When a person rents a car, his or her personal car insurance should cover the driver in case of an accident, yet rental car accidents seldom have an easy resolution. If you have been the victim of a rental car accident, you will probably need to contact a personal injury lawyer for help to sort out what needs to be done to compensate the victims justly.

Many, many factors can complicate a rental car accident, including:

• The renter claimed to have car insurance, but did not have an active policy. This type of case needs to be handled like one that involves an uninsured driver. You will need a rental car accident lawyer to help with this.

• Many renters are from other countries, visiting the U.S. as tourists for either a short or long period of time. They often have little knowledge of U.S. road laws, and they often do not understand their legal liability in an accident. There is also a great chance that they will return home before your case ever gets near resolution. As you can tell, this can turn into a very complicated case quite easily. Again, you will need a strong ally to pursue compensation in this type of case, unless you are well versed in international law.

• Some states require that a renter have an international driving permit if s/he wants to rent a car and drive in the state. Many foreign tourists do not have such permits, and not all states have this provision. Canada, in particular, has objected to this type of law, and as a result many states have said they will not enforce it, to avoid offending Canadians who spend billions in their states while on extended vacations. This also complicates rental car accidents when a foreign tourist is the driver. Do you know how to pursue compensation from an insurance company in Latvia? Then you’d better hire a rental car accident attorney.

• Homeowners’ insurance policies and certain credit cards used for transactions can also cover rental car incidents, but not all renters have homeowners’ insurance, obviously, and not all of them use the relevant credit cards.

• The Graves Amendment, a federal law, shields rental companies from responsibility when a renter is in an accident, whether or not the renter purchased coverage through the rental company. This means that you will definitely need a personal injury lawyer to find other sources of compensation if the renter had no insurance; the rental car company is not liable!

As you can see, the legal code surrounding rental car accidents can become quite complicated. It is best to have a rental car accident lawyer by your side to sort through this jungle and jumble of legal issues. Even if your case seems cut and dry, you need to be wary of a given insurance company urging you to sign an agreement to accept a settlement that may or may not cover all of your costs. The amount might sound quite generous to you, but a rental car accident lawyer will have much more experience in determining if the compensation will be adequate. Personal injury lawyers have seen many prospective clients agree to a settlement amount, only

to find that it was completely inadequate to cover their medical costs and lost work wages. This is understandable, but regrettable.

In many instances, you might feel fairly well a week after your accident, or you might believe that lingering pain or headaches will go away. However, many types of injuries get worse with time, from concussions to back sprains to spinal injuries, all of which are common in motor vehicle accidents. Then, you will unhappily discover that the settlement amount offered was only a fraction of what you needed. You might have high future medical costs, you might need further surgeries or rehabilitation, you might need to miss significant amounts of work time (and pay) to rehab or recover from surgery.

You also are, in many cases, entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, something an insurance company will never figure into its settlement amount.

Unless you are a medical professional gifted in self-analysis, you will need a competent personal injury lawyer to help you determine a fair amount for compensation, from whatever source you can pursue.That way, you won’t need to stress about getting better and figuring out how you will pay for it.

Contact a Philadelphia rental car accident lawyer immediately if you have been the victim of a rental car accident. You are going to need help in sorting through the legal and medical issues. We are glad to help you in that process. Call us today at 215 735 4800

Updated December 5, 2013 by Joel Kofsky

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