Who Pays for Damages in Rental Car Accidents?
From Disney and Universal theme parks, to the gorgeous beaches, there are many reasons to visit Florida. As the rate of tourism increases in the state, so does the rate of car rentals. While most people treat rental cars as they would their own, there are some differences of which drivers need to be aware. It is important for drivers to take precautions with their rental car to avoid a collision.
Review Safety Features
First, drivers should take some time to understand the controls to the safety features in their car. They should know how to turn on the headlights, windshield wipers, emergency lights, and the directional signals. They should also know how to control the temperature as well as where the defogger is located in case they have issues on the road. Although it may not be utilized, drivers who have just rented car should be aware of where the spare tire is located. The customer should notify the employees of the rental car agency before leaving the parking lot if any of these features are not functioning or are missing. Another thing that drivers can do before they start driving to help them avoid an accident is to familiarize themselves with the road. If they have a GPS, they should input their destination and check the route so they are not tempted to make reckless decisions if they get lost.
Steps to Take After an Accident
If a driver is in an accidental collision while driving a rental car, the steps they should take are similar to those steps taken when in an accident in a personal vehicle. The driver should call 911 and report the rental car accident. They should not move the car until the police arrive. They should also gather the names and information of any witnesses to the accident and seek medical attention if they are seriously injured. The main difference here is that a driver of a rental car should also report the accident to the rental car company as soon as they can.
Find Personal Injury Lawyer
Hiring a personal injury attorney would be helpful in determining how to handle this claim and how to seek compensation. Usually with motor vehicle accidents, it will be a negligence claim. Most rental agreements prevent a rental car agency from being sued. A negligence claim should only be filed against the party whose actions caused the accident.
Seeking compensation can be more difficult in a rental car. Rental car company insurance is notoriously unreliable. However, most drivers have enough coverage on their personal car insurance policy to also cover liability and other state requirements. The State of Florida requires vehicles registered in the state to have Personal Injury Protection coverage. Most states do not have this requirement so many motorists do not have PIP coverage but it can be purchased from the rental car company or from the driver’s personal insurance company. The best course of action for someone who has been injured in a rental car collision is to hire an attorney who can help them recover.