A Car Crash Lawyer in Philadelphia Committed to Helping Victims Recover Compensation
Rental cars provide relatively cheap and usually reliable short-term transportation for people visiting Philadelphia. But what happens after one is involved in an accident?
In many ways, liability issues are the same for rental cars as for other motor vehicles. However, rental car accidents have many wrinkles that can confuse and intimidate the average driver, making it all the more vital that retain legal counsel. If you have been injured in a collision involving a rental car, you should meet with a Philadelphia personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Types of Accidents Involving Rental Cars
At The Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky, we are qualified to help anyone hurt in an accident involving a rental car, including rental car drivers, other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Accidents involving rental cars happen for all the same reasons that car accidents regularly happen, including the following:
- Distracted driving. A driver might be sending or reading a text message, making a phone call, eating, or putting on makeup, which causes them to collide with another motorist or a pedestrian.
- Aggressive driving. A driver might speed, tailgate, illegally pass, or weave in and out of lanes. Aggressive driving causes many accidents on Pennsylvania roads.
- Impaired driving. A driver might operate a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which can slow reflexes and impair judgment.
- Careless driving. A driver might forget to use a turn signal or look over their shoulder before backing up simply because they are careless.
For any of these reasons, a motorist might crash into you, injuring both you and your vehicle. Fortunately, if the accident was the result of someone else’s negligence, you will likely be entitled to compensation under Pennsylvania law. For this reason, anyone hurt in a rental car accident should speak to an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Insurance and Philadelphia Rental Car Accidents
After an accident, a key issue to determine whether the person who rented the car has insurance. Rental car companies offer their clients supplemental rental insurance, but many drivers do not purchase it because they cannot imagine that they will be in an accident. Whether you were driving the rental car or struck by someone driving a rental, you need to identify what insurance is at play.
If the rental driver purchased the supplemental insurance, then this policy should be available to pay compensation for injuries. However, these policies rarely cover the full extent of damages victims suffer in a crash.
Many drivers’ personal auto insurance might also cover a rental, but you will need to check the details of the policy. Other options include:
- Credit cards. Some credit cards provide insurance for a rental car if you paid for the rental with the card. The insurance amounts tend to be on the lower end.
- Homeowners insurance. If the driver has a homeowner’s policy, then it might also cover an accident caused in a rental vehicle, but you need to check the policy.
If you are injured and the driver does not have adequate insurance, then you might be able to tap your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which can pay for medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Check your policy for more information.
Liability Issues Involving Rental Car Accidents in Philadelphia
Another reason why rental car accidents are often complicated is that driver are rental cars are often from out of state. In fact, some rental car drivers may not even live in the U.S. but might be visiting from a foreign country, which they will quickly return to.
Few motorists have the experience or the skills to negotiate with a foreign insurance company. It can also be difficult to sue someone who is not currently in the United States. For these reasons, injured motorists need to hire an experienced Philadelphia rental car accident attorney who can obtain the necessary compensation.
Unfortunately, the Graves Amendment prohibits you from holding the rental car company liable. Before the amendment, many states allowed injured motorists to sue rental car companies and hold them responsible since the company was the car owner. This theory was called “vicarious liability,” and it helped many innocent victims receive compensation.
In 2005, however, Congress passed the Graves Amendment as part of a transportation bill, and this amendment did away with vicarious liability against car rental companies. You can still sue a rental company, but you will need to show that they did something wrong that would make them liable, such as inadequate feel maintenance leading to a car malfunctions and an accident.
What to Do After an Accident Involving a Rental Car
Whether you were driving the rental car or were struck by a rental driver, you should collect important information that will be vital to any claim for compensation:
- Get the other driver’s name, insurance information, and license plate number.
- Take pictures of any damage to the vehicles, if you can. You can use your smartphone or ask a bystander to take pictures.
- Call the police. An officer should come out and write up a police report. This document is essential to establishing when and where the accident occurred.
- Obtain the names of any witnesses. Also, write down their contact information so that your Philadelphia rental car accident attorney can contact them later.
- Notify the rental car company if you rented the vehicle.
You should also receive immediate medical treatment for any injuries. If someone is badly hurt, you can call emergency services to come to the scene. By obtaining immediate treatment, you increase your chances of making a full recovery.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Philadelphia Rental Car Accident Attorney Today
Drivers in rental cars are involved in their fair share of accidents in the Philadelphia area. If you have been involved in one, you should hire an experienced attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve. At The Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky, we have tackled some of the most complex rental car accident cases in Philadelphia. We understand what steps to take to increase your chances of obtaining compensation from the driver who caused the accident and will work hard to bring your case to the most favorable resolution possible. To find out more about how we can help, please reach out to schedule your free, no-obligation initial consultation. You can call 215-735-4800 or submit an online message.