Boston Rental Car Accident Lawyer
Accidents can happen in a rental car as easily as they can in your own vehicle. In fact, unfamiliarity with a rental car could slightly increase the chances of a crash. Recovering compensation after a traffic crash does not work quite the same when it involves a rental car as it would if you were driving your own vehicle. Insurance coverage is different on rental cars, and more than one auto insurance policy may apply.
Rental car accidents have the same contributing factors as other car accidents. Common causes of rental car accidents in Boston include:
- Distracted driving: Technology plays a major role in our lives today. Many people carry smartphones wherever they go, including behind the wheel of a car. Despite the laws against it, cell phone use and other forms of driver distraction continue to create a risk for everyone on the roadways.
- Impaired driving: Drunk driving has long been known as a leading cause of serious and fatal traffic crashes. But alcohol is not the only culprit. Driving under the influence of marijuana and other drugs can be equally dangerous.
- Drowsy driving: It is a common occurrence for people who are travelling to rent a car. Travel arrangements can interrupt normal sleep schedules and contribute to driver fatigue. In a recent year, nearly 700 people in the U.S. were killed in drowsy-driving related crashes, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- Aggressive driving: Angry, aggressive, or reckless behavior behind the wheel puts other people at risk. Aggressive driving is a combination of dangerous driving behaviors that may include excessive speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, ignoring traffic signs and signals, cutting other drivers off, and speeding up when another driver tries to pass. Millions of drivers had engaged in this type of driving behavior during the 30 days before a large AAA Foundation survey.
When a vehicle involved in a crash is a rental car, more than one insurance policy may apply. Massachusetts is a no-fault state, which means you file a claim with your own insurance company, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. (Cases involving serious, permanent injury and/or higher medical expenses may be an exception to this rule.) Possibilities for insurance coverage include the following:
- When you own a vehicle and rent a car, your personal auto insurance policy may cover an accident that occurs in the rental. However, you may still be responsible for rental fees while the rental car is in the shop, unless your policy has a loss of use clause.
- If you do not own a car, and therefore have no car insurance, you are required to take the insurance offered by the rental car company, in which case that coverage will apply. These companies typically offer a collision damage waiver (CDW), which may protect you from liability for damage to the rental vehicle.
- Some credit card companies offer rental car insurance to cover damage to the rental when you use their card to rent a vehicle. Credit card insurance does not usually include liability, and it is secondary coverage that only picks up where your primary coverage leaves off.
To seek compensation for a rental car crash, you will need to file a claim under the appropriate insurance policy. Your best chance of having all your losses covered is to get an experienced Boston car accident attorney to handle your case. At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., we have nearly two decades of experience. Call us at (617) 870-0907 to schedule a free consultation if you have been injured in a rental car accident.