Rental Car Accidents in Ventura

Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys helps car accident victims in Ventura. With so many people driving in or through Ventura, there are seemingly endless scenarios where you could be in a car accident. But one you might not think about involves a rental car. This adds a layer of complexity to the legal process, but you still have options. To learn more, contact us today for a free consultation.

When Do You Need a Lawyer?

Any car accident is going to bring its share of challenges, but you aren’t required to have a lawyer to represent you in a claim. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t actually need one, especially if there’s a rental car involved.

Our Ventura car accident lawyers have the experience and resources to help you in this situation. While minor car accidents and injuries probably won’t require legal action, we can guide you through the process if you’re more seriously injured or there’s a rental car involved. Here’s what we can do:

  • Investigate the accident and figure out fault
  • Help you gather evidence and information
  • Talk to the rental company and insurance companies
  • Negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement
  • Make things easier for you

It’s never ideal being in a car accident, but it unfortunately happens. When it does, you need the right support and guidance. Our team can give you that.

What Are Your Legal Options After a Rental Car Accident?

Legally speaking, a car accident with a rental car is viewed the same as any other car accident. This doesn’t mean there aren’t unique qualities in these types of cases, but your options remain the same. If you’re injured because of someone else’s negligence, you can file an injury claim. Usually, you do this in one of two ways:

  • An insurance claim out of court
  • A personal injury lawsuit

Both processes are fairly similar, with the main difference being that the insurance process is much less formal and totally controlled by the company. They gather their own evidence and do their own investigating, then decide how much they want to offer you in a settlement. While this process can give you quicker access to funds (called “damages), it’s rarely enough to cover yoru injuries and losses fully.

A lawsuit takes much more time and effort, but gives you a better chance at a fair settlement or verdict because it happens inside the court system and is overseen by a judge and jury.

Regardless of which option you choose, you can potentially recover things like your:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income or earning potential
  • Repair/replacement costs for your vehicle or the rental car, along with associated fees
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Wrongful death expenses, if the accident is fatal


Another area where a rental car accident is the same as any other car accident is that you have two years from the date of the accident to file your claim. Miss the “statute of limitations”, and you won’t be able to recover damages at all–no matter how strong your case is.

How Will the Rental Car Company Approach the Legal Process?

One way that the legal process is different in a rental car accident is that it’s going to be a bit more complicated. This is because a rental car company (through their insurance carrier) is going to be involved.

Basically, the easiest way to think about it is that the rental car company owns the car. So, if there’s an accident and they’re responsible for it, they’ll have to cover your injuries and damages.

This is true regardless of the actual company, of which there are many throughout Ventura:

  • Enterprise
  • Avis
  • Hertz
  • Dollar
  • Budget
  • Alamo

As the owner of the actual vehicle, the rental company has several responsibilities when they rent their car out to someone else. Namely, they have to make sure that the:

  • Driver is licensed and above a certain age threshold (usually 25)
  • Car or vehicle is in good working order and there’s no issues
  • Policies and procedures are followed when renting the vehicle

When the company or its employees don’t follow these responsibilities and there’s an accident, it can open the company up to liability for your injuries and other damages.

Who’s Legally Responsible When There’s a Rental Car Accident?

Having covered how a rental car company will be involved in the legal process, the main thing you need to figure out before moving forward with your claim is simple: who’s legally responsible for the accident and your damages. This is done by establishing “negligence,” which is the legal term for certain actions that:

  • Breach the duty of care to keep you and other people on the road safe.

Here are the main possibilities when a rental car is involved:

  • Driver in the rental car – If the driver was speeding, distracted, or driving under the influence, they are likely responsible for the accident.

  • Some other driver – If another driver caused the accident, they would typically be responsible for the damages.

  • Passengers – If a passenger’s actions, such as distracting the driver, contributed to the accident, they might share some liability.

  • Manufacturers – If a defect in the rental car or its parts caused the accident, the manufacturer could be held responsible.

  • Government agencies – If the accident occurred due to poorly maintained roads or improper signage, the responsible government agency might be liable.

What If You’re Driving the Rental Car?

If you’re the one that rented the car, your legal options are pretty much the same. Still, there’s “comparative negligence” to deal with. This is a rule in California that says you can still file an injury claim, but your potential recovery of damages will be reduced by your share of the fault.

How Do You Keep a Strong Claim After a Rental Car Accident?

You don’t automatically get whatever your damages are by filing an injury claim. Rather, you have to effectively prove your case by showing your damages. This means taking certain steps in the aftermath of the accident itself, and it’s another area that can sometimes get complicated with a rental car involved. Still, they need to be taken to maintain a strong claim. Here’s what you should do:

  • Get medical help by calling 911. Also, try to get to a safe spot on the road.
  • Report the accident to local police.
  • Get as much information as you can about the driver and the rental car. If you’re driving the rental, call the rental company and follow their instructions.
  • Gather evidence at the scene, especially photos and videos.
  • Swap insurance and contact information.
  • Be careful when talking with insurance adjusters. Cooperate with police, and don’t post about the accident on social media.

Each accident is different, but these steps are generally helpful, especially for rental car accidents. Focus on your health and safety first, and everything else will follow. Keep in mind that rental car companies have specific procedures for handling accidents.

Experienced Ventura Rental Car Accident Lawyers

If you’ve been injured in a rental car accident in Ventura, you can trust the experienced rental car accident lawyers at Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys. Rental car accidents can be confusing, but we have the knowledge and resources to explain your options and guide you through the recovery process. Don’t hesitate–contact us today for a free consultation.