When you rent a car, an agency will offer what seems like a never-ending list of insurance policies. Many people shrug it off with the assumption that they won’t need additional insurance. However, rental car accidents happen, and being improperly insured can leave you responsible for the damages.

After an accident of any kind, financial responsibility depends on the state you live in. No-fault and fault states have different laws regarding responsibility after an accident. Because of that, rental car accidents can be confusing for all parties involved. In some cases, the rental car agency itself might be to blame for a collision. Understanding what you are and aren’t responsible for after a rental car accident is important for all drivers to know.

The rental car accident attorneys at Legal Care New Jersey can fight to get you the compensation you deserve after a collision. Our team is dedicated to representing victims, no matter the kind of accident. For a free consultation, call the New Jersey car accident attorneys at Legal Care New Jersey at (732) 838-9769.

Can I Be Responsible for a Car Accident in a Rental Car?

Whether or not you’re responsible for a rental car accident depends on the circumstances of the accident and what insurance coverage you have. Responsibility can also vary, depending on what state you live in. Different states have different laws regarding how financial responsibility is decided in a car accident case, impacting whether or not you’ll have to pay anything.

No-Fault States

If you live in a no-fault state and are injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you’re still largely responsible for your own medical bills and property damage. How can that be? No-fault states do not assign blame for an accident. After a collision, all parties involved must file a claim with their insurance provider, regardless of fault. The idea is, if people’s insurance can cover their expenses after an accident, there will be less of a need for lawsuits.

Unfortunately for victims of a rental car accident, that might leave you responsible for covering the damage to the vehicle you’ve rented. Whether or not you’re responsible for these expenses in a no-fault state depends on the insurance coverage you’ve purchased. Before you rent a car, an agency will encourage you to purchase various insurance plans to protect you in an accident. If you live in a no-fault state, your personal injury protection insurance (PIP) might be able to partially cover the costs of an accident. Because of this, drivers may believe there’s no need to purchase additional rental car insurance. However, not every PIP plan is identical. It could be that your coverage is lacking in one area and that purchasing additional temporary insurance while renting a car is much safer.

Fault States

Fault states are different, however. In these states, which are of the majority, the driver responsible for the crash – or their insurance carrier – becomes financially liable for damages. However, purchasing insurance specifically for your rental car is still wise, especially if you’re responsible for a collision. After an accident, victims can file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. If you did not cause a car accident in a rental car in a fault state, you most likely wouldn’t be held financially responsible.

That being said, insurance companies often attempt to avoid paying for such costs, especially if damages to the rental car or victim are severe. In that case, it’s important to enlist the help of an experienced lawyer, like the New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Legal Care. A skillful lawyer can stand up to aggressive insurance companies so that you get the compensation you deserve after a rental car accident.

It might seem that if you didn’t directly cause an accident, you should be in the clear. However, no-fault states especially require drivers to have adequate insurance to cover their own expenses after an accident. Even in fault states, carrying proper insurance for a rental car is important. If you’re only renting a car for a few days, you may ignore the need for insurance. What could happen over a weekend? Car accidents can happen at any time, so it’s important to have adequate coverage. Purchasing the right insurance is essential, especially when renting a car.

Can a Car Rental Agency Be Responsible for a Car Accident in a Rental Car?

There are some cases when a rental agency might be responsible for an accident. Negligence on behalf of a rental agency can contribute to a collision in more ways than one. A lawsuit might be necessary, especially if an accident has caused you severe injuries. To prove that a car rental company is negligent, you’ll need an experienced attorney by your side.

Rental car agencies are responsible for maintaining their vehicles. Poorly maintained cars can malfunction and result in an accident, causing harm to renters and other drivers on the road. Failure to inspect and repair faulty vehicles is negligent on behalf of a rental car agency. If you were recently injured in a rental car accident, it could be that the agency you used did not properly maintain its vehicles. That’s considered a breach of duty of care and can warrant litigation.

In states with comparative and contributory negligence laws, like New Jersey, rental car agencies can be partially to blame for an accident. These agencies have a responsibility to renters. Breach of that duty can result in an accident, causing severe injury that could have been avoided had the rental car agency acted responsibly. While this can happen, it can be difficult to prove negligence.

To prove that a rental car agency is responsible for an accident requires the experience of a knowledgeable attorney. Proving fault in this instance is not a simple feat. However, it’s necessary if you or a loved one was injured in a rental car accident due to the negligence of a rental car agency. You can sue a rental car agency for compensation after an accident. Still, to do so, you’ll need to enlist the help of a veteran lawyer, like the car accident attorneys at Legal Care New Jersey. When accidents happen, we rarely consider the car itself to be the cause. However, if you were in a rental car accident, it’s possible that the vehicle wasn’t properly maintained and thus contributed to the collision.

Call Our Attorneys if You Were in a Rental Car Accident

Recovering after an accident is of the utmost importance. The right lawyers can help determine fault and get you the compensation you deserve after a rental car accident. For a free consultation with the car accident attorneys at Legal Care New Jersey, call us today at (732) 838-9769.