Who Is Responsible For an Accident With a Rental Car?

Rear-end two cars crashed together

Liability for a rental car accident depends on the driver’s auto insurance coverage and whether he/she waives rental insurance included in the rental agreement.

Rental Car Accidents

Rental car accidents often present problems with claims for property damages and injuries. When renting a car, the driver is usually given an option to buy rental insurance which is explained within the rental agreement. This supplemental coverage is designed to protect the driver in the event of an accident and cover damages sustained to the rental car.

In most states, rental insurance is optional. If the driver refuses the coverage, his/her personal auto insurance provider becomes liable for accident damages, as if the driver was driving his/her own vehicle. In some cases, insurance companies may not cover a driver operating another person’s vehicle, including a rental car. Before renting a car, a driver should review his/her auto insurance policy for any coverage restrictions on rental car accidents and claims.

If a driver rents a car outside of his/her home state, the driver’s policy provisions will usually cover an accident in a different state. If driving in Nevada, a visitor must have the same insurance coverage required for Nevada residents. Required minimum insurance coverage includes:

  • $15,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident
  • $30,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people in any one accident
  • $10,000 for injury to or destruction of another person’s property

Under Nevada law, a driver is not required to have uninsured motorist coverage, but it is recommended. If a car accident occurs, uninsured motorist coverage (UN/UIM) covers losses in an accident where another driver is at fault, and that driver or vehicle owner has no insurance or inadequate coverage.

Any driver involved in a rental car accident should contact the rental company as soon as possible to report the accident. Most rental car companies include a sticker affixed in a prominent location inside the vehicle or paperwork in the glove box that contains information about who to call in case of an accident or emergency. If injuries occur to the driver or passengers, they should seek medical attention right away.

Since rental car accident claims can be complicated, it’s best to get legal advice from an accident attorney Las Vegas, especially when an accident results in injuries or fatalities. An accident attorney can file personal injury lawsuits and/or wrongful death claims in a Nevada court.