Basic Car Accident Liability in California
If the vehicle you were driving was involved in a Fresno, California accident and was a rental car, liability will be the same as if you were driving your personal motor vehicle. The rule is that the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident is liable for the injured party’s damages. The fact that the car the at-fault driver was driving was a rental car, normally won’t make a difference.
California Insurance Coverage and Accident Liability With a Rental Car
Figuring out who is liable in a California rental car accident is complicated because of the insurance coverage issues that may be involved. Normally, a driver’s personal motor vehicle insurance will reimburse you for your damages, but with a few different insurers and types of coverage could come into play when the at-fault driver has rental car.
- The at-fault driver’s personal motor vehicle insurance policy generally is your first source to get reimbursement for your injuries and damages.
- If the at-fault driver purchased separate insurance from the California rental car company, that insurance could cover collision damage and some other expenses.
- The at-fault driver’s credit card company may provide Fresno, California rental car insurance that could extend to your damages and injuries.
The state of California adds another layer to the equation because liability coverage is generally not included with rental cars that originated in California. The additional insurance a rental car driver can purchase could only cover damages to the rental car, leaving the rental car driver’s personal insurance policy as the only source of reimbursement for liability damages.
What is the Liability of a California Rental Car Company?
In some specific cases, the Fresno, California rental car company could be liable for your injuries and damages if one of their rental cars was involved in your accident. For example, the California rental car may be liable if:
- The California rental car company negligently and/or knowingly rented out a defective motor vehicle and that defect precipitated your accident that caused your injuries and damages; or
- The California rental car company rented a vehicle to a person who wasn’t authorized to drive because they had a suspended license.
Our knowledgeable Fresno, California rental car attorneys at AttorneyJeff Car Accident Lawyer know how to research the above issues and other factors if you or a loved one is injured in an accident involving a California rental car.
Can I Sue A California Rental Car Company?
California rental car companies normally have their own insurance policies that someone can purchase when renting a vehicle that supplements or overrides your own personal motor vehicle policy.
The most common insurance offered by California rental car companies is a collision damage waiver which frees you of any responsibility for any cosmetic damages that may occur in a Fresno, California rental car accident.
Furthermore, there are other insurance policies available that offer broader coverage, and one or more of them may contain liability coverage which may cover you and any passengers in the rental car if you suffer any injuries.
If you or a loved one were injured in a Fresno, California rental car accident you may attempt to sue the rental car agency’s insurance company. However, you can only do that in specific situations. Rental car agencies are not liable for any damages that occur in accidents if one of their customers hit you.
In California, rental car companies do have specific standards of care they must follow when renting vehicles. They include, but aren’t limited to:
- Age of their Customer: California car renters must be over 21 years of age to rent a vehicle from an agency.
- License of Customer: All California rental car company customers must have a valid driver’s license that identify them. If a driver doesn’t have a license, they cannot rent the vehicle.
- Insurance of the Customer: A California rental car customer must have valid insurance. They cannot just purchase what the rental car company offers.
- Vehicle Status: California rental car companies have many of cars available and must have a high turnover rate and generally are not used more than a handful of days. Each vehicle must be deemed to be road legal and free of any defects and potential hazards.
What Kind of Damages Can I Recover If I am in a Fresno, California Rental Car Accident?
If you or a loved one is involved in a Fresno, California rental car accident, contact our Fresno rental car lawyers at AttorneyJeff Car Accident Lawyer. We can assist you in obtaining monetary compensation for your damages including, but not limited to:
- Medical Costs
- Future Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages:
- Pain and Suffering
- Punitive Damages – if possible.
How Can A Fresno, California Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?
If you are injured in a rental car accident you most likely will want to recover compensation for your damages.
A Fresno, California rental car accident lawyer can advise you of your legal rights and assist you in understanding what you should say or not say, and whether the at-fault party’s documents their insurance adjustor wants you to sign are required by California law.
Additionally, the Fresno, California rental car accident lawyers at AttorneyJeff Car Accident Lawyer are there to offer their advice as to whether or not the settlement offer the at-fault party’s insurance company is offering you is fair, or whether we should negotiate for a larger amount.
Remember, we work for you, fight for you, and have your best interests at heart. We are here to guide you through the maze of legal procedures and court rules to help you achieve a larger settlement, and we will help you understand what we believe you are entitled to. California rental car accident laws are complex, and we will be there every step of the way to help you navigate the law.
The experienced Fresno, California rental car accident lawyers at AttorneyJeff Car Accident Lawyer can help you set a plan in motion to assist you in your recovery. Having an experienced California lawyer by your side to protect your rights can give you peace of mind so you and your family can focus on your recovery.