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6 things to do if you have an accident in a rental car

Whether you are on vacation, need a substitute vehicle while yours is in the shop or have no car of your own, you may occasionally rent a vehicle. With roughly 400,000 automobile accidents occurring on Florida’s roadways in any given year, though, your chances of wrecking a rental car are not exactly insignificant. 

An accident in your own vehicle can be stressful, painful and downright scary. If you happen to have a collision when driving a rental car, though, you are likely to have an additional layer of anxiety piled on top of an already tense situation. Put simply, what you do after an accident matters. Here are six steps to take if you have a collision in a rental car: 

1. Call the police 

Law enforcement officers know how to investigate accidents and assign fault. They also create the sort of reports insurance companies want to see. As such, any time you have an automobile collision, you should contact the police. 

2. See a doctor 

The human body can be strange sometimes. Even if you think the automobile collision did not cause you to sustain an injury, symptoms may develop later. Accordingly, you should ask a doctor to examine you after your car accident. 

3. Contact the rental company 

When you rent a car, you have a comprehensive rental agreement you must follow. Most agreements require you to notify the rental agency after an accident. Even if your contract is silent on the matter, alerting the rental company as soon as possible is a good idea. 

4. Contact your own insurance provider 

Your car insurance provider may cover you for rental car accidents. If so, you should alert your insurer quickly to begin the claims process. 

5. Document the accident scene 

If you want to pursue compensation from whoever caused the accident, you need to gather facts at the collision scene. Talk to as many witnesses as possible, and obtain their contact information. Also, take photographs of the accident scene. These may be useful in proving your case. 

6. Pay attention to the tow truck 

You are responsible for the rental car when it is in your possession. If you do not want to wonder what happened to the car after an accident, take a photograph of the tow truck and its license plate. Also, ask the driver where he or she plans to take the vehicle. 

You may never find yourself in the middle of an accident when driving a rental car. If you do, though, you must take steps to protect yourself and your legal rights. 

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