What to Do if a Rental Car is Involved in Your NYC Car Accident

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    If you get into a car accident in your own car, it can be incredibly stressful.  If the car is a rental, you might feel a sense of relief that your own car wasn’t damaged, but there might be repairs for that vehicle that need to come out of the damages in your case.  If instead, the other car that hit you was a rental, it might also complicate matters.

    Under New York law, your own insurance covers you after a crash first and foremost.  If you are in a rental car for personal reasons (rather than business reasons), this might extend to that car as well, but the rental company might have its own insurance.  If you were hit by a rental car, then you would still use your insurance, but you might be able to make a claim against the rental car’s insurance as well.  At the end of the day, damage to the rental car could be covered by insurance as well, but the at-fault driver would pay for it if it’s not instead of making the victim of the crash pay for damage they didn’t cause.

    Call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 for a free review of your case with our NYC car accident lawyers.

    Does My Insurance Cover Me in a Rental Car in NYC?

    When renting a car in New York City, you should be covered by a basic, state-minimum auto policy.  If you have your own insurance, it might not matter too much, as rental cars often come with state-minimum coverage while you drive them.  This means that if you have an out-of-state policy from your home state or you have your own NY no-fault policy, you should still be covered at state minimum levels.

    New York’s state minimums provide $50,000 in first-party PIP benefits to cover you if you get injured in a crash, as well as $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for liability coverage to pay for injuries to someone else.  That means that if you are driving a rental car and get hit, there should still be at least $50,000 of coverage for you on this policy.

    If you have insurance that covers damages above and beyond these minimums, your policy might be able to take precedence over the rental company’s policy so that you can get the benefit of your improved coverage.  The rental company might also offer you additional coverage to help pay for damage to luggage or cargo or your own injuries if you get hurt while riding in their car.

    How New York’s No-Fault Rules Affect Crashes Involving Rental Cars

    It is important to note that since New York uses a no-fault insurance system, you might not actually need to worry about insurance beyond your own coverage if your injuries are not too severe.  When another driver hits you and causes a crash, you still use your own no-fault insurance to get your initial medical bills and lost wages covered up to policy limits.

    If you were driving the rental car in the crash, then you might face complications about which policy you use – that is, your policy or the rental company’s policy.  Our Queens car accident lawyers can help you figure this out and, if your injuries are severe enough, reach beyond this coverage and file a claim with the at-fault driver’s liability coverage or even a lawsuit to get the rest of the damages.

    However, if you were in your own car and you were hit by a driver in a rental car, the case works much like any other car accident case.  The fact that their car was a rental usually does not affect the case.  You would file with your own insurance as normal and, if your injuries are severe enough, you could be entitled to a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance or a lawsuit against them.

    What to Do After a Crash Involving a Rental Car in NYC?

    Whether you or the other driver was the one using the rental car, the steps of what to do after a rental car accident are somewhat similar to any other car accident case: call 911 and go to the hospital if you need to; if you do not, stay to collect information about the accident and call a lawyer.

    It is important to get the driver’s contact information and insurance information and to make sure that you have your insurance information as well.  In the event that the driver in the rental car cannot find their insurance information, make sure to note that to the police officer so they can potentially follow up and get that info later when filing their police report.

    If you were hit by a driver in a rental car, make sure to get information about the company they rented the car from so that you know who owns the vehicle.  While you usually will hold the driver responsible, knowing where the car was rented from can help you make sure that you can track down the driver after they leave the scene of the crash and that you can track down the insurance company that you will file your injury and damage claim with.

    Should I Get the “Extra Insurance” for a Rental Car Accident in NYC?

    When you rent a car, you might want to take on extra insurance.  This can cover things like higher damages for your injuries and higher damages for injuries and property damage you cause to others.  You might also be able to get additional insurance to cover your possessions in the car.

    If your personal auto insurance policy already has coverage for these additional things, it might not make sense to opt for overlapping extra insurance from the rental company.

    Lastly, certain “waivers” (not truly insurance) can be purchased so that you will not be liable for damage to the vehicle after a crash.  Spending a few extra dollars for this insurance could save you the cost of repairing or replacing your rental car if it gets damaged.

    Contact Our NYC Car Accident Attorneys Today

    For a free review of your case, call the Long Island car accident lawyers at The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083.