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Navigating a rental car accident

On Behalf of | May 2, 2024 | Personal Injury |

Being involved in a car accident is stressful, and it can feel even more complicated when you’re behind the wheel of a rental vehicle. Here are some steps you can follow should you be involved in an accident while in a rented automobile in Maryland.

Safety first

Accidents can cause shock and confusion. Take a moment to assess the situation and prioritize safety to prevent additional injuries to yourself or others.

  • Call 911: First, ensure your safety. Call 911 for medical attention and coordinate with the police to file an accident report.
  • Gather information: Exchange essential details like names and contact numbers with other people involved in the accident. If possible, take photos of the damage to all vehicles and the scene.

Insurance matters

Maryland uses a fault-based insurance system . If your auto insurance policy extends coverage to rental cars, contact them first. They may help handle communication with the rental company. They may also cover repairs to the rental car and damages to other vehicles involved, depending on your policy limits and who’s at fault.

Rental companies offer various insurance options like loss damage waivers and liability insurance supplements. These can be expensive add-ons, but you may consider them if your personal insurance policy lacks coverage or has high deductibles.

If you’re injured, use your health insurance or explore options under the other driver’s insurance policy if they were at fault.

Coordinating with the rental company

Notify the rental company as soon as possible. They’ll have specific procedures you need to follow. You may also review the rental agreement. Rental agreements outline your responsibility for damages. Carefully review it to understand potential fees, especially if you declined their insurance options.

Maryland law determines who’s financially responsible for the accident based on fault. Under policy limits, the at-fault driver’s insurance will cover damages to the rental car and other vehicles involved.

If the accident is complex or you have significant injuries, you may consider seeking legal counsel to help protect your rights. They may also help navigate through a rental car accident more clearly and potentially minimize complications.