Renting a vehicle is a staple practice for the traveling businessman or businesswoman.1 After a long cross-country flight to a national work conference or a business meeting, there is nothing quite like having the freedom to leave your hotel and explore the city for a little bit, even if it is just to find a good meal. However, out of town travel is no longer a prerequisite reason to rent a vehicle. Car rentals are becoming increasingly popular for a variety of special occasions such as reunions, anniversaries, birthdays, or for any outing where you want to save putting the extra miles on your personal vehicle or are expecting more passengers than your car has the capacity to hold.2 Coinciding with this growing popularity for rental vehicles, is the expectation that since renting a car requires significant paperwork and money than the vehicle is supposed to be in a safe and secure state, but what happens when there is problem with the rental vehicle. The issue is even more troublesome when the problem is that the vehicle is defective and that defect causes a crash while you are behind the wheel.
Responsibility, Rights, and Liability of the Rental Car Company
The typical rental agreement signed prior to driving off the lot is designed to ensure that the driver obeys laws and drives carefully, since not doing so can allow the car company to choose not to honor the rental contract and to make the renter responsible for all damages sustained during accidents.3 However, the driver is not the only party who is expected to perform in a certain manner. Rental car companies have the responsibility to provide efficient, safe, and regularly inspected vehicles.4 Failing to do routine maintenance, not adhering to product recalls by performing needed repairs, or not checking the status of vehicles before and after a car is rented can show negligence on the part of the rental car company. Rental car companies can also be found liable if they knowingly rent a car to a driver who is reckless, incompetent, or not fit to operate a vehicle.5
Responsibility, Rights, and Liability of the Customer
Not every car accident that involves a defective vehicle will result in complete liability on the rental company. It is important to read the rental agreement to find out what damages or costs are covered if the vehicle is found to be defective. It is up to the driver to ensure he or she has proper insurance when getting behind the wheel, whether this entails checking with one’s personal insurance company or purchasing additional coverage through the rental car company.6 Similar to an accident involving a personal vehicle, a driver who is renting a car has to follow the same post-accident procedures such as notifying emergency personal, reporting the incident to police, and contacting the insurance company, but in an accident involving a rental vehicle, notification and reports must also be made to the rental car company.7
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you have been in an auto accident that was caused by a defective rental car it is caused by a defective rental car rental vehicles. Ange business practices that improve rental car company and from ensuring this important to discuss the circumstances of your accident with an experienced auto accident attorney who can help you to determine what claims should be filed and protect your rights and interests as a victim of a car accident. A rental car company’s failure to provide you a safe vehicle puts you as the driver as well as everyone else who shares the road at risk. A civil lawsuit for wrongful death or a personal injury case is a preliminary step towards seeking compensation from a negligent rental car company. However, pursuing a claim against a car company that rents out defective vehicles improves the chances of passing new legislation and policies that require rental car companies to improve their maintenance, inspection, and repair practices. To contact an auto accident attorney for a free consultation about your defective rental car accident please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.
LET US GET STARTED ON YOUR ST. LOUIS CAR ACCIDENT CASE TODAY
If you or someone you care about has been seriously injured in an auto accident, contact The Bruning Law Firm today. We provide the comprehensive, professional legal representation you deserve at a time when you need it most.
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