I rented a truck and thought the rental companies liability coverage they were required to have to meet the states minimums would protect me from liability in an accident up to those minimums. I was in an accident and deemed at fault. No damage to the rental vehicle but there was damage to the other person's car. The rental company's insurance told me that their liability coverage would handle it. But after talking to the other lady's insurance, she is telling me the rental company's insurance is denying liability and refusing to pay, which is why they turned me into a collection agency. It was a very minor accident: <30mph with a two baseball size dents in a fender and two scratches on the lady's bumper. But she opened a medical claim with her insurance. I don't have personal auto insurance to step in since I drive a company car. I'm assuming I need a lawyer at this point to help defend what I'm going to have to pay the ladies insurance company?? What kind of lawyer do I need? Does a personal injury attorney only protect those who get injured or can they play the role of defense and help me prove her claims could potentially be false?
Go to a reputable lawyer that does not advertise on TV.
This answer is provided as a public service for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. Providing this information does not create an attorney-client relationship nor is any information shared considered privileged or confidential. As with all legal matters, you should contact an experienced attorney and be aware that there are time limits for asserting potential claims.
Even though this may have been a "minor accident" be mindful that minor accidents can produce substantial injury.
It sounds like, from the facts you have posted, their insurance is covering you. But, instead of accepting liability they're denying it i.e. they are saying the crash wasn't your fault. I would make the facts of the crash very clear to the rental company's insurance carrier or representative so they can't come back and say "he told us he wasn't at fault, so we denied the claim."
From the limited information here, it seems like you are covered but that the insurance company (surprise surprise) is fighting it so that don't have to make payment on the claim.
At this point, I wouldn't worry too much unless you get a letter from the rental car companies insurance stating that they will not defend you if this goes to suit. And, if it does, immediately get them a copy of the summons and the complaint to the rental company's insurance carrier. Finally, I am sure an Texas attorney will likely jump in with an answer based specifically on Texas law. If one does, best to listen to them.
Best of luck to you.
Disclaimer: This answer is based on the limited information provided in your questions. This answer does not constitute legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship. You should seek advice from an attorney with whom you can discuss the entirety of the case and is familiar with the laws of your specific jurisdiction.
You need to find an attorney who would be willing to defend a car wreck case either on an hourly basis or a flat fee. Many defense lawyers who defend car wreck cases have a standing agreement with major insurers that they will defend a case through trial for $x,xxx but if they case does not settle and goes to trial, they will defend the case for an additional $x,xxx.
It sounds like someone needs to take a closer look at why the rental company's liability insurance is not providing coverage and refusing to reimburse her insurer. That sounds odd to me. I have represented injured people hit by an uninsured driver in a rental car, and the rental car company paid the claim under their own insurance coverage because the person who rented the vehicle did not have their own policy.
What does the other driver's insurance want you to pay them back? If all they want is the cost of repair paid back, not the medical claim, maybe your money would be better spent on that than hiring an attorney. The insurance company may not expect you to reimburse them for her medical claim and it is unlikely an attorney would take her case and sue you if the attorneys knows beforehand that there is no insurance coverage.
It is always better to retain counsel, but I am not 100% convinced at this stage you need to. If you decide to go that route you would be looking for law firms that do insurance defense work and list insurance companies among their clients.
Disclaimer: answers posted by attorney Daragh Carter to questions posted on AVVO are NOT privileged or confidential and will not and should not be construed to create an attorney-client relationship between attorney Daragh Carter and you or anyone else.
If the rental company's insurance told you that their liability coverage would handle it then they likely will handle it, and probably already are working on it. Denying liability simply put means that the rental company's insurance is saying at this point they don't think the accident was your fault. It doesn't mean that they are saying you are on your own in regard to the lawsuit. Be careful speaking to the other lady's insurance or her too much, their interests are directly opposed to your own. I would advise you to call the rental company's insurance, whichever adjuster was assigned to the claim, and get some clarification on some of your questions before seeking out an attorney.
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