What to do if I rented a car, was hit from behind and the back bumper was damaged but I didn’t get all of the relevant info from the at-fault driver?

The back bumper was damaged but I paid extra for the damage waiver. I returned the car with the info of the man who hit me and the manager said that I was in the clear. My problem is I didn’t get all the info from the man that hit me, including his insurance info and didn’t wait for police to file a report. Now the rental company’s insurance carrier is refusing to pay the 3k repair bill to them and the rental company hired a debt collector to send me a debt letter. Am I liable for this?

Asked on February 16, 2015 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Under the terms of the typical rental contract, you are liable to the car rental company--they can look to get any amounts not paid by insurance from you. However, they do have to honor the terms of the damage wavier you purchased, so review the terms of it and see if you complied with your obligations; if you did, then they have to honor it regardless of whether the are getting the money from their insurer.

You also have the right to sue the person who hit you (since he hit you from behind, the law would almost always consider him to have been at fault in causing the accident) for any losses, costs, etc. which you have to pay.


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