Most everyone has, at some point, been involved in an auto accident, be it minor or serious. So most of you are probably familiar with the standard procedure: exchange information with the other driver and then insurance sorts it out. The reason this proceeds so smoothly is because most accidents involve two drivers who are both insured.
However, issues begin to crop up when you are dealing with less common accidents. For example, if a driver hits your pet, the law will usually presume that it was your fault for allowing your pet into the street in the first place. The law operates like this because pets have a mind of their own and are unable to appreciate the danger of running into a street.
It would be unfair to hold drivers initially responsible for these accidents. But the law does allow you to place the blame on the driver, if you can show there was irresponsible behavior, like drinking or speeding.
On the other hand, if a car strikes a pedestrian, the law may presume that the driver is at fault. In the car-pedestrian relationship, the driver is totally safe and holds most of the power; therefore, the courts place an extra duty on drivers to behave responsibly. But, like above, if the driver can show that the pedestrian was acting recklessly, then that may relieve him or her of liability.
Typically, drivers do not need to purchase insurance on rental vehicles. This is because your car insurance usually covers you for every vehicle you drive. But it is always best to confirm that this is the case with your insurance company before renting a vehicle.
"Unusual accidents" is not code for avoiding a lawsuit at all costs; it only means that it falls outside the standard scope of car accidents. If you were involved in one of these accidents then you may want to speak to a lawyer. These cases present some unique issues that could impede your compensation.