Rental Car Accidents In South Carolina
Driving a rental car is just like driving your own car, except when it isn’t. Except for the fact that the rental car company puts an expensive charge on your credit card, promising to refund it after you return your car, most of the rules are the same. Getting into a car accident always means dealing with bureaucratic annoyances and financial stress, even if no one gets injured in the accident. The settlement money you get from insurance companies is usually too little and too late. If you get into a car accident while renting a car during your visit to South Carolina, or if the other driver was in a rental car, things are more complicated than when both drivers involved in the collision are driving their own cars. If you have been in an accident where one or both drivers were driving rental cars, contact a Columbia car accident lawyer.
Think Before You Decide Which Insurance Claims to File
Rental car companies are legally required to provide the minimum amount of liability insurance that the state requires. This means that, if you are at fault for the accident, you’re the insurance of the company from which you rented the car will pay for up to $25,000 in property damage that you caused and up to $50,000 in medical expenses for the occupants of the struck vehicle. This means that, if you cause an accident in a rental car, the insurance you paid for when renting the car will usually be enough, unless it was a major accident.
Things are more complicated if you are not at fault for the accident. The usual place to start is with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Your uninsured motorist or personal injury protection might pay for expenses that the at-fault driver’s insurance and their car rental company’s insurance do not cover. They will only pay if it is their only option, though. Insurance companies have lots of resources to help them unload the payment obligations on someone else, whether it is another insurance company or even the drivers themselves. For this reason, it is best to let your lawyer deal with insurance companies on your behalf, instead of giving recorded statements to insurance claims adjusters, where they will try to trick you into saying things that they can use as excuses to pay you less.
About That Annoying Hold on Your Credit Card
You know that hold for several hundred dollars that rental car companies place on your credit card and usually refund to you about a week after you return the car? The car insurance company can also use that money to pay for damage that you caused in an accident, instead of refunding it to you. Talking to a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident can help you get the money refunded.
Let Us Help You Today
The car accident lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you if you got injured in a car accident with a car that you had rented on a short-term basis. Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.