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Louisville Rental Car Accidents

Kaufman & Stigger fights for car accident victims in Louisville. With so many drivers and cars in the city and area, there are seemingly endless numbers of ways you could be in an accident. This also includes situations with rental cars. While this happens, it doesn’t change your legal options. To learn more about your rights, contact us today for a free consultation.

When Do You Need a Lawyer?

No one wants to be in a car accident, whether it’s your car or a rental. But with so many people traveling through Louisville, it’s common. Whether you need our lawyers depends on your situation.

Hopefully, your accident or injuries are minor and don’t need legal action. However, rental car accidents can be complicated, especially with injuries. So, if you find yourself in this situation, you might need our team’s help. Here’s what we can do:

  • We offer a personalized approach tailored to your specific case.
  • We help you with gathering crucial evidence.
  • We explain your options.
  • If you want to go forward, we guide you through the entire process.

Our overall goal is to make things easier on you and your family. This is why we offer free initial consultations and work on a contingency-fee basis. There’s no upfront cost to work with us.

What Do You Need to Do After a Rental Car Accident?

Any car accident is going to bring its share of uncertainty. When you add in potential injuries, it makes everything more difficult. Then, when a rental car is involved, it’s even more complicated because it brings more people into the process. So, when you’re in one of these accidents, it’s important to take certain steps to gather vital information. Here’s what you need to do if you’re in an accident with a rental car:

  • Call 911 – Check yourself and others for injuries and call 911 if needed. Let the emergency medical technicians (EMTs) take care of you, and consider going to the hospital for a thorough check-up.
  • Call the police – Contact the LMPD or the Jefferson County Sheriff so they can come to the scene and document everything. Also, let the rental car company know about the accident and follow their instructions.
  • Collect information – Get names, contact details, and insurance information from everyone involved. Don’t forget to note details about the rental car and company, and also gather contact information from any witnesses.
  • Start gathering evidence – Take lots of photos or videos of the accident scene, showing the damage, road conditions, and any injuries.
  • Be cautious with statements – Don’t talk to insurance companies about the accident without checking with us first. Also, avoid posting anything about the incident on social media.

Every accident is unique, but these steps are generally good to follow, especially for rental car accidents. Focus on your health and safety first, and the rest will fall into place. Just remember, rental car companies handle accidents in specific ways, so keep that in mind too.

Who’s Liable in a Rental Car Accident?

A rental car accident isn’t much different from a regular car accident. The key question is who is liable for your injuries and damages. The answer depends on the specifics of the accident. Like any other car accident, the person or entity that acted negligently and caused the accident will be liable.

Here are the main possibilities when there’s a rental car involved:

  • Rental car driver – If the driver was speeding, distracted, or driving under the influence, they are likely responsible.
  • Rental car company – Because they own the car, the rental car company can be held liable if the accident was due to a maintenance issue or a problem with their process.
  • Another driver – If another driver caused the accident, they would typically be responsible for the damages.
  • Passengers – If a passenger’s actions, like distracting the driver, contributed to the accident, they might share some liability.
  • Vehicle or parts manufacturers – If a defect in the rental car or its parts caused the accident, the manufacturer could be held responsible.
  • Local or state government – If the accident occurred due to poorly maintained roads or improper signage, the responsible government agency might be liable.

Comparative Negligence

If you’re driving the rental car, your rights and options remain the same, as long as you didn’t cause the accident. This is known as “comparative negligence.” You can still file an injury claim, but your potential recovery of “damages” will be reduced by your share of the fault.

Additionally, the rental company will probably offer you additional liability insurance, but this won’t protect you if you drive recklessly or violate the rental agreement.

Remember, determining liability hinges on negligence. This not only influences your potential claim but also affects how your claim will proceed. It’s crucial to understand how to access the available financial support.

How Can You Recover Damages in a Rental Car Accident?

Any car accident can cause various types of damage, including physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial losses. Together, these are known as “legal damages.” To recover these damages, you need to file an injury claim.

You have two main legal options: filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.

  • Insurance claim process – This is handled out of court and is less formal. It provides quicker access to settlement funds, but the insurance company controls the process and determines the payout, regardless of the strength of your claim.
  • Lawsuit – This is a formal legal action that takes longer and requires more effort, but it offers a more objective process overseen by an impartial judge and jury. This can result in a higher financial award.

Your actual damages are going to be closely related to your injuries and other losses. So, when you file your claim, you can potentially recover:

  • Medical expenses
  • Vehicle repair or replacement costs
  • Lost wages or future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Reduced quality of life or loss of companionship
  • Wrongful death expenses (in case of a fatality)

Obviously, filing an injury claim is crucial for your recovery. However, you must act quickly. Kentucky law imposes a one-year deadline for filing an injury claim after a car accident. If you miss this deadline, you won’t be able to recover damages.

How Will the Rental Company Be Involved?

Obviously, the particular rental car company is going to be involved in the process when there’s  an accident involving one of their vehicles. This is true regardless of the company. Still, each one has its own specific process and ways it handles accidents. Some of the most common companies are:

  • Enterprise
  • Hertz
  • Budget
  • Dollar
  • Avis
  • National

In terms of the actual process, a rental car company is going to take care of the following to protect themselves in the event of an accident:

  • Safety of the driver – The first priority is ensuring that the renter has access to medical care and can reach safety.
  • Thorough records – Rental companies maintain thorough records of the driver, insurance, and vehicle. This documentation is crucial evidence in the claims process.
  • Evaluating the car – Companies have procedures to assess the condition of their cars to ensure they are functioning properly.
  • Insurance coverage – Whether or not the renter opts for additional insurance, the rental company has its own insurance to handle accidents. This is who you’ll primarily deal with in the claims process if the rental company is liable.

The rental car company’s liability can vary depending on the accident. Regardless, they will be involved if one of their vehicles is in an accident. While this can be confusing, our team is here to support your claim.

Experienced Louisville Rental Car Accident Lawyers

No matter the nature of your injuries in a Louisville rental car accident, you can rely on our experienced car accident lawyers at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC. When there’s a rental car involved, it can make things confusing. But with our experience and resources,  we can clearly explain your options and guide you through the recovery process. Don’t wait–contact us today for a free consultation if you’ve been involved in a rental car accident in Louisville.

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