A car accident is never part of anyone’s Las Vegas vacation plans. If you get involved in a car accident in a rental car in Vegas, you may not know where to turn for assistance or financial relief. You may be able to file a lawsuit against the driver at fault for your accident or file an insurance claim with the rental car company, depending on the situation. Take the following steps to protect your legal rights after getting into a rental car crash in Las Vegas.
Stop at the Scene and Call 911
The initial steps to take after a rental car accident in Las Vegas are similar to any car crash. Start by pulling over immediately at the scene of the accident and calling 911 to report the crash. Reporting a car accident – even a minor collision – can put it on record and give you a police report that you can use during the insurance claims process. When the police arrive, be sure to give them your side of the story but do not admit fault for the rental car accident.
Check for Injuries
Check yourself, your passengers and the people in the other vehicle to find out if anyone has been injured. If there are any injuries, call the police to request an ambulance or render aid in another way without delay. If you notice any signs of a potential spinal cord injury, such as pain in your back or numbness or tingling anywhere in your body, try to limit your movements until paramedics arrive to avoid worsening the injury. Keep in mind that the signs of an injury could be masked by your adrenaline from the crash.
The next step is to exchange contact information with the other driver. This includes your names, addresses, vehicle descriptions and insurance information. If you involve the police, they can collect this information for you. Again, do not admit fault for the accident when talking to the other driver.
Call the Rental Car Company
Call the rental car company to inform them of the accident. The phone number for the rental company, as well as instructions on what to do if you get in an accident, should be on your rental agreement. When speaking to the rental car company, don’t admit fault for the crash. Follow their instructions for where to take (or tow) the rental car. They may wish to have it towed back to the rental company or a designated repair shop.
Contact Your Car Insurance Company
If you chose to purchase rental car insurance, the rental car company will help you file a claim. Rental car insurance protects you from having to pay out of pocket for a car accident, even if you caused the crash. If you did not purchase this insurance, you may still qualify for coverage for your medical bills and property repairs from your own personal car insurance policy or the at-fault driver.
Call your own insurer to find out if you have adequate coverage. Keep in mind that you will need more than the minimum required amount in Nevada, as the minimum does not cover rental car accidents. Another coverage option could be your credit card company. Call your company to find out if this is available if you caused the crash.
Consult With a Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyer
Finally, contact a Las Vegas car accident attorney to help you navigate the claims process. Your attorney can explain your rights after a rental car accident and assist you with an insurance claim. If the other driver caused the crash, your lawyer can collect evidence of fault to bring a claim against that driver. Otherwise, an attorney can search for other sources of compensation, such as rental car insurance, your own insurance or your credit card company. A lawyer will do whatever is possible to optimize the outcome of your car accident case.