Florida Rental Car Accident Lawyers

With its vast coastline, variety of entertainment opportunities, and inviting climate, Florida draws tourists from all over nearly all year long. Many of our visitors rent cars during their visits and sometimes, they get involved in car crashes during their stay. If an injury victim is involved in a car crash while in a rental car or with another driver in a rental car, much of what they need to do is the same. The only real difference in the way rental car accident claims are handled is how to recover compensation for the victim’s damages.

Our proven Florida rental car accident lawyers at Luhrsen Goldberg analyze our clients’ legal options and work tirelessly to maximize their payouts. Contact our legal team to request a free consultation today and learn more about liability in rental car accidents, who to sue for damages, and the value of car accident claims with the insurance company and at trial.

Steps To Take Following A Car Crash In A Rental Car

The initial steps injury victims take after a car accident could have a significant impact on the outcome of their case. One of the first steps all accident survivors should take is to connect with a reputable rental car accident lawyer for help navigating the claims process. Our team at Luhrsen Goldberg may be able to meet prospective clients at the scene of the accident or their hospital room or schedule a virtual consultation at their convenience. However, there are also steps that can be taken at the accident scene:

  • First, check to find out if everyone is okay. Call for emergency medical assistance or seek out appropriate medical care if anyone is injured.
  • Call the police so that the car accident can be properly documented.
  • Exchange information with the other driver, take pictures of the accident scene and give a statement to the police. Ensure witness information is also obtained. Do not admit fault.
  • Wait to call your own insurance company and report that you have been involved in an accident in a rental car to them until you have met with your rental car accident attorneys.

While the process seems fairly straightforward, a car crash on vacation or while on a business trip can add additional stressors, and injury victims may not understand all of the appropriate steps to take. A dedicated personal injury attorney can make all the difference. Rental car accident victims can rest easier knowing their car accident lawyer is guiding them and reducing the stress and anxiety that follows a collision.

Protections For Rental Car Companies

Because federal law limits the exposure of rental car companies for accidents caused by the driver-renter, it becomes important to determine if there might also be additional insurance coverages to pursue. This often occurs when another party is responsible for causing the accident.

Many rental car accident victims are unsure whether they should start off by filing a claim with the rental car insurance provider or their personal insurer. In most cases, filing a claim with the rental car insurer is advised, especially if the accident victim purchased additional insurance coverage protections as part of their rental car agreement. In addition, the victim’s personal automobile insurance policy may also come into play.

Proving Fault for a Rental Car Accident

Just as with a regular motor vehicle accident, the key to success in a rental car accident claim is to be able to prove that someone else’s carelessness caused the collision and resulting injuries and damages. A leading rental car accident attorney with Luhrsen Goldberg will investigate the cause of the accident and gather the evidence needed to develop the proof of fault and liability. The burden of proof is on the injured part to establish by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant was at fault. Examples of evidence that can be most useful in a rental car accident claim include:

  • Police and accident reports
  • Traffic or dash cam footage as well as any video footage that might have been captured by nearby businesses or others.
  • Reports generated by accident reconstructionists
  • Crash data
  • Copies of the defendant’s chemical breath and blood alcohol test results, as applicable
  • Photos of the surrounding property damage and injuries
  • Testimony from witnesses

Most car accidents, including ones involving a rental car, are caused by driver negligence. This might include speeding, distracted driving, tailgating, drunk or drugged driving, aggressive driving, lack of appropriate attention to the surrounding conditions, and driving while fatigued, to name a few.

In some instances, there may be other causes of the rental car crashes. For example, the rental car company may be responsible if their vehicle is responsible for causing the collision due to a failure to properly maintain the vehicle. Our Florida rental car accident lawyers will identify those responsible and take steps to ensure they are held accountable for their negligence.

Handling Contributory Negligence Allegations After a Rental Car Accident

Liable parties and insurance companies try to minimize what is paid out on a claim.
One potential issue arises where the victim is arguably also partly to blame for the accident. In such situations, the insurance company will invoke Florida’s comparative negligence laws. That is, when a rental car accident victim shares blame for the collision, their settlements may be discounted to reflect their percentage of negligence. In 2023, Florida changed the comparative fault law and became what is known as a modified comparative negligence state. As such, rental car accident victims that are more than 50% responsible for the accident, will be barred from recovering anything for their injuries and damages. For those who are 50% or less at fault, their recovery will be discounted accordingly. Our Florida rental car accident attorneys are prepared to challenge unfounded partial blame allegations and ensure fault is determined accurately so our clients do not miss out on the compensation they would have otherwise been entitled to.

Most Common Types of Rental Car Accident Injuries in Florida

Having a respected Florida rental car accident lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of the case. Far too many rental car accident survivors are hesitant about moving forward with their claims because they worry their injuries are not serious enough to pursue a lawsuit or insurance claim. Car accident victims must show the following in order to succeed:

  • The defendant owed a duty of care to the car accident victim;
  • The defendant, through action or inaction, breached that duty of care
  • Defendant’s breach was the cause
  • Of injuries and other damages to the car accident victim

Among the various injuries or damages that are often caused in a rental car accident are the following: 

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Back injuries
  • Third degree burns
  • Paralysis
  • Whiplash and soft tissue injuries 
  • Road rash
  • Amputation
  • Concussion
  • Sepsis caused by infected lacerations
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Those involved in an accident in a rental car who are suffering from other types of injuries may still have the right to compensation for their damages if they endure another type of injury not described in the list above. Our Florida rental car accident attorneys can analyze specific case circumstances and help survivors explore their legal options in greater detail. 

Ways to Recover Maximum Compensation After a Florida Rental Car Accident

Working with a Florida rental car accident attorney may be the best way to demand justice after a rental car accident, especially because there can be multiple steps that need to taken following an accident, including potentially:

  • Filing a claim with the rental car insurance policy
  • Filing a claim with your own no-fault auto insurance policy

The Value of Injury Victim’s Rental Car Accident Damages

After being involved in a rental car accident, the impact of the collision may be felt across all aspects of the injury victim’s life. However, accident victims have the right to be made whole, which means they should be fully repaid for their losses. Here are some of the most common types of damages rental car accident victims can be awarded:

Economic Damages

Economic damages are also commonly known as special damages. They are financial and involve any type of financial loss related to the accident. Some examples could include:

  • Medical expenses and future medical costs
  • Lost income
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Loss of benefits provided by employers
  • Loss of household services
  • Miscellaneous expenses incurred resulting from the accident and injuries suffered.
  • Personal property damages

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are intangible in nature and so can be more difficult to evaluate. They are nevertheless often very impactful and so accounted for accordingly. Some examples of non-economic damages rental car accident victims are entitled to include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost quality of life
  • Permanent disability and skin scarring
  • Embarrassment from disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional distress and trauma
  • Fear and anticipation

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages may be appropriate in certain circumstances; generally, they are more uncommon. They are awarded when liable parties engage in reprehensible, egregious, grossly negligent, or intentionally malicious conduct. While punitive damages are possible in rental car accident claims, they are not awarded in every case. The civil court system only issues them when they find it appropriate to punish defendants and send a message to the community that similar conduct will not be tolerated.

Do Not Run Out of Time to File a Rental Car Accident Claim

Florida law is clear- rental car accident victims have a limited amount of time to file claims after a crash. The personal injury statute of limitations currently gives victims up to two years to file claims. (Accidents that occurred prior to a change made in March 2023, have a longer time to pursue their claims). Missing the statute of limitation deadline bars a recovery making timely pursuit of a rental car accident injury claim vital. Our team also ensures they are filed prior to time running out.

Call Our FL Rental Car Accident Attorneys for Help Making the Liable Party Pay

Rental car accidents can be more complicated than standard motor vehicle wrecks, but this should not deter injury victims from recovering maximum compensation for their damages. With our highly experienced car accident attorneys working on our client’s cases, they can focus on recuperating and picking up the pieces of their lives without worrying about how they will cover their costs and make the liable party pay.

No matter who may be found responsible, our team is ready to demand they compensate our clients for every single loss. Complete our quick contact form or call our office to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and get started on your case as soon as today.