Most people are guilty of failing to read the fine print of the contract that they sign when renting a vehicle. If you are driving a leased vehicle and become involved in an accident, however, your liability for damages to the vehicle will depend upon your circumstances and the amount of insurance coverage that you have or purchase in conjunction with renting the vehicle.
Most rental car companies will give you the option to purchase damage waiver for your rental car at a relatively low cost per day. If you don’t take the waiver, however, you can be liable for any damages to the rental car, whether it is due to an accident or intentional acts by you or another authorized driver. Your liability generally is limited, however, to the reasonable cost of repairs or the fair market value of the vehicle, whichever is less. You also may be liable for a reasonable amount of towing fees and storage costs. Even if a third party steals your vehicle and causes damages to it, you still might be liable if you leave the key in the car, fail to file a police report, or refuse to cooperate with law enforcement investigating the accident.
In some cases, your personal motor vehicle insurance policy may cover some or all of the damages related to a rental car accident. If your insurance policy contains comprehensive coverage, it is likely that your policy will cover damages to a rental car that you were driving. Nonetheless, your policy still won’t cover some costs, such as “loss of use” by the rental car company.
The experienced Wisconsin personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan are here to help you through the aftermath of a motor vehicle crash, whether you have leased or purchased the vehicle. This includes dealing with the insurance companies involved and ensuring that they follow all of the necessary rules and regulations. We can look into the circumstances surrounding your accident, assess the situation, and evaluate any claims that you may have for damages. We know how to determine fault in a car accident, and build a strong personal injury claim based on that determination. Contact our office today in order to schedule a free initial consultation about any potential claim that you may have.