Your crucial next steps after a rental car accident

November 28, 2014

If you damage a rental car in any way during a collision, it's considered an accident. If it happens, here's what you should do next.

Your crucial next steps after a rental car accident

If you've just gotten into an accident while driving a rental car, stay calm, don’t panic and follow these steps:

1. Stop and breathe

It’s easy to lose your cool and become panicked, but you need to keep level headed when dealing with an accident. Take a moment to check if you or your passengers are injured. Check your surroundings and make sure it is safe to exit your car.

2. If someone is injured, call 911 right away

While the rental car has taken damage, it is more important to make sure everyone is safe, and to get medical attention for anyone involved in the accident. A car can be repaired or replaced, people are irreplaceable.

3. Get a police report

Whether or not someone has been injured, you’ll need to call the police or visit a police station in order to get a police accident report. You will need to show this kind of documentation to your insurance company when you make a claim.

4. Document the accident

Even if you’ve just been in a minor accident, it is important to take notes. Record what happened, and include insurance information from other drivers involved, witness information, etc. Luckily smartphones come with cameras, so you can take photos.

5. Call the rental company

It's an uncomfortable call, but you need to notify the the car rental location. If the vehicle is no longer driveable, they may have to remove it from their inventory. They can also send you a replacement car, if necessary. They may need to take steps to get the car repaired, so giving them a heads up is a must.

6. Call your insurance provider

Depending on where you purchased your insurance, you’ll have to call your insurance company or credit card company. You can discuss what's covered. Depending on your insurance you will have to pay the deductible, but the additional costs will vary.

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