What is my liability if I had a car accident with a rental car?
Question Details: I ran into an animal. My car insurer paid all physical damages with no deductible to me. However, the car rental company wants me to pay a $2,000 administrative fee regarding administrative work and loss in value. Is this real? My car insurance comp may declined. What is real and what can be fought?
If you were negligent, or careless, then you are potentially liable for any costs or losses they incurred due to the accident--which does *not* necessarily include an administrative fee (they can't necessarily charge for their own staff time, for example), unless such fee was disclosed in the rental contract/agreement. In terms of whether you were negligent, the issue is: were you careless? Were you driving to fast for the conditions; or not paying attention; etc.? If so, you could be liable; if not, you should not be.
If you refuse to pay voluntarily but they believe you should, they could file a lawsuit. Bear in mind that even if you believe you'd ultimately win any lawsuit (e.g. you can show you were not negligent or careless), that defending against a lawsuit has its own costs, in terms of both time and money--and also that the outcome is never certain. If it appear that they are serious and will sue, and especialloy if you are not certain about your negligence, you may wish to try to settle the case for a mutually agreeable amount.