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What if the At-fault Driver Was Driving a Rental or Borrowed Car in Florida?

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A car rental direction sign in an airport

Florida is a no-fault insurance state. Therefore, your PIP insurance will apply when you are in a collision with a rented car. Unfortunately, a majority of states don’t have no-fault insurance rules. So if you’re in a serious crash with a driver with out-of-state insurance, you will likely have to sue to recover the full extent of your losses. The owner’s insurance covers borrowed cars, but only for authorized drivers. In accidents involving borrowed cars, a Florida car accident lawyer can sue to recover damages beyond the policy limit if the owner was negligent.

When you are injured in a car accident involving a borrowed or rental car, you can trust Kogan & DiSalvo, a law firm at the forefront of personal injury law. We vigorously investigate the facts to position your claim for maximum recovery. At Kogan & DiSalvo, we will listen carefully to your concerns and fully explain your legal options under Florida law. 

What Insurance Will Cover Me in a Rental Car Accident?

A woman outside of her car texting after an accident

At the outset, it’s not always clear what kind of insurance the at-fault driver has in a rental. An investigation by an accident attorney will uncover the extent of their insurance coverage, which may include the following: 

  • Credit card coverage
  • Personal (PIP) policy
  • Auto policy of the at-fault driver
  • Rental company-issued policy

What Problems Come Up in Car Rental Accident Coverage?

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As noted above, Florida is a no-fault insurance state. Therefore, your Florida PIP insurance will apply, up to policy limits, when you are in a collision with a rented car. However, some Florida motorists in a rental car do not have insurance. That can happen when:

  1. The rented vehicle is driven outside of permitted areas
  2. The driver relied on an insurance contract that won’t cover them
  3. The at-fault driver was not the designated driver in the contract
  4. The rented vehicle was uninsurable (U-Haul, a van, or a pick-up truck)

When Can You Sue a Car Rental Company?

An empty courtroom facing the judge's bench

Rental car companies protect themselves from lawsuits in their contracts with their customers. In addition, a federal law called the Graves Amendment restricts legal claims with rentals. However, you can sue after an accident when a rental company engaged in criminal acts or was negligent in renting the vehicle; this is called negligent entrustment.

Examples include renting to a driver despite:

  1. A poor driving record
  2. An apparent impairment
  3. Lack of valid insurance
  4. Lack of a valid driver’s license

A claim can also be made if the rental company was negligent in maintaining the vehicle.

Can I Sue After a Rental Car Accident?

Woman testifying on the witness stand in court

You can sue if you suffer serious injuries in an accident involving a rented or borrowed car. The legal standard for serious injury includes permanent loss of a bodily function, scarring and disfigurement, or permanent injury with a reasonable degree of medical probability. A lawsuit will seek money for your pain and suffering, as well as your economic losses, such as medical bills, lost earnings, and property damage.

Does Insurance Cover a Borrowed Car?

A person handing over car keys to another person

Insurance follows the car in Florida when the driver has the owner’s permission to use the vehicle–called permissive use. When an accident occurs during permissive use, the owner’s insurance applies. However, if the amount of the claim is greater than the insurance limit, a claim can be made against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. When a borrowed-car driver acts without permissive use, they are not covered by owner’s insurance.

How Kogan & DiSalvo Can Help

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An accident involving a rented or borrowed vehicle raises several areas of inquiry for a Florida car accident attorney. We could investigate the following:

  • Permissive use of borrowed car
  • The full extent of insurance coverage
  • Negligence of the car rental company
  • Whether the rental car driver was traveling outside of permitted area

The above represents the essential building block of your claim against the at-fault driver in a rental car, the rental company, or your borrowed car accident claim.

Contact Us at Kogan & DiSalvo for a Free Consultation

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Car accidents are disruptive. A rental or borrowed car adds to the complexity. Call now for a free consultation; there is no obligation to hire us afterward. And since we work on a contingency fee basis, you will not pay attorney’s fees unless we win compensation for your injuries. We look forward to hearing from you.

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