Is It Possible to File Claims Against Car Rental Companies Following an Accident?
Handling a car accident case that only involves two car owners may not be very complicated. You can get your compensation easier because determining who's responsible is relatively straightforward. However, an accident that involves a rental vehicle is multi-faceted. As such, you need to determine whether to bring the case against the driver or the rental company.
If you sue the company when only the driver is liable, your claim will be denied. In many cases, each party denies liability and blames the other party. To deal with these complexities, it is wise to hire an attorney to provide legal advice. The lawyer will also represent you for the duration of the case and help you understand the measures to take to get compensation.
Resolving the Question of Financial Responsibility
In many rental car accidents, the liability lies with the driver since the rental agency doesn't typically provide drivers but only cars. For this reason, the actions of every driver who rents a vehicle cannot be attributed to the company. When the driver signs the contract before leaving with the car, they accept responsibility for the vehicle.
Nonetheless, there are certain exceptions wherein you can file a case against the rental company. While these are rare, the possibility cannot be ignored. For example, the agency can be held accountable if it is established that they provided a defective automobile and that those defects caused the crash. Notably, if the company knew that the car was faulty and didn't fix it before renting it out, their insurance company would be obligated to provide compensation.
Moreover, the rental agency must service and maintain all its vehicles regularly. Even after a driver returns the vehicle, a thorough inspection must be done to ensure it is safe to use again. As such, the driver won't be held liable if they rented an automobile with issues such as electrical malfunctions or brake failures.
Legal Help When Suing the Auto Rental Company
As you look to the rental car provider to pay a settlement, you must prepare for a legal battle. The company may have many lawyers, so you can't leave anything to chance if you want to get a favorable settlement. It is prudent to hire an attorney who has handled cases like yours before. The legal practitioner's job is to prove the agency's negligence and ensure that your documentation is filled and filed per the set regulations.
It would help to collect as much evidence as possible at the crash site immediately following the accident and preserve it for a motor accident lawyer. However, your attorney will investigate the incident comprehensively if you're unable to do this (e.g., due to injury).