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Rental Car Accident Lawyers in DeLand, FL
Life gets difficult very quickly when you are in a car accident or your car is stolen. Suddenly, even simple activities like buying groceries can become a massive chore. And at the same time you are trying to resolve your transportation woes, you are also overwhelmed by the insurance bureaucracy.
It is difficult to imagine how this situation could get any worse.
One way it could get worse is if the damaged or stolen car was a rental car. Now you have all of the same problems, and you don’t even own the car in question. Another party is involved, adding complications at every turn.
If you’ve gotten into a car accident while driving a rental car in DeLand, FL, you should get the assistance of the best rental car accident lawyers in DeLand.
With the help of Morgan and Morgan, you can easily navigate the complicated insurance laws involved in a rental car accident. Contact us today using our simple online form to schedule your free case evaluation.
Tourist Industry in DeLand
DeLand is a beautiful city in northeast Florida with easy access to some of the nicest beaches in the state. But that isn’t what defines most of the tourism in DeLand.
Most of the tourism is due to DeLand being roughly one hour away from Disney World. This makes it close enough for tourists to spend a day at the theme park and far enough away to avoid Orlando crowds and high prices.
As a result, thousands of tourists drive through or near DeLand in rental cars every year. And when you have thousands of tourists driving in unfamiliar locations, you eventually get accidents.
Getting into an accident hundreds or thousands of miles from home in a vehicle that isn’t yours creates some very complicated interactions with insurance and rental companies. The best way to ensure an accident doesn’t ruin your vacation is to hire the best rental car accident lawyers in DeLand.
What to Do After an Accident
When you are on vacation and you’ve gotten into an accident, that accident can easily ruin your entire vacation. If you don’t know how to handle it properly, you could spend all of your time just trying to resolve the process and never get a replacement vehicle.
But if you stay calm and act carefully, a rental car accident can be dealt with quickly and have minimal impact on your vacation.
Get Medical Attention Immediately
Before doing anything else, ensure that everyone in your car receives a medical examination. If you are lucky enough that everyone is unharmed, that is great. But get a medical professional to make that evaluation.
Get treatment immediately if you or anyone else in your car is injured. Nobody wants an injury to interfere with their vacation, but it is better to spend some time protecting your health than ignoring an injury and later learning that it has worsened.
Contact a Morgan and Morgan Attorney
Rental car accidents are complicated. The best way to simplify them is to have an advocate working for you from the very start. Even if you have no reason to file a lawsuit or fight for a settlement, the best rental car accident lawyers in DeLand will ensure that you do everything correctly and get the compensation you need to move forward.
Arrange for a Replacement Vehicle
Your rental company should provide a replacement vehicle for the remainder of your rental contract. If it is unable to do so or refuses to do so, your attorney can help you find alternate options. Refusal to replace your vehicle may also be a violation of your rental contract. If it is, your attorney will help you file a lawsuit.
Report the Accident
When you get into an accident while driving a rental car, you need to inform the rental company, file a claim with your insurance company, and usually file a report with the police. Your attorney can and should advise you during each of these interactions. That way, your rights are protected while dealing with the various details of a car accident.
Write Everything Down
You are on vacation. This means that in a few days or weeks, you will not be in the same state anymore. And it also means that you are likely to see and do many exciting things. In short, your memory of the accident is likely to be short, and your availability is limited.
If you write everything down as soon as possible, you can ensure that a complete recounting of the incident exists, even if your memory fades. This is particularly important if an investigator isn’t able to contact you for a while.
Don’t Make Any Meaningful Decisions Until You Get Home
At some point in the process, an insurance company will offer you money on your claim, or a rental car agency will try to get you to sign some paperwork.
Refuse to sign anything or make any decisions until you have gotten home from your vacation. You make your best decisions when you are in a comfortable and familiar setting. This is particularly important for any financial or legal decisions.
The Best Rental Car Accident Lawyers in DeLand Are Also in Your Hometown
One potential problem of getting into a car accident in another state is that everyone involved in the accident is in that state, with the probable exception of your car insurance contact.
But that doesn’t have to be true for your lawyer. Morgan and Morgan has multiple offices in every state in the country. When you return from your vacation, a local attorney will be able to provide the same advice and representation that you received while you were in Florida.
But that doesn’t mean your Florida attorney will stop doing their job. Even after you are gone, your Florida attorney will still:
- Negotiate with the insurance company
- Gather information and make arrangements with your car rental company
- Get police reports from the local precinct
- Investigate the accident
- File motions with the court local to your accident location
Your lawyer will make every effort to ensure you don’t have to return to Florida to deal with the aftereffects of the accident. And if it does become necessary for you to return, you will be advised with plenty of time to make all travel arrangements.
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What Do I Do With the Damaged Rental Vehicle?
The car rental agency that you rented your car from should have procedures for dealing with car accidents. Most likely, all you need to do is inform the car rental company that you’ve been in an accident, and it will ensure the car is transported to a repair facility.
Suppose the vehicle needs to be moved before the car rental company can make arrangements due to safety reasons. In that case, you should give the rental company all of the information it needs to recover the vehicle.
Can I Get Reimbursement if I Need to Hire a Taxi After an Accident?
Once again, you should ask the rental car agency if it has any policies regarding transportation immediately after an accident. Some agencies may be able to send a shuttle for you or get a replacement vehicle to you almost immediately. If those options don’t exist, you will probably have to cover your costs.
The other possibility is that your insurance might cover those costs. Many car insurance policies offer compensation for some small costs after an accident. Also, if you purchased short-term vacation coverage, this cost may be covered.
What Happens if I Wasn’t Driving a Rental Car, but the Other Driver Was?
In most circumstances, whether the other driver was driving a rental car doesn't matter to you. Your insurance company will cover your injuries and damages, regardless of whether the other driver was in a rental car.
Furthermore, if you need to sue for additional damages, you will be suing the driver of the vehicle, not the rental car agency. In rare cases, the rental car agency will also have some liability, but your lawyer will know how to respond when this is the case.
Should I Purchase Car Insurance Offered by the Rental Company?
If you have good car insurance, don’t bother with the car insurance offered by the car rental company. It exists primarily to supplement insurance with low benefit caps or to provide insurance for people who don’t already have car insurance. But normally, your car insurance should fully cover you, even while driving a rental vehicle.
Should I Speak to My Car Insurance Agent Before Going on a Vacation?
Every car insurance policy is different. Rather than be surprised after a car accident in a rental car, it is better to speak with your car insurance agent before going on vacation.
This lets you know exactly what your insurance will cover before you rent a car and will allow you to purchase additional temporary insurance that might be useful while on vacation.
What Do I Do if My Insurance Company Denies My Claim?
One of the main reasons that you should retain the best rental car accident lawyers in DeLand is just in case your insurance company attempts to deny your claim.
Any claim denial is difficult. But fighting against a claim denial while you are on vacation can be almost impossible. Your car rental accident lawyer can make an impossible situation bearable.
Your lawyer will gather evidence to prove that your claim is valid and file court motions to force the hand of your insurance company. Additionally, your lawyer can take the lead in any appeals process, leaving you free to enjoy your vacation while someone else fights to get you fair compensation.
Will I Need to Sue the Car Rental Company After an Accident?
Your car rental company is unlikely to be liable for your injuries after a car accident in a rental vehicle. Usually, one or both of the drivers in an accident is liable.
However, if the rental company gave you a defective vehicle or failed to warn you about something dangerous with the vehicle, it may be liable for your injury. In this rare case, your rental car accident lawyer will attempt to get a settlement from the rental agency and file a lawsuit if necessary.
Am I Covered if the Vehicle is Stolen?
This is a very interesting question. Comprehensive vehicle insurance covers the stolen car, though this doesn’t mean much to you since it isn’t your car.
What matters more to you are the possessions you had in the car when it was stolen. Curiously, these stolen possessions aren’t covered by your car insurance. They are covered by your homeowner's or renter's insurance.
Thus, odd as it may seem, when going on a vacation where you intend to rent a car, you should bring your contact information for your homeowner's or renter’s insurance policy.
Why Choose Morgan and Morgan?
Our law firm has the best rental car accident lawyers in DeLand, FL. Our experienced attorneys understand how important it is for you to return to your vacation after an accident and will help take care of things as quickly as possible. Contact us today for a free case evaluation for your rental car accident.