Rental Car Accidents - Who Can Be Held Liable For The Mishap

rental car accidents liability automobile crash

Car rental businesses are popular these days because renting vehicles is a widely used practice for vacationers and business travelers. It gives people all the freedom they want, with a vehicle at their disposal. They end up saving time and hassles of the crowded public transport and delays with cabs. While there is much that makes car rentals an attractive proposition, there comes a corresponding risk of accidents. If you run a rental business, you will be concerned about such mishaps. It becomes important to understand liability because it decides who would be responsible for paying compensation to the crash victim. Let us explain the concept of liability of rental car accidents. 

Liability Of The Rental Car Company 

When a person seeks a vehicle on rent, they need to sign a rental agreement to ensure adherence to law and careful driving. However, the agreement not only binds the renter but also fixes responsibility for the car renting company as well. They are responsible for providing a vehicle that is safe, efficient and regularly inspected. Failure to check the status of vehicles before renting them and conduct routine maintenance shows negligence on the behalf of the rental company. Similarly, not adhering to product recalls is another action that can land you in trouble. Also, you can be held liable if you knowingly provide a vehicle to a driver who is incompetent, reckless or not fit to operate a vehicle. 

Legal Action Against The Rental Company 

If you run a car rental business, it is natural to be concerned about being sued for accidents perpetrated by the renters. However, you would not face liability unless you have contributed directly or indirectly to the crash through negligence. In such a case, a car accident lawyer Jackson can help the victim to prove that you failed to take reasonable and prudent action to prevent the accident. Proof of the rental company’s negligence is an essential element for a victim who seeks to file a compensation claim against a rental business. They may file on the basis of the following actions or failure to take requisite actions: 

● Poor vehicle maintenance 
● Refusing to correct a known dangerous defect in the vehicle 
● Engaging in illegal business practices 
● Not verifying the competence and driving records of the renter 

Liability Of The Customer 

It is to be noted that not every mishap involving a defective vehicle makes the rental company fully liable. The agreement usually mentions the damages or costs to be covered if the car is defective. The driver, therefore, must have proper insurance before renting the vehicle. 

This entails checking with their personal insurance company or buying additional insurance coverage through the rental company. If an accident happens, the driver is responsible for following the same post-accident procedures as in case of a personal vehicle accident. This involves reporting the incident to police, notifying emergency personnel and contacting the insurance company. Additionally, they also need to notify the rental company. 

For a victim, the only concern is getting compensation for their injuries and suffering. But as a rental business, you must go the extra mile to prevent such cases because your reputation is at stake. Having proper insurance coverage and legal support are equally important.

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