What happens if I wreck a rental car?

If you get into an accident in a rental car, there may be more stress involved than if you were driving your personal vehicle.

As with any car accident, you should always ensure that everyone involved is safe as the first priority. Then call the police, and exchange information. This information will be important when documenting the accident and determining who is at-fault for the accident. You should also take pictures or videos of the accident on your personal device.

When driving a rental, you should always notify the rental company immediately or as soon as possible after the accident. A rental is not your car, so think of notifying the company as notifying the owners of the car. The company will then give you instructions on how to proceed. You should follow the instructions they give you carefully to ensure that the accident is documented by the company properly.



How does rental car insurance work?

 Rental cars usually have basic insurance that consists of three things:

  1. Theft Protection

This covers any situation where your belongings are stolen out of the rental car.

  1. Third-party Liability Coverage

Any damage you cause to a third party will be covered under this provision.

  1. Collision Damage Waiver

This means the company is waiving its right to make you pay for damage up to a certain amount. This may cover damage by a door in a parking lot but will rarely cover any major accidents.


Do I need to get the optional insurance coverage offered by the rental car company?

This depends on your auto, renter, homeowners, and health insurance coverage. Likely if you have any of these insurances, they likely already cover a good portion of what the accident could cost you, though it is recommended to check your auto coverage before you rent a car.


When do I need to get the optional insurance coverage offered by the rental car company?

You should always opt for the optional insurance if you…

  • do not currently have a personal car insurance policy
  • do not want the possibility of a high deductible
  • are driving a rental car outside of the U.S.


Does it matter who is at-fault for the accident?

 It is important to determine who is at-fault for an accident. If you are not at-fault, the less likely you will have to cover any damage to the rental car. In most cases, the at-fault driver is responsible for the damage to the rental car. However, if the other driver does not have insurance, then you may still be liable for damage on the rental car.


How do I know when to hire a lawyer?

You should hire an attorney as soon as possible once you get into a car accident while driving a rental car. Car accidents are stressful, and when you are driving a rental car, they can be more complicated as more parties are involved. At the Law Office of Julie M. Essa, LLC, we are here to fight for you. Attorneys Julie Essa and Noor Janho both have the experience and expertise to deal with your complicated case. You can read the reviews­– they work hard to get you the best outcome for your case.


Law Office of Julie M. Essa, LLC

Contact us now to schedule an appointment to talk about your case.

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Spanish: 770-771-3658


2470 Windy Hill Road

Suite 165

Marietta, GA 30067