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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Does the At-Fault Driver Pay for Rental Car in Tennessee? (Complete Overview)

One of the first things a person must do when they get rental car insurance is look at how good the coverage is. However, another important thing to consider is who's responsible for paying for the rental car if they're involved in an accident.

Since car rental insurance isn't legally required in Tennessee, some people avoid getting it, although it can be useful in the future. Understanding rental car reimbursement can be tricky at first, which is why this article aims to cover everything to know about the topic.

Who Is Supposed to Pay for a Rental Car After an Accident in Tennessee?

Who Is Supposed to Pay for a Rental Car After an Accident in Tennessee?

Tennessee is an at-fault state; this means that the person supposed to pay for the rental car will be the one responsible for the injuries or damages that came from the accident.

Before jumping to lawsuits, it's important to keep in mind that personal car insurance sometimes covers rental cars too. Other car insurance companies offer the option to include rental car reimbursement for an additional premium.

If the accident was the other person's fault, that person's own insurance company should handle the payment to the rental company (or pay the company themselves). On the other hand, if the accident wasn't the other driver's fault, the first driver's car insurance policy will likely only pay for damages to other cars based on its limits.

The person who was at fault will have to pay a deductible directly to the rental company (unless they had rental car coverage with their insurance policy).

To summarize, if a person gets into an accident that's someone else's fault, the other driver could pay for the victim's rental car either out of pocket or through their insurance company. If it's the other way around, the victim may have to pay for their rental car out of pocket unless their insurance policy covers rentals.

What If the Rental Car Was Involved in an Accident? Who Pays for It?

The process here is similar to an accident involving a personal vehicle. However, there are a few things that may change.

If the driver bought extra auto insurance policies or collision waivers when renting their car, they only have to call their rental company and let it know about what happened; the people there should fix the car according to the coverage available.

Now, if the person didn't buy extra coverage, their regular car insurance company could cover a few of the rental company fees (unless they were at fault for the accident). In those cases, the insurance company will likely pay for the damages caused to other vehicles, and the at-fault driver will have to pay a deductible directly to the rental car company.

The victim's insurance company can also contact the at-fault driver and negotiate with them and their insurance company to cover car rental costs.

Now, there are some special cases where none of the drivers are at fault for the accident but rather the rental vehicle itself. If there's any defect in the rental car that the company should have been aware of (or were aware of) and didn't fix, they could be held liable for the accident.

The rental company may argue that it didn't know there was a problem with the vehicle before the accident, thus denying rental reimbursement coverage. However, if the victim believes the car rental company had something to do with the accident, they can sue, especially if the accident involved physical and emotional injuries.

Does Car Insurance Follow the Car or the Driver in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, car insurance companies follow the car, not the driver. In other words, if someone else other than the owner was driving the car at the time of the accident, they can still be protected with the original insurance policy.

Is Car Insurance Mandatory in Tennessee?

While car insurance technically isn't required, it's still mandatory for Tennessee drivers to show they can be financially responsible if they caused an auto accident. In other words, they're required to have liability coverage.

Not being able to provide evidence of this "financial responsibility" could lead to fines of up to $300.

How to Determine Liability in a Rental Car Accident

Proving liability in a car accident can be complicated, especially considering that most people will argue they didn't cause the incident.

Victims who want to get compensation for their damages and get rental car coverage should gather as much evidence as possible that shows the other person was at fault, call the authorities right away, gather the contact information of the other party and witnesses, and get in touch with vehicle accident lawyers in Nashville.

The lawyer will look at all the available evidence and determine who was truly at fault for the accident. They can assist with things like how to calculate pain and suffering car accident in Tennessee.

What Are the Most Common Insurance Options Offered by an Insurance Company?

Even though liability insurance is the only one required in Tennessee, there are also other options worth considering to avoid problems in the future.

The most common insurance options offered by rental and car insurance companies include:

  • Comprehensive Insurance

  • Liability Insurance

  • Collision Insurance

  • Personal Effects Coverage

  • Personal Accident Insurance

  • Rental Car Coverage

What Should Victims Do After a Car Accident in Tennessee?

What Should Victims Do After a Car Accident in Tennessee?

If the victim can move after the car accident, they should do the following:

  • Call 911.

  • Take pictures and videos of the scene of the accident (and any injuries sustained).

  • Take the other person's contact and insurance information.

  • Take the contact information of witnesses.

  • Talk to the insurance company to see what options are available regarding rental car coverage.

Victims are also encouraged to talk to a lawyer before admitting fault or doing anything that could damage their case. Insurance companies are known for offering lower settlements to people who try to represent themselves, so having someone at their side will be beneficial.

How a Professional Lawyer Can Help Victims Deal with Rental Vehicle Accidents

Dealing with an auto insurance company is something that many people dread, especially if the case involves a car rental incident. Fortunately, legal experts are willing to help those people get the justice they deserve if they aren't at fault for the accident. They can also advise on what happens with a back injury car accident settlement Tennessee.

The team at Schuerger Shunnarah will go to war for their clients, ensuring they fight the at-fault driver's insurance company and ensure the victim gets enough compensation for things beyond property damage.

Whether the victim wants to fight the other driver's insurance company (or their own), the best thing they can do is to talk with one of Schuerger Shunnarah's attorneys in a free case evaluation to get the help they deserve.


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