Rental Car Accidents in Oxnard

Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys, APC helps car accident victims in Oxnard. Getting around the city involves various vehicles, including rental cars. If you get into an accident with one, you are probably wondering about your legal options. Our car accident lawyers in Oxnard can help answer your questions and provide support. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Do You Even Need a Lawyer?

When you’re driving in Oxnard, whether in your own car or in a rental, you can unfortunately be involved in a car accident. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you need a lawyer.

If your accident or injuries are minor, you might not need legal help. But rental car accidents can be complicated, especially if injuries are involved. In such cases, consider working with us. Here’s how we can help:

  • Create a plan for your situation.
  • Help gather important evidence.
  • Explain your legal options.
  • Guide you through the legal process if you decide to move forward.

Our goal is to make the legal process easier for you and your family. We offer free initial consultations and work on a contingency-fee basis, so there’s no upfront cost to you.

Who’s Responsible When There’s a Rental Car Accident in Oxnard?

The major question that many people have when they’re in a car accident involves who’s responsible for paying for their injuries and other losses. What makes an accident with a rental car tougher is that, obviously, more people are involved. Not only do you have yourself and the driver of the car, but if it’s a rental, the rental car company is also going to have a say in the process.

Then, there’s all the other parties that can be involved, like third drivers, pedestrians, and even the city or state government.

Still, legal responsibility–or liability–for the accident is determined by “negligence.” In that respect, a rental car accident isn’t much different from a regular car accident. So, any of the following can be legally responsible when there’s a rental car accident in Oxnard:

  • Person driving the rental car – If the driver was speeding, distracted, or under the influence, they are responsible.
  • Rental company – The rental company might be liable if the accident was due to a maintenance issue or procedural problem.
  • Another driver – Another driver could be at fault if their actions caused the accident, even if they weren’t directly involved in the collision.
  • Passengers – Passengers might share liability if their actions, like distracting the driver, contributed to the accident.
  • Manufacturers – These companies could be responsible if a defect in the rental car or its parts caused the accident.
  • Government agencies – Government entities responsible for road maintenance could be liable if poorly maintained roads or improper signage led to the accident.

Liability is a huge benchmark for your claim. It tells you who you’ll be filing against, but more importantly, tells you who is legally responsible for paying for your damages. And in any car accident, these can be extensive.

What Are Your Damages After a Rental Car Accident?

There’s a few different ways to look at your damages after a rental car accident. First, there’s your injuries and losses. Whether it’s physical injuries, missing out on work and income, or the mental and emotional side of things, a car accident is going to impact you in various ways.

Then, there’s your legal damages. These two things are closely related and even dependent on one another. Basically, your legal damages are going to be based on your losses that come up because of the accident.

But to get these damages, you first have to file an injury claim. You do this either by:

  • Filing an insurance claim
  • Filing a personal injury lawsuit

With that, though, you are entitled to certain “damages” like:

  • Medical expenses, which cover costs for hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and ongoing treatments.
  • Vehicle repair or replacement costs, including any towing or service charges for the rental car.
  • Support for income lost due to the accident and future earning potential if you can’t return to work.
  • Financial considerations for the physical pain and emotional suffering caused by the accident.
  • Financial support if your ability to enjoy daily activities and hobbies is affected, or there’s a negative impact on your relationship with your family and friends.
  • Costs associated with the death of a loved one in a fatal accident, including funeral expenses and loss of financial support.

It’s crucial to file your injury claim promptly. In California, you have two years from the accident date to file your claim. Missing this deadline could prevent you from recovering these damages. Our team is here to support you and ensure you have everything you need. With that said, though, there’s things you need to do also.

What Do You Need to Do After a Rental Car Accident?

While a rental car accident in Oxnard may seem complicated, the steps you need to take are similar to any other car accident. Your top priority should be your health and safety, then you need to focus on getting as much information as you can. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Call an ambulance – Check yourself and others for injuries and call 911 if needed. Let emergency medical technicians (EMTs) take care of you and consider going to the hospital for a thorough check-up.
  • Call the police for help – Contact the Oxnard Police Department or the Ventura County Sheriff to document the accident scene. Inform the rental car company about the accident and follow their instructions.
  • Gather information – Gather names, contact details, and insurance information from everyone involved. Note details about the rental car and the rental company, and get contact information from any witnesses.
  • Document evidence – Take photos or videos of the accident scene, including the damage, road conditions, and any injuries.
  • Use caution with statements – Consult with us before speaking to insurance companies about the accident. Avoid posting anything about the incident on social media.

Remember, while each accident is unique, following these steps can help you handle a rental car accident effectively. Prioritize your health and safety, and keep in mind that rental car companies have specific protocols for managing accidents.

What If You’re Driving the Rental Car?

Obviously, a rental car company is going to be involved in the process if there’s an accident with one of their cars. This is true whether you’re the one driving it or someone else is. They have protocols in place to handle this situation, but where you need to be wary relates to California’s “comparative negligence” rule.

This rule says that you can still file an injury claim if you’re partly responsible for the accident, but your overall damages are going to be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Still, the rental company is going to play a key role in the legal process. Different companies have their own procedures, but it’s helpful to know which companies might be involved:

  • Enterprise
  • Budget
  • Dollar
  • Hertz
  • Avis
  • National

Here’s what these companies will do when there’s an accident:

  • They’ll keep detailed records of the driver, insurance, and vehicle, which they’ll have to turn over in the claims process.
  • They’ll assess the vehicle’s condition to see how damaged it is and if they can still use it. They’re supposed to do an evaluation and assessment before renting it, as well.
  • Whether or not the renter buys additional insurance, the rental company has its own insurance to handle claims if the company is found liable.

Contact Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys After a Rental Car Accident in Oxnard

Handling a car accident in Oxnard can be challenging, especially when a rental car is involved. At Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys, APC, our experienced car accident lawyers are ready to help. We have the knowledge and resources to support you in building a strong claim.

If you’ve been in a rental car accident in Oxnard, don’t wait. Contact us today for a free consultation.