Florida Auto Accidents with Rental Cars
Florida law requires all rental car drivers to have insurance, and many car rental companies offer additional coverage. However, you may have many questions after a crash, whether you or another driver operated a rental car.
In many cases, victims of these crashes call on car accident attorneys to help them sort out their insurance claims and protect their rights. After all, both personal injury and property damage claims stemming from Florida auto accidents with rental cars can quickly get complicated.
What Happens After a Rental Car Injury Accident?
Regardless of who is behind the wheel of a rental car, the same laws apply in all auto accidents in Florida. Each driver must have a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This is no-fault coverage that pays medical bills and lost wages after a crash, regardless of what or who caused the accident.
If one’s injuries go beyond the applicable PIP coverage, the victim may step outside the no-fault system and pursue a liability insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. This is only possible under certain circumstances in Florida. However, the same rules apply whether a rental car is involved or not.
Property Damage Claims After a Rental Car Auto Accident
Property damage claims involving rental cars can get complicated. Generally, there are four ways your rental car might have coverage:
- You purchased insurance from the rental car company.
- You have an insurance policy that covers the rental car’s damage (usually your own collision insurance).
- Your credit card provides secondary coverage.
- The other driver was at fault, so their liability policy pays for any losses.
Determining liability is key because this is not like repairing your own car. There are many more considerations, and the rental car company could come after you regardless of your case’s facts. Rental car companies often seek damages for:
- The repair or replacement of the car
- The diminished value of the vehicle
- The cost of paying mechanics to fix the vehicle
- Other related expenses and fees
Is the Rental Car Company Liable for My Collision-Related Damages?
Federal law bars you from holding a rental car company vicariously liable for your injuries or other damages after a crash in most cases, per 49 U.S.C. § 30106 (also known as the Graves Amendment). This holds true even if an intoxicated driver caused the accident while driving a rental car
Exceptions may apply when a problem with the vehicle causes the crash. This could include:
- Poor maintenance
- Improper repairs
- Other issues with the vehicle’s condition caused by the rental company’s negligence
All rental car companies must ensure the vehicles they rent out are safe. This involves regularly inspecting cars, responding to concerns, and other obligations.
Recovering Compensation in Your Florida Rental Car Crash
As noted, Florida requires drivers to carry PIP insurance covering their basic expenses and losses following a crash. An attorney can determine if you meet the specific circumstances to step outside this system and seek fault-based injury compensation.
If another driver caused you to suffer serious rental car accident injuries, their auto liability insurance should pay for your damages. This requires you to file a claim or sue that party to demand compensation. Under Florida Statutes § 95.11, you only have a limited time to sue following a crash. Act as soon as your injuries allow.
A Florida Auto Accident Attorney Will Represent Your Best Interests
Working with a Florida car accident lawyer can be wise if you suffered injuries in a crash involving a rental car. These cases often become very complex. You want an advocate who understands the legal process and can champion your rights.
Your attorney will ensure you pursue fair and just compensation based on your expenses and losses. Do not get stuck holding the bill for something that was not your fault, including expenses the rental car company may try to recover. Consider connecting with a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer about your case as soon as possible after the crash.
A Rental Car Accident Lawyer Can Pursue What You Need
After reviewing your situation, an attorney can seek compensation for your accident-related losses, including:
- Healthcare costs
- Lost income and other job-related benefits
- Pain and Suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- The cost of replacing your vehicle
Depending on your situation, you could seek additional losses to those listed here.
Get a Free Case Assessment from Our Team
Discuss your rental car accident with an attorney today at no cost to you or your family. At the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato, we offer complimentary consultations, so South Florida crash victims can learn more about their legal options. Call (954) 633-8270 for your free case assessment today. We can discuss your case in more detail, including how much you can recover.