Indianapolis Rental Car Accident Lawyer

Indianapolis is home to a thriving tourism business and recently ranked among the 150 best places to live, according to U.S. News and World Report. With all these people checking the city out, the rental car industry is robust. But what is less transparent is what happens if you are visiting the city for fun or as a potential new home, and you are in an accident while driving a rental car.

Do you rely on your home state’s insurance that covers your personal vehicle? Did you purchase a damage waiver? Did the car malfunction, causing an accident? To be compensated for your losses in a serious car accident, you need an Indianapolis rental car accident lawyer on your side.

Fault and Liability After a Rental Car Accident

When someone rents a car in this state, they must be offered a damage waiver, for a fee, that means the rental company waives claims against the renter for damage to the car.

Rental car drivers must carry liability insurance before they are permitted to rent a car. The damage waiver offered by rental companies to absolve the driver if the vehicle is damaged comes with surprises. These waivers only cover repair costs for damage to the rental car, its mechanical malfunctions, and reimbursement for any property inside the car, they do not pay for injuries. Other information to know about rental car accidents and liability includes:

  • The rental car company does not have to abide by the waiver if the driver negligently causes the damage
  • The company can refuse to honor the waiver if the authorized driver intentionally or inadvertently causes damage
  • The company does not have any liability if an unauthorized driver causes the damage
  • If the authorized driver is in an accident, the waiver may protect them from liability for damage to the car but not to personal injuries someone else suffers

These scenarios mean that authorized drivers may end up facing multiple insurers in different locations after an accident. Indiana is an at-fault or tort state when motor vehicle accidents occur. The at-fault driver or their insurance pays for the injuries and damage done to others involved in the accident. A driver in a rental car, who has paid for and signed a waiver, should contact an Indianapolis rental car crash lawyer to handle a claim after an accident.

Car Accidents Based on NegligenceTwo cars that have crashed, with the drivers outside and looking upset

Rental car drivers are generally faced with driving in areas they are not familiar with in a car that is not theirs, making their chance of causing an accident higher. An attorney may first try to settle the claim between the driver’s liability carrier, the rental car’s insurance company, and the other driver’s insurer, depending on how fault is divided.

If a personal injury lawsuit is filed, negligence must be proved for the plaintiff to prevail. This requires proving a driver had a duty to act in a safe manner, failed to uphold that duty, and caused injuries because of their substandard actions.

Modified Comparative Negligence

This is a modified comparative negligence state and assigns fault for vehicular accidents by percentages. As long as plaintiffs suing for compensation for their injuries are less than 51 percent at fault, they can collect the damages awarded by the jury, subtracting their own percentage of fault. An Indianapolis attorney could explain how much a rental car accident claim might be worth.

Get Legal Advice With an Indianapolis Rental Car Accident Attorney

Whether you are in Indianapolis as a visitor or are considering relocating here, you might be driving a rental car. That complicates matters if you are in an auto accident. You may have a copy of your waiver absolving you from paying for damage to the car, but you may have been injured and will want to know what to do next.

Because the rental car company’s insurance company, your own insurance, and possibly other driver’s insurers are involved, an accident is more complicated, especially if you are visiting from a state that issues no-fault auto insurance. For help navigating an accident with special circumstances, contact an Indianapolis rental car accident lawyer now.