Who Is Liable for a Rental Car Accident in the U.S. Virgin Islands?

Posted on in Car Accidents

St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John car accident attorney

Most people rent vehicles while on vacation to increase their mobility and allow them to see the sights without relying on public transport. With the remoteness of common vacation spots such as St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John, many travelers will rely on car rental companies to enjoy their vacations to the fullest. It is fairly well known that auto rental companies charge high fees for any damage done to their vehicles, but what if you are not the one responsible for a collision and sustain injuries because of the actions of a negligent driver? It is important to understand the liability issues involved in rental car accidents and your options for pursuing compensation for any injuries suffered in a collision.

What Should I Do if I Have Been in a Crash?

Being involved in an automobile accident can be a scary experience for everyone involved. In these cases, taking the proper steps post-accident can help you protect your ability to recover compensation from the person or people who were responsible. The first thing anyone should do after a crash is to make sure everyone is okay and contact local law enforcement. Working with the police may seem extreme, especially if it was just a fender bender, but having officials document the details of your accident can be especially useful when determining liability for the accident. You should be sure to keep your own record of the incident as well, including the involved parties’ names and contact information, photos of the damage and the injuries you have suffered, and a written record of any pertinent details.

After completing these first basic steps, you should call the rental company to report the accident. They will provide you with information about where to take the car if it is driveable or who to call to have it towed. Take note of the employee’s name you spoke with and his or her contact information as well. After returning your car to the rental company, you will need to complete an accident report. Make sure to include all of the recorded information that you kept throughout the process so the rental car company can get a comprehensive summary of the crash.

Who Pays for the Damages?

Responsibility for the expenses resulting from an accident will depend on who was at fault, and in some cases, insurance coverage and rental policies may address some of these costs. Before renting the car, you may have purchased coverage to address a potential accident, and in some cases, this coverage may address some of your damages. Your own personal car insurance policy may also provide coverage for injuries or damages experienced when using a rental car.  Following an accident, you may be able to file an insurance claim with your own provider or the provider of the person who was responsible for the accident. However, before doing so, you should speak to an attorney who can help you establish the full extent of the injuries and damages you have suffered. Your attorney can also negotiate on your behalf to ensure that any settlement offered will fully address your injuries. 

Call a U.S. Virgin Islands Personal Injury Attorney

Being involved in a legal dispute is the last thing you want to do while on vacation, but sometimes you may have no choice. If you were hurt in a car accident and are seeking compensation, working with an experienced attorney is your best way to handle the situation. At Colianni & Colianni, LLC, our dedicated personal injury attorneys assist those who have been in car accidents, and we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. If you have been injured in a rental vehicle crash, contact our skilled St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John car accident lawyers today at 340-719-1766 to schedule a free consultation. 

 

Sources:

https://www.autoslash.com/blog-and-tips/posts/what-to-do-if-you-crash-your-rental-car

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/travel/what-to-do-if-you-have-an-accident-in-a-rental-car/

 

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