I was in a fender bender in a rental car. I was rear ended; rental car was fine, the other one had some damage to the bumper and headlight. The other party did not have any information (insurance, registration) on him at the time and requested we not contact the police. Since there was no damage to the rental car, and since I have no car insurance, I agreed. We exchanged phone numbers and left it at that.
I returned the rental and 2 weeks later I get a call from his insurance wanting to know all the information about the accident, rental car, my insurance, etc. I have not called them back. What is my obligation here? I have no insurance and my fear is that by talking to them I am opening myself up to a lot of potential liability? What happens if I just ignore the calls?
Do not talk to them, but you should report the accident and discuss the situation with the agency that rented the car to you. If the other driver is making up a story that puts you at fault, the owner of the car has some liability, and your rental agreement most likely obliges you to inform that agency of accidents, regardless of who is at fault.
Personal Injury Lawyer
I agree, I would be concerned that he told his insurance company that you caused the damage, who knows?
This is general advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
General Practice Lawyer
If you ignore the calls, you may simply get sued. I say call them back and I say call the rntal car company to report the situation. Sometimes the second voice to be heard is not given the benefit of the doubt.
In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.
I would strongly recommend that you not communicate with the opposing party's insurance carrier until you have spoken with an attorney and reviewed all pertinent details of your case. As the other attorneys suggested, I would be highly suspicious of what he may have told his insurance carrier. For over 20 years, I have represented clients throughout California to get them the compensation they deserve for their injuries. The fact of the matter is that the insurance company is just looking for a way to not pay for the damages to the car and you need someone to protect your rights. I hope that I can be of service to you.
Personal Injury Lawyer
I agree with the previous responses that you should not speak with the at-fault driver’s insurance and report the collision to the rental company. However, your question is unclear whether or not you have separate auto insurance coverage as opposed to insurance purchased from the rental company. If you have separate auto insurance coverage, report the claim to your insurance and they will conduct their own investigation.
This information is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship between you and any attorney. Such information is intended for general informational purposes only.