurred with an unauthorized driver.
You should not opt out of this coverage unless you checked your personal auto insurance policy. Your coverage may not be enough to pay for bodily injury and property damage in a serious collision.
Rental Car Liability Coverage
Car rental companies also offer you the choice of liability coverage for a fee. Liability coverage pays for bodily injury and property damage of other people if you caused a car accident during the rental period.
Some renters refuse this liability coverage because they believe their personal insurance will be enough. Sometimes it is enough for a minor accident, but it may be inadequate for severe bodily injury or loss of life.
Personal Accident Insurance
Medical insurance or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage will pay for your injuries or those of your passengers. It might also cover ambulance and emergency room service. If you were injured in a car rental accident in Houston, your personal insurance may pay for related expenses. Please keep in mind that you may have a copay or deductible, as well as extra expenses your policy does not cover.
It is likely that your property insurance will cover the cost of repair or replacement of personal belongings that suffered damage in the accident.
Personal Car Accident Insurance
Many people who rent cars will waive the rental car company’s additional coverage because they believe their personal policy has adequate coverage. Most personal car insurance policies have coverage that provides similar protection to the coverage sold by the rental car company. This coverage usually includes comprehensive and collision coverage and personal injury protection.
You Could Be Entitled to Financial Recovery from the Other Driver’s Insurance
If the car accident is not your fault, you could qualify for financial recovery from the other driver. It is possible that you could recover for damages that include:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
The best way to find out if you qualify is to call a car accident lawyer in Houston. D. Miller & Associates, PLLC offers free case evaluations. If you were injured in a car rental accident in Houston, please call 713-850-8600 for a free case evaluation.
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