In Florida, many drivers opt to rent cars. From businessmen needing to travel from company event to trade show to tourists wanting to see the state to residents needing to rent a car while their own car is in the shop, many people in Florida are driving rental cars. Some of these cars are involved in car accidents. If you are driving a rental car and are involved in a car accident, you need to:
1) Help anyone who is injured. Be careful about moving anyone who may have a spinal cord injury or a head injury, as movement can make these injuries worse. Call the paramedics if anyone is in distress.
2) Call the police, if needed, and call your car rental agency as soon as possible after the accident. Each rental agency has its own policy about car accidents and will advise you what to do.
3) Exchnage information with any other drivers involved in the crash and record everything on the scene. Take pictures of the damage, the accident site, and take the names and identifying information of any police officers and emergency personnel on the scene.
4) File an accident report with the local authorities and file a claim with your insurance company and your credit card company. Your own car, health or personal insurance may cover the costs of the accident. The credit card you used to rent the car may also cover you. Ask to find out which company will cover you. If you paid for insurance with the car rental agency, check the fine print to see what your coverage is.
If the accident is quite minor, the car rental agency may tell you to keep driving the same car for the remainder of your rental period. If this is the case, be careful about documenting the exact damage to the car so that you are not held responsible for further damage to the vehicle. If you cannot drive the rental car that was in the accident, some rental agencies may offer you another car for an addition cost.
If you are having trouble dealing with the car rental agency after a car accident, make sure that you take down the names of car rental agency employees you spoke with and when you spoke to each person. That way, if you need to speak to a manager, you can point to specific problems you had. Avoid threatening to never use the rental agency again. This will simply make the company less willing to resolve your issue, since they will know they will never get more business from you. If you cannot resolve your problems, hire a qualified Florida attorney or contact your local Better Business Bureau for help.