Rental Car Accident Lawyer

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When someone rents a vehicle, the rental company often tries to pitch them on a wide range of expensive insurance options. In no time, the cost of renting a vehicle has doubled or climbed even higher than that. Needless to say, many people opt out of this insurance to save money, but is this a good idea?

The chances of getting into an accident in a rental car are slim, but car accidents happen every day in Michigan. When it happens in a rental car, it creates a complex mess of determining who becomes liable for what.

Why Rental Cars Complicate Matters

Each state has its own minimum requirements for insurance. Even so, it is possible to rent a vehicle with no insurance. This could be the case if someone does not own a vehicle and carries no auto insurance, but he or she wants to rent one for a trip, to move, or for vacation. In these instances, the person becomes responsible for any damages to the vehicle.

When someone with an existing auto insurance policy rents a vehicle, the policy usually transfers across other vehicles. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. For example, someone might have liability-only coverage, but then rent a luxury vehicle for a special event. The liability coverage may cover damages caused to other people’s property, but it generally does not cover damage to the rental car itself.

Rental cars also have existing insurance that meets the minimum liability requirements in the areas they operate. However, this liability coverage might not kick in until the at-fault rental driver exhausts his or her insurance policy coverage first. If the driver has no insurance or he or she is underinsured, this could create more complexities in the situation.

In addition to this, each state has its own requirements regarding the rental company’s responsibilities. Consider that not all rental cars in Michigan were rented in Michigan, so this can introduce even more complexities to an already difficult case.

The Main Types of Rental Car Accident Scenarios

There are many different ways to classify accidents on the road. Experts might categorize accidents based on how the crash occurred, where the crash occurred or even the types of vehicles. For the purpose of determining liability in rental car accidents, the types come down to liability and whose insurance policy should take the hit for damages and injuries.

Insured, At-Fault Rental Car Driver

If you are the insured, at-fault driver of the rental car, then the affected persons will likely file a claim against your insurance policy for property damage. Because Michigan is a no-fault state, you might both need to rely on your individual insurance policies to cover personal injuries and related costs. In cases of extensive damage and injuries, the other parties might decide to sue.

The Uninsured, At-Fault Rental Car Driver

If you have no insurance and law enforcement officers or the insurance companies determine you caused the accident, things can become incredibly complex. In some cases, this could lead to criminal charges, especially if someone suffered serious injuries or death. Sometimes, special membership programs or your credit card might chip in to cover some of the damage.

The Not-At-Fault Rental Car Driver

If you did not cause the accident and the relevant authorities agree, then whether you have insurance might not matter as much. The at-fault driver’s insurance policy should cover liability and damages. However, because Michigan is a no-fault state, road users generally rely on PIP and MedPay coverage. If you are not a Michigan resident and do not have no-fault medical coverage, your attorney will need to advise you on how to proceed.

What To Do After a Rental Car Crash

Each car accident is different, but health and safety are always the first priority. Most experts recommend that each person checks to determine the health of themselves and those around them. Keep in mind that most jurisdictions have laws and regulations in place for rendering aid at the scene of an accident you are involved in. After this, consider the following actions.

Call Emergency Services

Once you determine the other vehicle is a rental car, it might be a good idea to contact emergency services. These cases are so complex that having neutral parties at the scene could be to your benefit, even when the damage is minor.

Call an Attorney

If possible, it’s a good idea to speak with an attorney before law enforcement arrives. An experienced attorney can coach you through how to handle the situation, so you have a strong chance of getting the help you need and of protecting yourself from liability.

Get Information

Gather as much information as you can about the accident, the scene, the driver, the vehicles involved and all witnesses. Whenever possible, write this information down and take photos and video recordings.

If witnesses have dashcam footage, try to make arrangements to get the footage as soon as possible. Dashcam storage rewrites itself with new footage as people drive, so the sooner you or your attorney gets this done, the better.

Seek Medical Attention

No matter how minor your injuries might first appear, seek medical attention. Only a licensed health care professional can determine whether you truly escaped the accident unscathed. Following the recommendations provided by the doctor might also prove crucial to your case and future compensation claims.

Why You Need a Michigan Rental Car Accident Lawyer

Rental car accidents are so complex that attempting to navigate the aftermath alone can quickly overwhelm you. There are so many parties involved that confusion and errors become extremely likely. An experienced attorney can review your case and determine an appropriate course of action.

These are some of the many tasks an experienced attorney can help you with or complete on your behalf:

  • Finding witnesses and footage to confirm your side of the story regarding how the accident occurred
  • Negotiating with the rental car company
  • Negotiating with your insurance company
  • Negotiating with the other driver’s insurance company
  • Pursuing bad-faith claims for denied claims
  • Representing you in court to secure compensation for injuries and property damage

What To Look for in a Michigan Rental Car Accident Lawyer

When looking for a rental car accident attorney in Michigan, hire one of the most experienced attorneys you can find with a strong track record for success. Because rental car accidents are much different from regular car crashes, it’s also a good idea to choose an attorney that has specific experience handling these cases. Consider these factors when making a decision:

  • Cost: Most personal injury attorneys offer at least a free case review. The industry gold standard involves charging no fees until an attorney wins your case, so settling for less puts you at greater risk. The Mike Morse Law Firm charges nothing unless it wins the case.
  • Compassion: Does the attorney treat you with compassion or do you feel like a file number chosen to bring the firm money in the near future? Choose an attorney you feel comfortable working with and who you feel genuinely cares.
  • Reviews: You can usually judge a law firm’s reputation by what its previous and current clients say about it. At Mike Morse Law Firm, we currently have a 4.8-star rating across more than 2,000 Google reviews.
  • Experience: It takes years of experience to accomplish consistent big wins. Try to find an attorney with at least 10 years of experience. Mike Morse Law Firm attorneys bring decades of experience to the cases they handle.
  • Results: Previous case results are no guarantee for how well a personal injury attorney will handle your case or what the outcomes might amount to. Even so, it’s a good starting point. At the Mike Morse Law Firm, we have recovered more than $1.5 billion for our clients, so far.

How To Get Started

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, provide all the information you have to your personal injury attorney. Even the most seemingly trivial information could later be of use. Any phone footage, dashcam footage, or notes you made at the time are worth submitting. Attorneys generally also want to see medical records and bills related to the rental car accident.

When you speak to an attorney at the Mike Morse Law Firm, we take some time to review the feasibility of pursuing the case. If we decide to take it on, we take over the case on your behalf, so you can focus your time and energy on recovering from your injuries and piecing your life back together. Contact us to get started.



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