Getting into a car accident is always stressful. Even if it seems like it was something minor, your body may not feel well, or you may be worried about damages to your car that you haven’t discovered yet. And if it was a more serious crash, you have to worry about repair costs, expensive medical bills, and maybe even a lawsuit from the other driver.
But what happens if you got into a car accident while driving a rental car?
Accidents in rental cars in Florida
Do you remember all of the terms you agreed to when you signed the car rental contract? One of them likely stated that the car rental company is not liable for any car accidents you’re involved in while driving the rented vehicle. If so, the only way to get the company to take responsibility for the crash would be to prove that they were negligent in some way (e.g. the car had faulty brakes, old tires, the rental company failed to provide regular maintenance, or they were aware of faulty parts or of a recall for that particular make and model).
By the same token, when you sign an agreement for a car rental, you’re given the option to add insurance coverage. If you did, you can file a claim with that company for coverage. If you didn’t, you can file a claim with your own car insurance company.
Florida requires that all car insurance policies include Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which is provided regardless of who was at fault for the accident. It covers:
– The named insured
– Relatives of the name insured who reside in the same household
– Passengers in the motor vehicle
– Other persons struck by the motor vehicle
– Persons driving the insured motor vehicle
Benefits cover up to 80% of medical bills and up to 60% of lost wages, with a cap of $10,000. For coverage to apply, you have to file your claim within 14 days of the accident.
While PIP is mandatory, car insurance policies offer additional optional coverage known as Medical Payment (or MedPay), which would cover the 20% of medical bills and 40% of lost wages not covered by PIP.
If the damages were over $10,000 the party who’s not at fault for the accident can file a lawsuit for damages over 10K against the person who caused the accident. It’s important, however, to never admit fault, even if you think you were the cause for the crash. This is because Florida is a comparative negligence jurisdiction. This means that even if you were at fault if the other party was partly negligent, the amount of damages they could recover from you would be reduced by their own degree of negligence.
Call Clark Law for a free consultation
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, let us help you. Call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.