When compared with car crashes involving motorists driving their own vehicles, rental car accident cases are considerably more complex. It's important to know who can be held liable and whether or not you, as the injured person, are entitled to recover compensation.
Many tourists choose to rent a car to move about the city during their vacations. All the drivers in rental cars, new to another state's road traffic laws, bring worries and concerns about the risk of car accidents and serious injuries. As Florida is a no-fault state, when you drive here, you're required to hold $10,000 worth of personal injury protection/PIP (no-fault insurance). Therefore, PIP will cover damages that are up to $10,000, no matter who was at fault.
- If you're hurt while you're traveling from another state and driving a rental car in Florida, you will get the rental car's PIP coverage: up to $10,000 of your medical bills and lost wages. However, if you're severely injured, and your damages exceed $10,000, you'll need to file a personal injury claim.
- You can sue your insurance company, including the cases when you reside in a state other than Florida, are driving a rental vehicle, and have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) on your out-of-state auto policy.
- You can file a car accident claim against other drivers when they were at fault for the accident and your injuries.
- You can file a claim against the rental company. If you are a victim of a car accident involving a rental car, you should know that you can file a tort claim if you can prove that the company acted negligently. However, any car accident claim brought against the rental company based on ownership alone would be thrown out of court.
Will the Rental Company Pay for Your Medical Bills?
If you were the victim of a car crash and can prove the rental car company's negligence, you can hold it liable for the economic damages and non-economic damages that resulted from an automobile accident.
However, this can happen only if you can prove the rental company failed to properly train its employees, failed to supervise its workers, negligently entrusted the rented car, or failed to keep the rental car properly maintained.
- Poorly trained workers. The law requires employers to train their employees according to their positions in the company to ensure their clients' traffic safety. Noncompliance with this regulation makes it possible for drivers who rent cars to file a personal injury claim against car rental companies.
- Inappropriate worker supervision. Employers have to make sure that their employees' behavior will not result in potentially severe injuries to clients. If they fail to properly supervise the people working for them, they can be held liable for their employees' wrongdoings.
- Careless hiring process. Hiring practices that are neglectful and lead to a client suffering a serious injury due to the actions of an inexperienced employee can be the subject of a car accident claim filed against the rental company.
- Improper maintenance of cars provided for rental. If the rented car has not been correctly maintained or is defective, the car rental company can be sued for the injuries sustained in an accident involving the respective car, such as soft tissue injury, whiplash, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, bodily injury, or fatalities.
- Negligent entrustment of cars to drivers who are likely to cause accidents & injury to other people. Renting a car to an individual who is not licensed to drive or failing to check whether a person is medically allowed to drive can be facts used against car rental companies to build a solid car accident case.
Personal injury cases involving rental cars are complex. That's why you should contact a lawyer as early as possible. An attorney can help you sort out issues with insurance and liability and recover compensation.
Injured in a Rental Car Accident in Miami? Our Attorney Can Help
Sean M. Cleary is a Miami-based car accident attorney who represents victims of accidents involving rental cars, whether they were driving the car or were passengers in the vehicle.
Vehicle accidents can result in a wide range of catastrophic types of injuries, from fractures to severe burns to disfigurement. These car accident injuries can seriously alter your quality of life, and medical treatments require tremendous costs. Our experienced car accident attorney knows how to represent complex injury cases involving car rental companies. We also provide the necessary resources for investigations to determine if the rental company can be held responsible. Call and schedule a free consultation.