If you are planning a family vacation and are thinking about renting a vehicle to drive to your destination, there are several legal issues attached to that decision. For example, if you get into a car accident and a family member dies, does your insurance cover that, or does the rental company's insurance cover it? It can all be very confusing. If this scenario has already happened to you, you might want to consider speaking with a lawyer before you contact your insurance and the rental company. You may be surprised at how a wrongful death via car accident and rental car gets sorted out.
The Rental Car's Extra Insurance
This type of insurance is offered by nearly every rental car brand. It is meant to cover drivers who are not insured by their own insurance, are underinsured, or whose insurance does not cover them if they are driving a car they do not own. Even if you take the extra insurance, which is billed to you at a flat daily rate in excess of your daily rental fees, it does not cover you, your passengers, the drivers and passengers in other cars, or even other cars that are involved in the accident. It only protects you against paying the total repairs or reimbursement of the rental vehicle, so if someone dies as a result of an auto accident, the rental car company does not cover any part of your loss or someone else's loss, and you could still be sued (or have to sue another driver if your passengers pass away).
Filing Claims with Your Own Insurance
There may be some fine print on your own auto insurance about accidents in vehicles that you do not own. Before you go on vacation, check your insurance documents closely, and add any travel insurance addenda to your auto policy to help cover potential issues like this one. It may be a good idea to have a personal injury or auto accident attorney take a close look at the fine print in your policy before you travel. Otherwise, have the wrongful death attorneys look at your policy after the accident and before you file a claim.
Pursuing Claims with the Driver That Hit You
If the rental insurance and your own auto insurance is not confusing enough, filing a complaint with the insurance company of the driver that caused damages and fatalities in the accident only adds to the confusion. Thankfully, your wrongful death attorney can help you with that as well. He or she can read through all of the policies from the three insurance sources and help you file claims and complaints accordingly. In the event there is no legal satisfaction for your loss, then your lawyer can file the lawsuit too. Contact a local lawyer, like Bangel, Bangel, & Bangel, for more help.