Now that it’s officially spring, families all across the nation are plotting their vacations and preparing for the warm summer months ahead. If you are travelling to another destination by plane, chances are you will be renting a car or van for the duration of your vacation. In many parts of the country, there are arguably more rental cars on the roadways than people driving their own vehicles. This poses as an interesting question many people don’t think about – who is held liable in an accident involving a rental car? Unlike car accidents involving drivers of personal vehicles, the law is a bit more complex in regards to liability in rental car incidents.
When you rent a car from a rental company, one of the first things they ask you is if you would like the added insurance. The majority of people turn this insurance down, as it comes with a high price tag and most of us don’t plan on getting in an accident while on vacation. Depending on how good your personal car insurance policy is, there is a good chance that you will be covered, should you find yourself injured in a rental car accident. However, this isn’t always the case. With this in mind, you may be wondering who can be held liable for an accident involving a rental car. Is it the rental car company? The other driver? Are you liable? Let’s take a closer look at what will likely happen following an accident involving a rental car, namely who will be held legally responsible for any injuries, fees, or other damages.
Who is Liable?
Generally speaking, the insurance policy held by the individual who was at-fault for the accident should cover any medical bills from injuries as well as other damages. When a rental car is involved, things can pan out a little differently. In an accident where a rental car is in the mix, if the at-fault driver opted for the added insurance through the rental company, then that policy will likely cover the damages. However, rental car insurance policies vary and will largely depend on the wording of the contract. With that in mind, compensation for an accident involving a rental car may stem from the following:
- The rental car driver’s own car insurance
- Coverage provided by the rental car company
- Coverage provided by the credit card that was used to pay for the rental car
- Your own personal insurance (if you were a passenger in the rental car)
Again, determining liability in a rental car accident isn’t as straightforward as many people think. There are numerous factors that will determine who must pay for medical bills for injuries, damage to the vehicle, and other stresses.
There are a few circumstances of which a rental car company will be held liable for the accident, such as:
- The rental car company failed to adequately train their employees
- The rental car company failed to supervise their employees
- The company was negligent in renting the car to a driver they should not have
- The rental car company failed to properly maintain the vehicle
In order for a rental car company to be held liable for the accident, negligence in some capacity must be proven. This can be a somewhat lengthy and complicated process, which is why it is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney by your side. If you have been injured in a rental car accident in Oklahoma or elsewhere, we encourage you to contact Atkins & Markoff today so we can get started on your case right away.