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Houston Rental Car Accidents

Navigating a car accident claim in Texas can be complicated and confusing due to the state’s fault-based insurance laws. According to comparative negligence laws, fault is sometimes divided between drivers in an accident. When an accident occurs in a rental car, it becomes even more challenging due to a third party’s involvement—the rental company.

Texas attracts many visitors who rent cars to explore the Lone Star State. If you were in an accident while driving a rental car in Houston, you might be unsure what your next move should be or how to protect your rights. What if you didn’t choose the optional rental car insurance? Can you still recover compensation after an accident if you weren’t driving your own car?

What to Do After a Rental Car Accident in Houston

Accident scenes are chaotic and confusing, especially if you’re dealing with painful injuries or an injured loved one. It may be difficult to be calm and pragmatic, but taking the right steps can help you protect yourself physically and financially. At the scene of the accident, do the following:

  • Call 911 to report the accident and request emergency services
  • Apply reasonable first aid to yourself and/or other injury victims
  • If you can move safely, use your phone to take photos of the damaged rental car and other vehicle(s). Ask an uninjured person to take photos for you if you are unable to move without causing further injury
  • Take photos of the accident scene, including anything relevant like a signal light, sign, or intersection
  • Add the contact information of the other driver(s) and eyewitnesses
  • Go directly to a hospital and have a thorough evaluation and emergency treatment
  • Ask for a detailed medical report
  • Call the rental car company to report the accident
  • Call a Houston car accident attorney with experience in rental car accident claims in Texas

If someone else was at fault for the accident, you could still recover compensation for damages like medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering, as well as for property damage to the vehicle to cover the cost of what you owe the rental car company. Even if you contributed to the fault in an accident, you could recover a portion of your damages minus your percentage of fault.

Who Could Be Liable in a Rental Car Accident?

The most common cause of car accidents is driver error. If another driver’s negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing caused the accident, their insurance must cover your damages. In less common cases, a rental accident could occur due to poor maintenance on the rental vehicle, a defective auto part, or a negligent road crew that failed to address a serious pothole or other road hazard. Proving negligence requires showing that a driver/manufacturer/road maintenance agency owed a duty of care to others on the road to take reasonable measures to prevent causing accidents and injuries, they breached this duty through negligence, and that their negligent breach of duty directly caused the accident, injuries, and damages.

After a Rental Car Accident With Significant Damages, Contact an Attorney

Rental car contracts can be complicated. It’s important to carefully review the terms of the contract. You may be required to pay for property damage to the vehicle if you didn’t purchase the additional insurance. This makes a successful claim for compensation against the party at fault for the accident even more important. Don’t try to go it alone, especially if you’re also trying to recover from your injuries. An accident attorney can process your claim while you focus on healing.

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