One of the most common things to see in Florida is a rental car. Because of the large number of tourists who visit Florida regularly throughout the entire year, there is no shortage of rental cars on the streets and highways.
Another common sight on freeways and roads throughout the entire United States, including Florida, is many car accidents. Since there are so many tourists in our state, many of them are driving rental cars; this makes a Florida car accident much more complicated than a typical auto accident.
When a rental car is involved in a car accident, you should contact attorneys. Bodily injury and property damage will still need to be taken care of through auto insurance coverage, but the question because complex. Which insurance policy will cover the personal injury? Does the car rental company hold any responsibility? Is property damage coverage included in rental car insurance? Will the rental car driver use their own insurance company, or was the rental car insurance coverage purchased?
All of these questions create further complexities for a potential lawsuit, so it is wise for the accident victim to enlist the legal counsel of an experienced personal injury lawyer such as ours at Alpizar Law, LLC in Melbourne, FL.
Important Information about Being in a Rental Car Accident in Florida
There are some important things to know about car accidents involving rental vehicles. Whether you are driving a rental car that another driver hits or you were in your vehicle that was hit by a rental car, many of these points apply to both scenarios.
If a rental car accident occurs, be sure to do the following steps:
- Stay with the vehicles at all times until emergency services arrive – never flee the scene of an accident, regardless of the circumstances
- Call for help from police, fire, or paramedics
- Get an accident report
- Collect contact information and insurance information, including the rental car coverage (usually found in the glove box of the rental car) as well as the other driver’s personal insurance provider
- Take lots of photos and videos of the scene, damage, injuries, and anything else that may be pertinent to the case
- Talk with any witnesses and get their contact information
- Call an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible
According to Florida law, all residents with driver’s licenses must carry certain kinds of insurance coverage. You are legally obligated to carry $10,000 worth of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. You must also obtain insurance coverage from rental car companies if you ever rent a vehicle. If you get into an accident in a rental vehicle, your Personal Injury Protection insurance will take over.
In addition to the required PIP coverage, you may also want to consider obtaining Uninsured Motorist (UIM) coverage. Because the PIP coverage is capped at $10,000, you may need supplemental coverage in your insurance policy to ensure that all of your medical bills and other losses will be covered, especially if the at-fault driver involved does not have insurance.
If you are a Florida resident but need to rent a car outside of the state, be sure to let your insurance company know what your intended plans are and to see how your car insurance policy covers out-of-state rental cars. You may want to consider adding Uninsured Motorist insurance and Bodily Injury (BI) liability coverage. Also, be sure to opt into the insurance offered by the rental car company.
How Does the Rental Car Company Play a Part?
When it comes to accidents involving rental cars, the company itself has some protections that prevent them from being held liable for any injuries or property damage. Rental companies will offer supplemental insurance to drivers for an added fee and extends coverage for bodily harm and property damage.
A significant federal law that protects rental car companies in the Graves Amendment. Under this law, the companies will only be held liable for $10,000 to any person injured or killed in an auto accident involving a rental car and $20,000 total per car no matter how many people were involved. Capping their exposure places much more of the responsibility on the shoulders of the driver of a rental vehicle and his or her insurance company.
Regardless of the situation, those individuals involved in an auto accident and sustained injuries may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent or reckless driver who caused the accident. When a rental car is involved, the car accident becomes a bit more complex, so it is important to have experienced legal counsel on your side.
Contact an Experienced Attorney for Your Rental Car Accident
If you are a Florida resident and have been in a car accident involving a rental car, contact our personal injury law firm in Melbourne, FL. Alpizar Law, LLC has over 65 years of experience handling personal injury cases, and we are dedicated to fighting for your rights as a victim in accident claims.
Our legal duty is to work diligently to hold the liable party’s financial responsibility for the injuries and damages they have caused as a negligent driver. The attorneys at Alpizar Law, LLC know that it is critical for accident victims to recover compensation after they file a claim, and we strive to obtain the best possible results for you and your family members.
If you are worried about paying attorney’s fees, have no fear! We work on a contingency fee basis, so you do not have to pay us unless we win your case. As your attorneys, we will collect evidence, obtain the police report and relevant medical records, and investigate the case thoroughly so that there is no question in determining fault.
Call us today to schedule your free consultation to discuss your rental car-involved auto accident.