Civil litigation and car rental agency claims

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2023 | Car Accidents |

When an accident occurs on a Florida roadway, questions may arise in the aftermath about negligence. Any party who contributed liability to the collision could face a civil claim. For example, when someone knowingly lends their vehicle to someone known for reckless driving, the owner may be liable for any harm inflicted. But what if the owner is a rental agency? That may bring additional questions about how to seek a compensation claim.

Accidents and car rentals

At one time, vicarious liability meant that car rental companies could be liable for injuries caused by their customers under blanket circumstances. In 2005, the passage of the federal Graves Amendment released car rental companies from liability in certain situations. That does not mean the rental company is entirely free from liability in all cases. If the rental company allows an impaired driver to rent a vehicle, the rental company may face a lawsuit if a DUI crash occurs.

Similarly, a rental agency could be liable for injuries caused by poor vehicle maintenance. If the company allows its fleet to fall into neglect and does not fix problems contributing to an accident, expect the rental agency to face a liability claim.

Insurance and auto collisions

When the person renting the vehicle has a personal auto insurance policy, the coverage likely extends to the rental. Therefore, anyone injured in the accident could file an insurance claim with the customer’s provider. Those without insurance can buy auto liability waivers from the rental company. This means victims could claim directly from the rental company’s coverage after any motor vehicle accidents.

Insurance providers could be challenging, so serious negotiations may be necessary to receive an appropriate settlement. Also, suing above the policy’s limits or suing a negligent third party might be worth pursuing.


attorneys Brad Culpepper and Brett J. Kurland