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I was driving a rental car and someone hit me and ran. I filed a police report told the rental company. Now, 2 years later, I’m being sued by the person who hit me and the rental company said that their lawyer isn’t going to represent me because I’m not covered. The deadline to respond to the letter is tomorrow but I haven’t done anything yet. I spoke to a lawyer and they said that the rental company has to. I also don’t have a car nor do I have insurance.
Asked on June 27, 2016 under Personal Injury, Alaska
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 4 years ago | Contributor
The rental car's insurer only has to represent you IF you'd purchased the proper insurance at the time you rented the car. If you did not have (i.e. pay for) the appropriate coverage, the rental car's insurer has no duty to you--their duty is only to their own insured, the rental car company. So it is not the case that if you drove a rental car and were an accident that the rental car's insurer must represent you or cover you. This is why people should buy insurance and/or make sure that their own car insurance provides rental coverage, when they rent a car, in order to make sure they are protected.
Of course, you will not have to pay money even if sued unless the person suing you can prove in court that you were at fault (e.g. driving negligently or carelessly) in causing the accident; liability in car accident cases depends on fault. (Though note: even if you are not at fault, if you are sued, you must respond to the lawsuit; if you fail to respond, you will lose by default.)
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