Can a Rental Car Company Be Liable for an Accident?Trusted Content
Legally reviewed by:Erik Abrahamson, J.D. February 27, 2017
Experienced Injury Attorneys Assisting Accident Victims with Filing Claims for Rental Car Accidents in Tampa
Each year, Florida plays host to tens of millions of tourists and businesspeople from around the world. These travelers need transportation, and for many this means renting a car at the airport.
The rental car companies are only too happy to take travelers’ money, and these days it is easier than ever to rent a car. With a driver’s license, a credit card, and a little bit of patience, you can rent anything from a subcompact gas-saver to an ultra-high-end luxury automobile. It doesn’t matter if you are a good driver, and it is irrelevant whether you have experience driving the type of vehicle you’ve rented.
Why File a Claim Against a Rental Car Company?
If you get injured in an accident involving a rental car, there are a number of reasons why you might want to file a claim against the rental car company. For one, if the driver of the rental lives out of state (or out of the country), there can be certain challenges involved in pursuing a claim against the driver. For another, if your losses exceed the driver’s insurance coverage, you will need an additional source of compensation.
So, if you’ve been injured in a collision with a rental car, can you hold the rental company responsible?
Possible Claims Against Rental Car Companies in Florida
In Florida, there are two primary ways to seek compensation from a rental car company following an accident involving a rented vehicle:
1. Negligent Entrustment
The first is a claim for what is known as, “negligent entrustment.” While rental car companies generally are not responsible for drivers’ errors, there are certain circumstances in which the decision to rent can establish legal liability.
The most common scenario to which this rule applies is a rental car company giving a key to a visibly drunk driver. If it was clear that the person renting the car was not in a condition to drive, the rental company may have had a legal duty not to put him or her behind the wheel.
2. Inadequate Vehicle Maintenance
Rental car companies can also face liability for collisions caused by inadequate vehicle maintenance. It is no secret that many people drive rental cars hard, and miles can add up quickly when rentals are used to travel to business sites or vacation destinations. Rental cars require constant upkeep and regular maintenance, and failure to take rental cars out of service when necessary can lead to brake failures, tire blowouts, and other issues that can (and should) be avoided.
Find Out if You Have a Claim Against a Rental Car Company in Tampa, FL
At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, our team of accident attorneys and legal professionals brings decades of legal experience to representing car accident victims in the greater Tampa area. If you have been injured in an accident involving a rental car and would like to speak with an injury lawyer about your rights, call (855) 293-5630 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.