Injured in a Rental Car, Who is Liable?August 23, 2021
Most people don’t really rent cars regularly. However, there’s a higher risk of getting into an accident at times when people rent cars because they are usually unfamiliar with the rental car and the area where they’re driving. In the unfortunate event that you do end up getting into an accident, you may be wondering who’s going to cover your injuries and other losses.
Liability and Insurance Coverage in Rental Car Accidents
Regardless of whether or not the vehicles involved in a car accident are rental cars, the general rule is that drivers who have caused the accident should be held legally responsible for the innocent party’s injuries and related damages. This means that the fact that the injured party or the negligent driver was driving a rental car makes no difference when it comes to liability for the car accident.
However, rental car accidents could sometimes become complicated due to insurance coverage issues. The at-fault driver will usually reimburse the injured victim’s damages. However, several different insurance policies and insurers might apply when the at-fault driver was driving a rental vehicle:
- The personal auto insurance coverage of the at-fault driver is usually the first recovery source for the injured victim’s injuries and related losses.
- The additional insurance policy the at-fault driver purchased from the rental car provider. On the other hand, this specific insurance policy might only cover damage to the car and might not extend to the injured party’s injuries and damages.
- If the at-fault driver rented the car using a credit card that also has rental car insurance, this might extend to the injured victim’s injuries and damages.
Rental Car Company Liability in Car Accidents
Rental car companies are usually not liable in most car accident cases involving rental cars. There are, however, some rare exceptions in which a rental car provider might be liable for a car accident involving their leased vehicles. For example, if the injured party can show that the provider failed to maintain the car properly or knew or should’ve known about a hazardous defect in the car, and one of these factors contributed to the car accident.
Let’s say, for example, that the car’s braking system was malfunctioning and that the driver couldn’t stop the car within a safe distance. If the injured victim can show proof that the malfunctioning braking system contributed to or caused the car accident, the rental car provider could be on the hook for the accident and should compensate the injured victim for their injuries and accident-connected losses.
Discuss Your Case with a Competent Ventura Car Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured in an accident while driving a rental car, contact The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC. Our experienced Ventura car accident lawyer can help you determine which parties should be held liable for your injuries to ensure that you recover proper compensation for your losses. Arrange a free case review with our car accident attorney in Ventura by contacting us online or calling 805-643-5555.