Queens, NYC Rental Car Accident Lawyer
Because New York City is a business and tourism destination, many cars on the road in Queens and other boroughs are rental cars. If a driver is involved in a crash in a rental car, it may raise questions as to who is legally responsible for anyone who has been injured.
Under New York’s no-fault insurance rules, a driver injured in a collision initially files a claim against their own Personal Injury Protection no-fault insurance. This can make it difficult to understand which company you should file a claim with after a rental car accident — the rental car agency or your own insurer.
If you have been injured in a car accident in New York that involved a rental car, you should contact an experienced local car accident lawyer as soon as possible to understand your legal options. No matter the circumstances of your car accident or the injuries, The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., is dedicated to taking the pressure off you as you deal with insurers and medical providers. We will untangle what happened and how the insurance coverage applies to your accident.
Trust the New York car accident lawyers of The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., to help you. To get your free case review, contact us today.
What To Do After Crashing A Rental Car
If you’re involved in an accident in a rental car, you should seek prompt medical attention.
You also should notify the rental agency and your insurance company promptly, regardless of whether the accident was your fault or caused by the other driver. Find out what the rental car company wants you to do with the damaged car if it’s still drivable. If the car is not drivable, call the company’s roadside assistance service for instructions on returning and replacing the rental car.
The rental car company will want you to fill out a vehicle incident report with the details of the accident and the names of those involved.
Because New York is a no-fault state, each party involved in a car accident relies on their own personal injury protection insurance (PIP) to cover their initial medical bills and lost income. Your Personal Injury Protection policy should provide coverage, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
A driver from New York or out of state would rely on their auto liability insurance coverage if they were at fault and found to be responsible for the costs beyond those covered by no-fault insurance. In New York, rental vehicle coverage is included in auto liability policies. Rental vehicle coverage is not subject to the coverage limits of property damage liability. You would be covered for the full amount of damages to the rental vehicle, according to the NY State Department of Financial Services.
If you bought supplemental insurance coverage from the rental car company, depending on the coverages you purchased, the insurance may cover damage to the rental car and damage to the other vehicles involved. It would depend on the coverage you bought. Drivers who rent cars often turn down the rental company’s insurance because most auto liability policies extend coverage to rental vehicles.
Finally, if you paid for the rental car with a credit card, you may have auto insurance coverage provided by the credit card company as a benefit of being a cardholder. This coverage is likely to be secondary coverage, meaning it will pay if your primary car insurance doesn’t cover all of the costs of the accident.
Regardless, both your insurer and the rental agency need to know about the accident as soon as possible. Your insurer can get started on your claim.
Otherwise, what to do after a car accident in New York involving a rental car is like any other car accident:
- Call police.
- Get medical attention for yourself or anyone else injured
- Exchange driver’s license and insurance information with the other driver(s).
- Take photos to document the accident.
- Get witness names and contact information.
- See a doctor within 24 hours if you did not get emergency medical care.
- Contact a car accident attorney to understand your legal rights
When To File A Lawsuit After A Car Rental Accident
A person who has sustained serious injuries in a car accident in New York may have medical expenses that exceed the limits of Personal Injury Protection no-fault insurance. If the crash was caused by another motorist, then the injured person may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver and demand compensation for accident-related expenses and losses including pain and suffering and lost income. The injured person’s injuries and losses must meet a threshold of seriousness defined by state law to bring a lawsuit.
A serious injury under New York law is:
- A broken bone
- Any non-permanent injury that prevents the injured person from performing his or her typical daily responsibilities and routines for at least 90 days (three months).
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of a limb
- Permanent limitation of the use of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
New York requires motorists to carry PIP insurance providing at least $50,000 in coverage. Most people do not carry more than the minimum. If your injuries are serious as defined by New York State law and your costs and losses have exceeded the limits of your PIP insurance, you may pursue an insurance claim against the driver who caused the car accident. The payment would come from their liability coverage.
New York requires motorists to carry auto liability insurance with minimum coverage of:
- $25,000 for bodily injury to one person
- $50,000 for bodily injury to all persons
- $10,000 for property damage in any one accident.
As your attorneys, we would compile and submit to the insurance company in your name:
- Evidence showing the other driver’s liability for the accident and your injuries
- A full accounting of your costs and losses
- Our demand for compensation to you.
If the insurance company disputed the rental car injury claim and refused to agree to a fair settlement, we could then file a formal lawsuit on your behalf.
Pursuing Full Compensation in a Rental Car Accident Lawsuit
A personal injury lawsuit after a rental car accident would demand maximum compensation for expenses and losses including:
- Medical costs, including treatment for your injuries since the accident and for managing any lingering medical issues or disabilities in the future
- Lost wages as you recovered, as well as compensation for any harm to your future earning capacity
- Property damage, including the cost to repair or replace your vehicle and other personal items
- Pain and suffering that you experience because of your injuries, whether physical or emotional
- The wrongful death of a loved one, including the loss of their support and their final expenses.
Under New York’s comparative fault rules, any compensation you were awarded by a jury could be reduced according to the amount of fault you were assigned for the accident. For example, if a jury determined that you were 25 percent at fault for a car accident because you were speeding, then the court would reduce your award by 25 percent. For example, an initial damages award of $100,00 would become $75,000.
As your attorneys, we would work to rebut or mitigate the impact of any evidence of your responsibility for the accident. As mentioned above, most car accident claims are settled outside of court.
Talk to a Queens Rental Car Accident Attorney for Help
If you have been injured in a car accident that involved a rental car in Queens that you were driving or that hit you, your ability to obtain a proper and no-hassle insurance settlement may be complicated. A New York City rental car accident lawyer can help you navigate the law and the multiple parties’ interests in a claim, regardless of who is responsible for the rental car accident.
Contact a car accident lawyer at The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., in Queens, NY, today. We are aggressive advocates for car accident victims. Our goal is to provide the personalized attention and reliable guidance that you deserve. You can concentrate on your medical recovery knowing your legal case is in good hands.
Call us today or reach out online for the attentive help you deserve. We don’t charge a legal fee unless we recover compensation for you. We offer a free case review to answer any questions you may have. Contact us now.