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Lexington Rental Car Accidents

Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC helps car accident victims in Lexington. Because it’s one of Kentucky’s largest and busiest cities, Lexington has its fair share of drivers and cars on the road. Most of the time, you’ll come across people driving their own car, but you can also be in an accident where you or someone else is driving a rental car. If you’ve been hurt in such an accident, contact us today for a free consultation to talk about your options.

Do You Even Need a Lawyer?

When there’s an accident with a rental car, it’s certainly a bit more complicated. But it’s also looked at the same as any other car accident in the eyes of the law. Still, whether or not you need a lawyer depends on the circumstances. If your accident is minor, it probably won’t require legal action.

That said, the more hurt you are or the more questions you have, the more help you’ll likely need. That’s where our team comes in. We can investigate what happened, gauge how liable the rental car company is, and guide you through the claims process if you want to move forward.

How Will a Rental Car Company Respond When There’s an Accident?

Your options for dealing with a car accident stay the same whether a rental car is involved or not. However, each rental car company has its own procedures for handling accidents with their vehicles. This applies to various companies, including:

  • Enterprise
  • Budget
  • Hertz
  • Avis
  • Dollar
  • Alamo

Here’s how rental car companies generally handle and prepare for accidents:

  • Ensure everyone’s safety.
  • Ask you or the driver to contact them immediately.
  • Collect details about the accident.
  • Assess damage to their car.
  • Review the rental agreement and insurance coverage.
  • Arrange a replacement vehicle if needed.
  • Help with claims and legal processes.

The rental car company’s liability can vary depending on the accident, but they will always be involved when one of their vehicles is in an accident. Still, because they effectively own the car, they are going to be involved in assessing the liability of the accident itself.

Who’s Responsible When There’s a Rental Car Accident?

At its core, any accident with a rental car is still going to be a normal car accident claim in the eyes of Kentucky law. This means that figuring out responsibility follows the same legal standard as any other car accident. Namely, this means that whoever is responsible for covering your injuries and other damages was whoever acted with “negligence” and caused the accident.

This opens up liability to any of the following:

  • Driver of the rental car – They are accountable for their driving conduct, including following to traffic laws, avoiding speeding, driving under the influence, or driving while distracted.

  • Rental car company – If the accident stems from a maintenance issue or rental process problem, the rental company might be deemed responsible.

  • Third-party driver – If another driver causes the accident, they typically bear responsibility for the resulting damages.

  • Vehicle or parts manufacturers – If the accident results from a defect in the rental car or its components, the manufacturer could be held liable.

  • Local or state government agencies – Accidents caused by poorly maintained roads or inadequate signage might lead to liability for the responsible government agency.

  • Passenger – A passenger whose actions contribute to the accident, such as distracting the driver, may also share liability.

If you are driving the rental car and did not cause the accident, your rights and options remain intact under the principle of “comparative negligence.” You can still pursue an injury claim, but any potential damages could be reduced in proportion to your level of fault in the accident.

What Damages Can You Get in a Rental Car Accident Claim?

Another area where a rental car accident is the same relates to the legal process for recovering your damages. Generally, you can either file an insurance claim out of court or go inside the court system with a lawsuit. Both options allow you to recover “damages”, which is simply the legal term for your injuries and other losses.

While your damages are going to be closely related to your particular accident, there’s a general set of damages that are available. If your claim is successful, you can potentially recover:

  • Medical expenses – This covers expenses for hospital stays, doctor visits, medications, and therapy required for current and future treatment.

  • Lost wages – This is for any income lost due to your injuries, including potential future earnings.

  • Property damage – This covers the repair or replacement costs of damage to your vehicle or personal property.

  • Pain and suffering – This includes costs related to physical pain and mental anguish relating to the accident and your injuries.

  • Emotional distress – These damages relate to the emotional impact of the accident, including the development of any anxiety and depression, affecting your quality of life.

  • Loss of enjoyment of life or companionship – This covers any changes in personal relationships or limitations in enjoying daily activities.

  • Wrongful death – If the accident is fatal, you or a surviving family member can file a wrongful death claim to recover funeral or burial expenses, as well as a loss of companionship or financial support.

After a car accident, you may file a claim for damages, but what you’re ultimately able to recover requires building a strong case. These accidents–particularly when there’s a rental company involved–are complex and can affect more than just you. Acting quickly and working with our experienced Lexington car accident lawyers can really help you. But there’s also things you can do to help yourself.

How Can You Help Your Rental Car Accident Claim?

Unfortunately, when you’re hurt in a rental car, it’s going to be frustrating. This is true whether you’re the one driving the rental car or the other person involved is. At the same time, it’s important to remember that just having the right to file a claim isn’t an automatic ticket to your damages. You have to help your claim along. When there’s a rental car involved, it adds a bit more to the process, but many steps are generally the same as any other car accident. Here’s what you can do to help your claim:

  • Attend to your injuries – Immediately check for injuries and call 911 if necessary to summon an ambulance. Accept care from emergency medical technicians (EMTs) upon their arrival. Seek further medical attention at a hospital to address any lingering injuries.

  • Report the accident to police – Notify the LPD or the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office to respond and manage the scene. They will gather essential details. It is crucial to inform the rental company promptly about the accident, as they will provide necessary guidance.

  • Get information about the rental car and driver – Obtain names, contact information, and insurance details from all parties involved, including those related to the rental car and company. Also, try to get contact information from anyone who saw the accident.

  • Document the accident scene – Take photographs or videos of the accident site, documenting damage, road conditions, and any injuries that are apparent.

  • Be careful when giving statements – Be careful when discussing the incident with insurance companies, since they’ll try to get you to say things that could damage your claim. Similarly, avoid posting about the accident on social media.

Remember, a rental car accident is still a car accident, so it’s important to gather all the information you can. This can get tough when there’s injuries, but still necessary for your claim. And remember, our team will be there to support you if you need it.

Contact Kaufman & Stigger After a Lexington Rental Car Accident

Dealing with a car accident in Lexington can be overwhelming, especially if there’s a rental car and company involved. At Kaufman & Stigger, our Lexington car accident lawyers are here to help. With our experience and resources, we can make sure you have what you need for a strong claim.

Don’t wait–if you’ve been in a rental car accident in Lexington or anywhere else in Kentucky, contact us today for a free consultation.

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