When Are Rental Car Companies Responsible for Car Accident Damages?

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rental car companies

The State of Florida is a popular tourist destination. People flock to this state for its warm weather, plentiful sun, beautiful beaches, and numerous amusement parks. Many people choose to fly to Florida, which means many people need rental cars. This is why Orlando International Airport is one of the largest rental car hubs in the region. With so many visitors to Florida, it is no surprise that Florida is one of the top states in the country for car accidents and car-accident-related deaths.

As you might expect, some of the car accidents in Florida involve rental cars. These rental car accidents resulted in the question of whether rental car companies could be required to pay for injuries when someone driving a rental car caused an accident.  The Florida Supreme Court looked at this issue, and it decided that a rental car company could not be responsible for the negligence of someone renting a car from them.  There could be other reasons they may be liable, and the specifics of each case matter when a rental car company is involved.  

If, after reading this article, you have additional questions about your own situation, then we welcome you to contact the car accident attorneys in Stuart, Martin County at Crary Buchanan. At Crary Buchanan, we are proud of our standard of excellence, which has allowed us to thrive as one of the oldest law firms on Florida’s Treasure Coast.  

Our car accident lawyers in Stuart are passionate about giving you the highest quality representation. Call us today at 772-287-2600, or schedule a free estate consult online with our online contact form

Rental Car Companies’ Rental Agreements

Rental car companies do as much as they can to limit their own liability.  If you have ever rented a car, you know how long and detailed the rental car agreement is. The company pays its lawyers big money to think of the most advantageous language to include in their rental agreements.  Everyone renting a car must sign these agreements or rental contracts.  If a person doesn’t like the language, then they aren’t allowed to rent the car.  There are no discussions on the issue.  They protect themselves.   

Florida Supreme Court Decisions

The Florida Supreme Court has stated that rental car companies are not liable for the negligence of a person renting a car from the company based solely on the fact that they own the car. This puts a protective shield around rental car companies in lawsuits.  

In order to file a lawsuit for a car accident and request that the Court hold the rental car company liable, the injured person has to show other ways in which the company was at fault for the accident.

Proving the Rental Car Company is at Fault

One way to show that a rental car company is responsible for negligence in a car accident case is to prove that the company rented a car to someone who should not be driving.  For example, if the company rented to someone who was not old enough to rent a car, or to someone without a driver’s license, then the rental car company could be legally responsible.

Another way to prove to a Court that the rental car company should be held liable would be to show that they did not train or supervise their employees properly.  If that happened, then car accident attorneys in Stuart, FL can take that information and use it to show that the company had some fault in the accident, and should pay damages.

In addition, if the rental car company did not keep the car in good working order, and something mechanical contributed to the accident, then they can be forced to pay for injuries as well.

Rental car agreements and the Florida Supreme court have insulated the companies from responsibility in car accidents.  Yet, there are some ways to prove their liability, and car accident attorneys in Stuart, FL can help with this.

Contact the Car Accident Attorneys in Stuart, FL to Help You If You Were Injured by Someone Driving a Rental Car

It can be painful and stressful to be in a car accident.  Knowing how to navigate the legal issues in a car accident case is where an experienced attorney can help.  

At Crary Buchanan, we are committed to providing clients with exceptional service in every aspect of personal injury law.  You can depend upon our 85 years of experience in the Florida legal industry. 

Our legal team is passionate about maintaining the high standards of professionalism and legal service that were established and practiced by founding attorneys Evans Crary Sr. and Evans Crary Jr.  Evans Crary Sr. began his law practice in Stuart in 1927 at a time when Martin County was only two years old.  He became a municipal judge at the age of 25 and served as County Attorney for 23 years. 

During his time as County Attorney, he was elected to represent Martin County in the Florida Legislature.  In 1945 he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives.  He served in the House for nine years and even served as Speaker of the House before he went on to become a member of the Florida Senate.  Today, the Crary Buchanan law firm continues to practice the example of integrity, professionalism, energy, and devotion that was clearly illustrated in the lives of both Evans Crary Sr. and Evans Crary Jr.

Our clients are more than case numbers; they are people. We recognize that you are an individual with unique needs and expectations.  Our team is here to meet your need and exceed your expectations.  When you work with us, you can have confidence that a caring legal advocate is on your side.

If you have more questions or want a dedicated car accident attorney in Stuart to help you, call 772-287-2600 or schedule a free consult online with our online contact form. You can always depend on Crary Buchanan for community, experience, and trust.  Call today.  

The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.  You should not make a decision whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post.  No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied.  If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.