Rental car accidents could complicate matters. When you are driving a vehicle you own and run into an accident, the legal issues are relatively simple. If you are at fault, your insurance pays for the losses suffered by another driver. If the other driver was at fault, you file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. However, things get complicated when a rental vehicle is involved. You will typically need the advice of a Miami car accident lawyer if this is the case.
A major complication with rental car crashes is that you don’t actually own the vehicle. So you are liable to pay for any damages caused to the vehicle as you are the one who rented the vehicle. However, you may have other options to pay for these damages. Here is a look at these.
Rental Car Insurance
When you rent a vehicle, a rental company will typically ask you if you also want to get additional insurance. This is sometimes known as a collision damage waiver. This additional insurance covers you for any potential damage to the vehicle in the event of a collision. This applies whether you somehow run into a crash or if another at-fault driver causes an accident. The waiver covers the full costs of vehicle repairs or replacement.
That being said, insurance companies usually have exceptions to the waiver. For instance, if you drive above a certain maximum speed or if your reckless driving causes the crash, the waiver may not be applicable.
That being said, the waiver will still not cover any personal injury costs caused by your rental car crash. To get compensation to cover the medical costs of the injuries, you will have to look at other available options.
Your No-Fault Insurance
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. This means that you are required to carry no-fault insurance which is your first recourse in the event of a crash. As a driver in Florida, your no-fault insurance includes a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and a minimum of $10,000 in Property Damage Liability (PDL).
The good news is that no-fault insurance is also available to you when you are operating a rental vehicle if you are a registered driver in Florida. This means that if your rental car crash ends up causing vehicle damage and injuries, you can tap into PIP and PDL to pay for these.
However, both of these are capped at $10,000, with nearly $8,000 available to you for each category of damages. So if your rental car crash losses are within this limit, you can easily pay for these with your own insurance. But if the losses are greater or if you have suffered serious injuries, you may need other resources to cover your losses.
The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance
If the medical costs of your rental car crash injuries are above $10,000, or if your injuries are of a more serious nature, you have the option of going out of the no-insurance system. In such a case, you can file a claim for compensatory damages against the at-fault driver.
This is a very helpful option because if your PIP or PDL coverage doesn’t cover the losses, you will be required to pay the rest of the costs from your own pocket. For instance, if the vehicle damage is $15,000, your PDL will not go beyond $8,000. The rental car company will then require you to pay up the rest.
By filing a claim against the at-fault driver, you can recover the surplus amount of damages in lieu of both the injuries and the vehicular damage. This helps you meet the medical costs while also paying for the repair or replacement of the damaged rental vehicle.
Credit Card Insurance
Major credit card companies offer car rental insurance when you use their card to pay for the rental vehicle. This may be another option available to you which you can use to pay vehicle repair or replacement costs after a rental car crash. However, you will not have any injury liability coverage through the credit card.
How Can a Miami Car Accident Lawyer Help You?
If you have been involved in a rental vehicle crash in Miami, it is important to get legal help at the earliest. Here at Englander Peebles, we help you explore all the options available to you in order to recoup the costs of personal injury and vehicle damage. We also work with you to file third-party claims in order to recover compensatory damages from an at-fault driver. Reach out to us today to discuss your Rental car crash claim with our lawyers.