Who Is Liable When I’m Involved In A Car Accident With A Rental Car?

by Charles Harvey Allen on May. 29, 2019

Accident & Injury Accident & Injury  Car Accident 

Summary: Attorney Charles Allen discusses the issues of liability in car accidents involving rental vehicles.

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the busiest airport in the world. Each year, hundreds of thousands of travelers pass through it. Many of those travelers spend time exploring the Atlanta metro area. Although travelers are increasingly relying upon shared ride services for transportation, such as Uber and Lyft, many people still rent cars for the duration of their trip.

If you’ve been injured by a rental car driver, you might wonder, “who is liable for causing the collision? Is it the rental car driver? Is it the rental car company? Or both?” The rental car driver is typically responsible for causing the collision. However, there are some limited circumstances where the rental car company could be liable, as well. For instance, if the rental car company rented the vehicle that injured you to an unlicensed driver, or to a driver whose license was suspended due to prior reckless driving offenses.

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident that was caused by a rental car driver, you should contact a car accident lawyer. Rental car collision cases are usually more challenging than car accident cases between two vehicles owned by their respective drivers. Insurance companies make up all kinds of excuses to deny fair compensation to rental car accident victims. 

 

Which Insurance Carrier is Responsible For Covering My Injuries In A Rental Car Accident?

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a careless rental car driver, you may face a lifetime of expensive medical costs. You surely want to know about all sources of insurance coverage that could potentially compensate you or your loved one for your injuries.

The primary source of insurance coverage comes from the insurance policy that the at fault driver purchased from the rental car company. However, many people don’t purchase rental car liability insurance because they’ve already purchased auto insurance coverage for their personal vehicles. If that’s the case, the driver’s personal automobile insurance policy would be the primary source of insurance coverage for your injuries. If the coverage on the at-fault drivers’ rental car insurance policy, or personal auto insurance policy isn’t enough to fully compensate you, you could make an underinsured motorist claim against your own insurance carrier if you purchased “add on” coverage that stacks upon the at fault drivers’ insurance coverage.

 

An Attorney Can Help You If You’ve Been Injured In A Rental Car Accident

If you’re harmed by a rental car driver, we urge you to contact a car accident lawyer that litigates cases in court. Many times, the only way that you can achieve justice is by filing a personal injury lawsuit and preparing your case for trial.

It is typically more difficult to achieve full compensation prior to a lawsuit when the rental car driver that injured you purchased rental car insurance coverage. Rental car insurance carriers raise many defenses in an attempt to justify denying your claim. For instance, if the driver of the rental car vehicle that injured you was not an authorized driver of the rental car, the rental car insurance carrier will argue that they don’t have to cover the harms caused by that driver. Filing a lawsuit and conducting discovery is usually the best way to prove that the rental car driver that injured you was, in fact, an authorized driver of the vehicle.

Even in cases where the rental car insurance carrier doesn’t have any valid defenses, they will often completely ignore a settlement demand that’s sent prior to filing a lawsuit. In other cases, if the rental car driver is not a resident of Georgia, you will typically have to file a lawsuit to hold that driver accountable. In order to successfully sue a non-resident motorist in Georgia, you must comply with many procedural rules. If you file the lawsuit on your own and overlook any of those requirements, you risk dismissal of your case.

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