Rental cars are everywhere in Las Vegas. Some tourists prefer renting a car instead of taking public transportation or an Uber to get where they want to go. Any accident involving a rental car has certain complications, however. Whether you were driving the rental or were struck by one, complex issues arise involving insurance and liability. Many accident victims have no idea what to do.
Please contact Ladah Law Firm if you have any questions. We have experienced lawyers who can represent you after a rental car accident in Las Vegas as you seek compensation for your injuries. We can also work with different insurance companies to coordinate which insurer should cover bills.
Popular Rental Car Companies in Las Vegas
Some of the more popular rental companies include:
Many people rent a car at the airport as soon as they land. However, others might pick up a rental elsewhere in Nevada and drive into the city.
Reasons for Rental Car Accidents
Rental cars get into accidents for all the same reasons as other vehicles, including:
- Driver error—a driver could fail to use a turn signal, make an illegal U-turn, or commit some other infraction on the road.
- Driver inattention—drivers become distracted by cell phones, other electronic devices, and their passengers. Las Vegas itself has many attractions which are themselves distracting.
- Chemical impairment—a driver who uses alcohol or drugs could have impaired reflexes and poor decision-making abilities.
- Improper maintenance—a poorly maintained rental car could get into a wreck.
Some people rent a vehicle they are unfamiliar with, such as a giant SUV, so they don’t handle the vehicle with as much skill as we would expect. That is another factor in accidents.
Insurance Requirements for Rental Cars
Liability insurance covers anyone injured by a negligent driver. In Nevada, all drivers should carry liability coverage with the following minimums:
- $25,000 per person injured in the accident
- $50,000 per accident (involving 2 or more people)
- $20,000 in property damage
Generally, a driver’s personal automobile insurance will cover a rental car accident, so a Nevada driver should have the minimum listed above to pay to anyone they hit. Many people who rent a car come from out of state, so they might have higher limits than those listed above—or lower limits.
Rental car agents in Nevada do not ask drivers if they have personal automobile insurance. But they will probably try to sell additional protection, such as Collision Damage Waiver or Loss Damage Waiver coverage. This waiver can be a good value.
If you are at fault for a crash while driving a rental car, you need to pay compensation to any victim for bodily injuries and car damage. You also need to pay to fix the rental car.
Collision Damage Waiver coverage will pay to fix the damage to the rental car. That means you won’t have to pay out of pocket. Unfortunately, it does not cover bodily injuries caused by the collision.
This optional coverage only kicks in if you followed the terms of the rental agreement. This might be a point of dispute with the rental company. For example, you might have let an unauthorized person drive the vehicle when you got into a crash, or you were driving it off-road which most companies prohibit.
Insurance Through a Credit Card
You might also have insurance through your credit card. Many cards offer rental accident protection if you use the card to rent the vehicle. For example, American Express offers protection of up to $50,000 for most of their cards.
Typically, credit cards offer only collision and theft coverage but not bodily injury. This insurance will cover repairs for damage caused by a crash, up to a certain amount.
Collision coverage is helpful, especially if you don’t have personal collision coverage or didn’t pick up Collision Damage Waiver coverage through the rental company. The rental company will probably expect you to pay to get the car fixed after a crash, even if you are not at fault.
What happens if you have multiple policies that could cover car damage? You should work with a Las Vegas car accident lawyer at Ladah Law Firm. We can analyze which insurance is primary and which is secondary.
Who Can You Sue for a Rental Car Accident?
Nevada is a “fault” state for car accidents. We will assign liability based on who is to blame for the collision.
Most people involved in accidents sue:
- The negligent driver who hit them
- The rental car company
- The car manufacturer, if the vehicle had a design or manufacturing defect
- A municipality, if the road was defective and contributed to a crash
You want to stop after an accident, as is required by state law. You should also swap personal and insurance information and call the police immediately.
Bringing a successful claim requires evidence to support what happened. None of the insurance adjusters were there, so they don’t know who is to blame. You should find helpful evidence, such as eyewitnesses, and also take pictures of all cars after the crash. Walk around each side of every vehicle and get a picture of any damage caused by the crash.
Rental Car Company Liability
The rental car company registers the vehicle in Nevada, so they need to comply with NRS 482.295 and have minimum insurance on the vehicle. That means you can get them to pay compensation if the rental driver is at fault but has no liability coverage. Under NRS 482.305, a rental company’s liability is limited to $25,000 for bodily injury, up to $50,000 for bodily injuries in one accident, and $20,000 in property damage for one crash.
However, you might be able to sue them for full damages when the rental company or its agent has been negligent. For example:
- They did not maintain the vehicle by performing necessary repairs. If the brakes fail, then the rental car company could be legally responsible.
- They rent a car to someone who is underage. They should check the age of the driver, and failure to do so can make them negligent.
- They rent a car to someone who is clearly intoxicated or high. The rental company should know this driver is likely to crash, so they should decline to rent.
There may be other situations. You should meet with our Las Vegas car accident lawyer to review. A rental company is a desirable defendant. They should have a large liability policy, which means you are more likely to receive full and fair compensation.
What if Nobody Has Insurance?
As mentioned above, the rental car company must have insurance to register the vehicle. Nevada law will require them to pay up to $25,000 per person injured in the collision, with a $50,000 maximum for all victims. This provides some minimum level of protection if the rental driver has no personal insurance or lets their coverage lapse before they rented the vehicle.
Deadlines for Bringing a Lawsuit
Nevada has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims based on car accidents. This is the maximum amount of time you get to file a lawsuit in court. We encourage you to pick up the phone and call us if you have questions.
When you go past the deadline, you lose out on the ability to sue the defendant. That is a high price to pay for waiting too long.
Contact Ladah Law Firm for Assistance
Our firm has helped many motorists injured in rent-a-car collisions. We can review the facts to identify faults and analyze which insurance policies apply to the crash. Call us today at (702) 252-0055.