Who Pays For Your Damages If You Are Involved In A Rental Car Accident In Florida?
In 2020, Florida received nearly 80 million visitors, not including residents of the state. The Sunshine State is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world. Many of those who visit Florida use rental cars to get from point A to point B.
It is fair to say that there are thousands of rental cars on Florida’s roads. But what happens when a rental car is involved in a car crash? Who pays for the damages when a car accident involves a rental vehicle?
If you have been injured in a rental car accident, speak with a Miami car accident attorney to discuss your options for compensation. Our attorneys at Pita Weber Del Prado have decades of experience handling car accident cases involving rental vehicles.
Who Pays for Damages After a Rental Car Accident in Florida?
If you are a Florida resident who has been involved in a car crash using a rental car, you can seek compensation for your damages through your personal auto insurance. Since Florida is a no-fault insurance state, drivers can obtain up to $10,000 to pay for their damages through their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage regardless of fault.
But what if your injuries are so severe that the cost of medical treatment and other damages exceed the limit of $10,000? Who can be held liable for the damages in this case? Can you file a lawsuit against the driver of the rental car or the rental company?
Can You Hold a Rental Car Company Liable for the Accident?
Under the so-called “Graves Amendment” – codified in 49 U.S.C. § 30106 – rental companies cannot be held liable for injuries and damages caused by a person driving their rental cars. However, there may be exceptions.
You may be able to hold the rental car company liable for your collision if you can prove that:
- The rental car accident was caused due to poor vehicle maintained; and
- The company failed to properly maintain the vehicle.
Consult with a skilled car accident attorney in Miami to determine whether or not you can hold a rental car company liable for your damages and losses.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim Against the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
If you have exhausted your PIP coverage because the damages suffered in the rental car accident exceed $10,000, you might be able to pursue a claim against the other driver’s auto insurance company.
In Florida, an individual cannot rent an automobile without valid auto insurance. Florida law allows injured parties to step outside the no-fault system and pursue a claim against the at-fault party when their PIP insurance is insufficient to cover their damages.
However, keep in mind that Florida is a pure comparative negligence state as provided in Fla. Stat. § 768.81. Your compensation can be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault. For example, if you were deemed 40% at fault for your rental car accident in Florida, you will only be entitled to recover 60% of the total damages.
Speak with our car accident attorneys at Pita Weber Del Prado to discuss your unique situation. Call 305-670-2889 to determine how you can seek compensation for your damages in your rental car accident.