Reclaiming Your Life after a Devastating Accident

Why It's Important To Document Vehicle-Related Details After An Accident With A Rental Car

by Stacy Dean

Among the many factors that play a role in car accidents, driver error and vehicle problems are often to blame. If you've been in a car accident with a rental car, and you believe that something with the car contributed to the accident — for example, worn-out brake pads — you may think about filing a lawsuit against the rental company for failing to maintain the vehicle to a safe standard. When possible, it's ideal if you can document any vehicle-related details that you believe may be relevant to your case before you leave the accident scene and then contact an attorney. Here's why.

You Might Not Have Future Access

When you're in an accident with your own vehicle, you'll have access to it while it's being repaired. For example, you can simply visit the repair shop if you need to document something related to the vehicle to pass along to your car accident attorney. This isn't the case with a rental. Once you leave the accident scene, it's almost certain that you won't see the vehicle again, which means that failing to document something that may be critical to the case could put your case in jeopardy.

The Company May Change Something

If you believe that worn-out brakes were to blame for the accident, this detail will be at the center of your legal case. With photos of the brakes taken at the scene, you'll have a compelling argument. Without photos, it's possible that the company may fix this problem and then refute your claims. For example, if the company realizes that the brakes were worn out, it may simply replace them promptly and then provide its own photos and argue that the brakes were fine. When you have your own accident-scene photos, the company's shady strategy won't work.

How To Document These Problems

The best way to document any rental car problems is by taking photos and shooting video clips with your smartphone. Photos are effective as evidence because they're largely irrefutable. If you don't have the capacity to take photos, make as many notes as you can at the accident scene. Accident scene notes can be important in a car accident case. You should also identify what you believe might have contributed to the accident when you're speaking to the police. If the police can document one of these problems and put it in the accident report, this will help your legal position.

Talk with a car accident attorney about your case and the evidence you gathered to give yourself a stronger position.