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UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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I need help

I was driving a rental car and someone hit me and ran. I filed a police report told the rental company. Now, 2 years later, I’m being sued by the person who hit me and the rental company said that their lawyer isn’t going to represent me because I’m not covered. The deadline to respond to the letter is tomorrow but I haven’t done anything yet. I spoke to a lawyer and they said that the rental company has to. I also don’t have a car nor do I have insurance.

Asked on June 27, 2016 under Personal Injury, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The rental car's insurer only has to represent you IF you'd purchased the proper insurance at the time you rented the car. If you did not have (i.e. pay for) the appropriate coverage, the rental car's insurer has no duty to you--their duty is only to their own insured, the rental car company. So it is not the case that if you drove a rental car and were an accident that the rental car's insurer must represent you or cover you. This is why people should buy insurance and/or make sure that their own car insurance provides rental coverage, when they rent a car, in order to make sure they are protected.
Of course, you will not have to pay money even if sued unless the person suing you can prove in court that you were at fault (e.g. driving negligently or carelessly) in causing the accident; liability in car accident cases depends on fault. (Though note: even if you are not at fault, if you are sued, you must respond to the lawsuit; if you fail to respond, you will lose by default.)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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