Last Updated : May 31, 2022

Texas Rental Car Accident Attorneys

If you are involved in an accident while driving a rental car, you may wonder if anything is different as far as how to handle the aftermath. The answer is, maybe. When it comes to determining liability and responsibility for the accident, the fact that you were driving a rental is not relevant.

Determining fault in a rental car accident is essential because according to the terms of the rental agreement, you are responsible for returning the car to the rental agency in the same condition as it was leased to you, even if another person was responsible for the damage. What that means in practical terms is that if there is damage to the car, you must pay for it, even if you are not responsible. The only way to avoid the money coming out of your pocket is to apportion the blame to the other driver.

However, because you were driving a rental, you may have been on vacation or traveling for business, and you may not be in your home state. You were not driving your own car, and that means you might not know if your personal insurance covers the accident. This is where the Beaumont car accident attorneys of Portner Bond, PLLC can help. If you are involved in a rental car accident in Texas, we are here to answer your questions and help you recover from your accident.

What to Do First

The first thing to do following any vehicle accident is contact law enforcement. Especially since this is not your own vehicle, you will need a police report documenting the specifics of the crash. Before the authorities arrive, you should take photos of the scene, and obtain the other driver’s insurance information, if you are able to do so, and if the scene is safe.

If there are witnesses on the scene, try to get their names and contact information. This is especially important in these situations where you are from out of town. In a few days or weeks, you may be back in your home city or state and have no idea where the accident occurred, much less how to find anyone who saw the accident.

Next, you should seek medical treatment. This can be difficult if you are not at home, and the tendency can be to wait till you get back to see your own doctor. You should see a doctor as soon as possible, for your own safety and for the best documentation of any injuries. This is another good reason to contact Portner Bond, PLLC so that they can refer you to a doctor.

Contact the Rental Car Company

You will need to call the rental car company and let them know as soon as possible after the accident. The rental car company’s insurance should cover all damage to the vehicle provided you were not at fault in the accident. Therefore, it is very important to contact an attorney as soon as possible following the accident.

Just as in any other vehicle accident, determining fault is critical. Your Portner Bond, PLLC attorney knows the questions to ask and how to assess the police reports to determine what was happening before the accident and at the scene that might have contributed to the collision.

The rental car company itself may be liable for an accident if it failed to maintain the vehicle or if it had known defects that contributed to the accident or your injuries. You may have noticed difficulties with the car while you had it or reported problems to the rental company. These things should be mentioned to your attorney.

Contacting an Attorney

It may seem that rental car accidents are not much different from any other accident and that there is no reason to involve an attorney. However, because you are in a state where you don’t live, you may want someone from that state on your side.

Rental cars in Texas are easy to spot by their license plates, and residents may claim that out-of-state drivers were responsible for accidents because they did not know the rules of the road or were sightseeing. Even if that is not true, you need a Texas lawyer who knows the laws and can navigate the tangle of insurance rules for you.

Your attorney will also provide a point of contact for the other party, the rental car company, and any other lawyers who may be involved. You should not talk to anyone regarding the case after you retain an attorney, and especially not any insurance companies or the rental car company offering any type of settlement. Let the attorneys handle that.

After You Go Home

Following the accident, you may have questions regarding the next steps to take, especially if you are not at home and are traveling on business or vacation. The attorney can explain what needs to happen next, if you need additional medical treatment, or if there are any legal steps to take.

Just as important, once you leave Texas and go back home, you will need someone back at the site of the accident who can continue to operate on your behalf. The most important issue about rental car accidents and their aftermath is that the case will linger long after you return home. You will need an attorney who can see the case through.

After you leave, your attorney will obtain the police and insurance reports from the other driver and from the rental car company. These can take weeks or months to acquire but they are essential in determining who was responsible for the accident and to what extent. We will also interview the other driver and witnesses in the case and gather the information necessary to make a settlement offer.

Contact Us

The attorneys of Portner Bond, PLLC have been helping accident victims in Texas recover for decades, and we will fight for our out-of-state clients as zealously as for the home-grown ones. Call Portner Bond, PLLC at (409) 838-4444 if you are involved in any rental car accident and let us help you recover quickly and get back to your business, vacation, or travel right away.