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What drivers should do after crashing a rental vehicle

People often love to vacation around the holidays. Here in Iowa, winters can be very frigid, limiting many people from their usual outdoor activities. That's why many of them like to pack their bags and fly south to catch some sun.

When people travel, they often want the same freedom and mobility they typically have at home, prompting some to use a rental vehicle. Unfortunately, vacationers can still face the risk of getting in a crash.

Steps to take after a rental crash

This is what motorists can do:

  • Make sure everyone is safe: The most important step after a collision is to make sure drivers and passengers in both vehicles are okay. If that's not the case, call 911.
  • Gather evidence and driver info: After a crash, both drivers should exchange contact information and insurance cards. It can also be a good idea for both drivers to get the incident report from the responding police officer and take pictures of the scene for insurance purposes.
  • Call the insurance provider: Once information and evidence are exchanged, motorists should file a claim as soon as they can. One of the main reasons auto crash insurance claims get denied is because they weren't documented quickly enough.
  • Contact the rental company: Locate the rental company's emergency phone number to report the wreck. They may ask what the driver would like to do with the car if it's still drivable. If it's not, they may want to have the vehicle towed somewhere. The driver may also want to file a report with the rental company to document the details of the crash.

Dealing with the aftermath

What happens next typically depends on the type of insurance coverage the renter has and who was at fault in the crash. If the driver bought collision insurance before renting the vehicle, they are typically covered unless they were driving recklessly or breached provisions in the rental agreement. In some cases, personal car insurance also covers rentals, but drivers should double-check their limit and deductible first.

Following proper procedures are important

Getting in a wreck with a rental car can be burdensome and stressful for all parties involved. But taking the appropriate actions can help drivers get everything they need to file a claim. Those whose families were severely injured in a rental car crash may want to contact a personal injury attorney. They can evaluate a client's claim and take their case to court.

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Hixson & Brown, P.C.
160 South 68th Street
Suite 1108
West Des Moines, IA 50266

Toll Free: 800-229-9854
Phone: 515-650-4531
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