Charleston Rental Car Accident Lawyer

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Charleston Rental Car Accidents

We rely on rental cars as important means of transportation for work trips and vacations, or in various situations when we cannot use our own vehicles. If the driver owns a personal vehicle, the driver’s own insurance company will typically cover you in the event of a rental car accident. They may also be insurance coverage through the rental car company. Even though rental car accidents happen every day in Charleston, these can be complicated legal events. If the accident happened while you were on a work trip, the insurance coverage disputes can be even more complex. If you are injured in your own car, but the at-fault driver was in a rental car, the situation can be equally complicated.

Is The Rental Car Company at Fault?

The major rental car companies in the U.S. are Avis, Hertz, Enterprise, National, Alamo, Thrifty, Dollar and Budget. If the rental car contributed to the accident, and your injuries or a loved one’s wrongful death, they may be liable for your injuries or a loved one’s death. This scenario could arise a few different ways:

  • If the rental car company rents a vehicle to someone without a license, and that driver causes an accident, they could be liable.
  • If the rental car company fails to perform standard vehicle maintenance, or fails to fix an issue they are aware of, they may be liable for resulting accidents.
  • If the rental car company is aware of dangerous conditions in a vehicle, or in their fleet of vehicles and continues to rent out the vehicles, they may be liable. For example, if a major recall is issued for a type of vehicle and the rental car company ignores it.

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Rental Car Crash Injuries

Your claim for injuries resulting from an accident involving a rental vehicle will be similar to a claim involving a privately owned vehicle. However, a rental car company may also bear some responsibility or provide additional insurance coverage depending on the circumstances. We know that car accidents cause very serious injuries, like concussions, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and bone fractures. When these injuries are serious, they have tremendous financial consequences and may affect your ability to work and earn a living for a very long time. If you are involved in a collision, it is important to get medical treatment promptly. Even if you are out of state on vacation, do not skip going to the doctor. Your medical records are a part of your personal injury claim.

Types of Coverage That May Apply in a Rental Car Collision

Generally, three types of insurance will apply following a rental car accident:

  • The driver’s car insurance (like Allstate, State Farm, GEICO, Farmers, Wawanesa, or USAA)
  • Supplemental coverage from the rental car company (this is an add-on expense that will be offered at the time you rent the vehicle).

Insurance companies offer a variety of coverage options. If you are renting a car, it’s important to carefully check what your car insurance policy and credit card company cover. Your rental car company will likely offer you the following add-on options:

  • Liability Insurance Supplement
  • Additional Liability Insurance (ALI)
  • Limited Loss Damage Waiver
  • Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)
  • Partial Damage Waiver
  • Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)
  • Personal Effects Coverage

A PAI policy provides accidental death benefits and emergency medical expense benefits to the renter and all passengers in the rental car.

Carefully review how your own insurance works when applied to a rental car contract, and the specific limitations. For example, your own car insurance may have limitations on how long you can use your insurance policy on a longer-term rental. If you don’t have car insurance and your credit card does not provide benefits, you might need to purchase coverage through the rental car company.

Note: Even if you purchased insurance coverage through the rental car company, there could be situations where you voided the contract. For example, if you caused an accident while intoxicated, the LDW will not cover you. Or, if you took the rental car “off-road” and crashed, the LDW and ALI will be void and will not apply. Most rental car companies have language similar to “Even if you buy the damage waiver, you and any authorized driver will remain liable for damage if you violate the terms of the rental agreement.”

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No upfront costs to you or your family. We recover maximum compensation for our clients.

Preserving Evidence After a Rental Car Crash

Do not wait. Following an accident, evidence is crucial. When a collision involves your own vehicle, your car may be put in storage or towed to a repair facility where it can be looked at later by an investigator. If your accident involves a rental car, what the rental car company does with the vehicle is largely out of your control, unless you have an attorney. If the car is repaired or destroyed, you may lose the ability to prove how you were harmed. If you contact Charleston rental car accident injury lawyer Mark Bringardner right away, he and his team can help you preserve evidence following a crash.

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We will answer your questions for free in a no-pressure consultation. Contact us today to discuss your potential case with a Charleston rental car accident attorney at Bringardner Injury Law Firm. If we represent you, there are no fees unless we recover money for you.


The Auto Accident Claims Process

You are Injured in An Accident

What should I do after an accident?

Immediately after an accident, if you are injured, you should call 911 and seek immediate medical attention. This may seem obvious if you have pain at the scene of the collision, but often times injury victims may not feel pain until the adrenaline wears off, hours or even days after an accident. Any delay in seeking medical attention and the appropriate diagnostic testing could lead to problems down the road. Next, before contacting any insurance company, it can be smart to consult an experienced South Carolina accident attorney to protect your rights.

You will likely want to make sure that your medical records, bills, lost income, and other issues are being handled and documented properly.

Does health insurance pay for your medical bills? Does the other person’s insurance company pay? What is Medpay? How do you submit a claim for lost income? Should you go to your primary care doctor or a specialist? What if you don’t have a doctor? Who fixes your vehicle? Where do you take your vehicle? These are questions an experienced South Carolina personal injury attorney can assist you with. It may also be a good idea to have your attorney conduct an investigation on your behalf as soon as possible so important evidence does not get lost.

How do I hire Bringardner Injury Lawyers?

First, you should call our office and speak with us directly about your case. Or, you can fill out our online form and we will call you as soon as possible to go over your claim and answer all of your questions. We are happy to meet with you in-person, through a virtual conference, or over the phone.

If you decide to hire us, we will send you the necessary paperwork so we can immediately begin working on your case.

So I've Hired A Lawyer. Now What?

When you hire us, we immediately go to work on your case. We will deal with the insurance company, the investigation, gathering of your medical bills, and building your case.

After getting your vehicle repaired or replaced, you only have 1 job to do after hiring us. Get better. We want you to focus on your recovery and follow all your doctors' orders. Doing this will hopefully put you on the path toward a full recovery.

Building Your Case

Immediately after you hire us, we will begin building your case. First, we will send a letter to the insurance company stating that you have retained representation, and that they are not allowed to contact you directly. They must go through us.

The Investigation

We quickly start investigating your accident by obtaining witness statements, obtaining evidence, gathering your medical records, calculating your wage losses and future medical bills, and any other damages you may have suffered as a result of your accident. Your only job is to go to the medical appointments and try to get better.

Settlement Negotiations

What's a Settlement?

A settlement is typically a sum of money paid by an insurance company. The vast majority of cases settle before going to court. However, we prepare all of our cases for a trial if that becomes necessary. We will fight to the fullest extent of the law to try and get you full and fair compensation.

How Long Will It Take?

Typically clients want to know two things: How much is my case worth and how long will it take? No lawyer knows the answers to those questions when you first hire them. The fact of the matter is that there are hundreds of factors that will determine the answers. Early in the case, you may not know the extent of any permanent injuries for which you may need compensation, and you may not know the total amount of your medical bills until a later date. Once your condition stabilizes and our investigation into the case is completed, your South Carolina accident attorney will be able to give you a more informed legal opinion. At that time a “demand” is typically sent to the insurance company to begin the potential settlement process.
Once a demand is sent to the insurance company, the insurance company usually responds after completing an evaluation of your case. At that point, your accident attorney will discuss the insurance company's response with you. If you are not satisfied with the insurance company's settlement offer or response, and no settlement is reached, then the next step is for your accident attorney to file a lawsuit. Most settlements are paid within 4 weeks of being accepted. However, if an acceptable settlement is not reached at this phase, the next step is for us to prepare and file a lawsuit.

Filing a Lawsuit

Filing The Complaint

Most of the time, auto accident cases are resolved in a settlement, but in some instances, they require a lawsuit to get resolved. In this instance, the first step is for your auto accident attorney to write a legal document called a complaint. The complaint is filed at the courthouse, and then the defendant (more likely his insurance company) will have an attorney file a formal response with the Court. Filing a lawsuit does not mean that you are going to trial. Again, the vast majority of lawsuits also settle before trial. People often think they are “going to court” if the file a lawsuit. In layman’s terms, the filing of a lawsuit simply takes the case out of the informal setting between your lawyer and the insurance company and formally puts it in into the court system so that a judge can assist with any legal disputes that arise.


The discovery phase begins after a lawsuit is filed. This phase of the case allows both sides to ask questions and obtain additional documents that may not have been available without a subpoena. The purpose is to “discover” the other side's evidence, and learn more about the opposing party's case. This is done by many methods, including submitting requests for documents, and submitting interrogatories (questions in writing that the opposing party must answer) or depositions (in-person or videoconference interviews conducted by the attorneys.)

We will be by your side, every step of the way, to fight for a favorable outcome in your case.

Alternative Resolution Methods

At any point during the case, you can decide to settle your case. There are several ways to settle a case.


Sometimes cases settle on “the court house steps”. That means that the case settles right before trial. Often times, the threat of a jury trial is the only thing that encourages the insurance company to increase their settlement offer. That is because during your case, the settlement money is under their control. Once a trial begins, the insurance company loses some of that control and it is placed in the hands of the judge and/or jury – who may order a lot more money to be paid to you than what the insurance company wants to offer. Sometimes the most reasonable and fair settlement offers do not get made until right before a trial is scheduled to begin. Some cases even settle during or even after trial. While this is less common, it occurs from time to time.


Mediation is a process where both parties meet in front of an agreed-upon mediator. Mediators are trained professionals who are skilled at moderating fair negotiations. The goal of mediation is a resolution, but if no resolution is reached, the case will continue on.
During The Course Of The Case, Both Parties May Also Engage In Direct Negotiations.


We prepare every case as if we are going to trial. We believe the best way to avoid trial and obtain the best settlement possible is to show the insurance company that we will accept nothing other than a fair settlement, and take it to a trial if it is necessary.

What Happens At Trial?

At trial, we will present your case in front of a jury or judge to let them decide the fair value of your case.


At the end of trial, we typically receive a verdict, which can result in a judgement. Trial can take anywhere from a day to a week (or more) depending on the complexity of the case.


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Get in touch with us today to get started on your free case review. After you submit your information, we will contact you as soon as possible before the end of the business day. We review all submissions as quickly as possible in the order in which they are received.