man handing car keys to another person

When you’re on vacation or your personal vehicle is damaged in an accident, you may rent a car to help you travel. For many, this is an exciting time, as you’ll get to drive a different vehicle. However, if in an accident while renting a car, you’ll need to take additional measures following a collision. Luckily, the following blog in, conjunction with a Pasco County, FL car accident lawyer, can help you navigate this often complex legal matter.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Damage to a Rental Car?

Unfortunately, an accident in a rental vehicle can be more stressful than a collision in your own car since you do not own the rental car. Similarly, understanding how liability works can differ, as there may be stipulations in your rental agreement which hold you personally liable for the cost of damages even if you were not at fault for the accident.

If you were not responsible for the collision, but it’s in your agreement that you will be charged for any damages, you’ll need to fight for compensation from the other driver to reimburse the costs. However, if this is not a condition of your rental contract, the company will file a claim against the negligent driver.

It’s important to understand that if you are liable for the accident, under the Graves Amendment, you are not eligible to sue the rental car company for damages. There are exceptions, however. For example, if there was an issue with the vehicle that the business knew about or should have known about before renting the car to a driver, they can be liable.

What Should I Do Following a Rental Accident in Florida?

After an accident, it’s essential to understand how to proceed. You should take the same steps as if you were in a collision in your own personal vehicle. This includes contacting emergency services to seek medical attention and exchanging information with the other driver.

Once the accident is reported to the police, you must call the rental company. They can help walk you through their policy on how to proceed following a collision. You will also likely need to fill out paperwork for the company, which includes your information and the contact and insurance details for the other driver. You will also likely need to include details about where and when the incident happened, so having a copy of the police report can help ensure all necessary information is noted correctly.

If you were injured in an accident or are being held liable for damages you were not responsible for, it’s imperative to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Matthew J. Jowanna, our dedicated legal team can help you navigate this complex and overwhelming process. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.