Florida is a big tourist destination and if you’re driving in this state, getting into a collision with a rental car driver is a lot more likely than it is in other states. JustCallMoe can advise you as to what to do and they will help you get the compensation you deserve.
What Happens if You Get into a Collision While Driving a Rental Car?
When renting a car, the agent will ask if drivers if they want rental car insurance. Most decline. However, this means that any damage done to the rental car will be covered by the driver’s insurance. If the insurance can’t cover all the damages, they end up paying out of pocket.
Now let’s say the driver goes ahead and purchases the rental car insurance. What would it cover?
Rental car insurance will pay for property damage and medical expenses up to a maximum. The rest will be covered by the driver’s insurance.
Some providers offer rental car insurance with their policies, but these are few and far between.
If you pay for your rental with a credit card, the credit card company may offer some coverage for damages, but this is rare as well.
Also, because Florida is a no-fault state if you get into an accident with another driver while in a rental car, you will not be able to go after the other driver’s insurance for damages unless you sustain serious injuries. In all other circumstances, you will have to rely on your own insurance.
What is the Graves Amendment?
Graves Amendment is a federal law that shields rental car companies from accident liability in normal cases (i.e. where only the driver is responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries).
However, the state of Florida implemented what is known as ‘dangerous instrumentality’ which holds rental car insurance responsible for accidents that resulted from the driver’s negligence. In any case, Graves Amendment preempts Dangerous Instrumentality and, therefore, rental car companies are shielded from liability in these instances.
Additionally, in Fort Lauderdale, a rental car company can be liable for an accident that was caused by their negligence. For example, if the company failed to maintain the car properly and an accident occurred as a result, they will be responsible for damages.
The same is true if you were hit by a rental car driver. If it is found that the other car malfunctioned as a result of poor maintenance, the rental car company will be liable here as well.
What to Do After A Rental Car Accident?
After a rental car accident occurs, you will want to take pictures of the scene and gather the names of witnesses. You will also want the police to come so they can file a report.
It is also a good idea to seek medical help, even if you’re not injured. Injuries can get worse over time and if you wait to get care, at-fault parties will try to say that the injuries you sustained were not related to the accident. That’s why you will want to get checked out ASAP.
You will also want to contact the rental car company and your own insurance company. Ask both how you should proceed.
When talking to your own insurance company, find out if you have collision and comprehensive coverage on your policy. This will cover rental car accidents.
You should also find out what your deductible is. This will let you know how much you will have to spend out of pocket to cover the damages. If you purchased additional insurance from the rental car company, be sure to let them know.
Hiring a Lawyer for Your Florida Rental Car Accident
If you were involved in a rental car accident, it’s essential to have a good law team on your side. Figuring out who is responsible for the accident will be difficult but the right lawyer will get to the bottom of the matter so you know exactly who to target for damages.
If you are looking for a rental car accident lawyer in the Orlando, FL area, Just Call Moe!
Moe DeWitt has years of experience in the field of personal injury law. Their lawyers are known for taking a customized approach for each of their clients ensuring that everyone they represent gets the personalized experience they deserve. They treat their clients with care and respect and their aggressive strategies ensure winning results.
A car accident injury can be devastating. Don’t let getting caught up in rental car company red tape keep you from getting the compensated for your damages. Just Call Moe today!