North Carolina Rental Car Accident Attorney
A rental vehicle accident can be a complicated challenge while on vacation or otherwise. If this happens, take a deep breath, and then contact the rental vehicle accident lawyers at Rhine Law Firm for guidance and advocacy. Our Wilmington car accident lawyers are experienced and familiar with the unique complications of these types of accidents and know how to best protect your rights. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
What To Do After a Rental Vehicle Accident
Actions taken in the immediate aftermath of a rental vehicle accident are similar to those in any vehicle accident. Some of the steps to take include:
- Get yourself and others to a place of safety. While this is not always possible, the priority should be to avoid any hazards, i.e., traffic or fires, and to prevent avoidable injuries.
- Check for injuries on both you and other vehicle occupants.
- Call 911. North Carolina requires motorists to report an accident to law enforcement as soon as possible if it has caused an injury or property damage. This report will be important in your case.
- Exchange information with the other driver and passengers in all vehicles involved.
- Take photographs of your rental vehicle, the other vehicle, the scene, and your injuries.
- Contact our rental car accident attorneys at Rhine Law Firm.
What not to do after a rental car accident
- Do not discuss the potential causes of the accident with other motorists in the immediate aftermath.
- Do not discuss the accident unnecessarily with witnesses or the other driver.
Do not post details about the accident, injuries, or discussions with insurance on social media—and make sure you are not tagged in those discussions.
Compensation After a Rental Car Accident
When an accident happens, it is typically because someone was negligent in their driving. Negligence is proven by a logical formula in courts: duty, breach, injury, and causation.
Essentially, to prove negligence, you must show that someone acted unreasonably (by driving recklessly, for example) and, in doing so, directly caused injury to another person. This injury can be physical, as in a concussion, or it could be a loss of property, i.e., the rental car was totaled. Once negligence is proven, the court will move on to analyze damages.
There are three different types of damages that can be won in a negligence lawsuit: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic damages are measurable and can be proven with a receipt, invoice or bill and can include:
- Past and future medical bills.
- Lost wages from time out at work.
- Loss of earning capacity.
- Property damage, i.e., car repairs or items broken inside the vehicles.
Non-economic damages are intangible losses suffered from an accident and can include:
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Loss of consortium.
- Inconvenience from having to live with physical limitations due to the accident.
These damages can be highly subjective and require nuanced argument. For instance, consider a former Olympic athlete who, before the accident, still competed for fun and coached their children. They may have expert witness testimony on depression and anxiety amongst disabled former athletes. They will likely receive more damages than someone who rarely relied upon their physical abilities for enjoyment.
Punitive damages are awarded as a punishment to the defendant for particularly egregious actions. This must be proven to a higher standard than other damages. However, when awarded, the amount is usually significantly higher than the other categories.
How an Attorney Can Help
Accidents involving rentals can become even more complex than the average car accident as several different, overlapping insurance policies may come into play. If this happens, let the rental vehicle accident lawyers at Rhine Law Firm take the wheel. Our skilled car accident lawyers will fight for your right to receive compensation so that you can focus on healing. Contact us for a free case evaluation. We work on a contingency basis, so there are no upfront legal fees.