If you have been injured in a rental car accident, you likely feel overwhelmed and uncertain about how to proceed since the vehicle isn’t yours. It can be difficult to understand who is liable for this type of auto accident and what the potential repercussions may be. Keep reading to learn who can be held accountable for a rental car accident. In addition, discover how our qualified Washington, D.C. Car Accident Lawyers can help you navigate your legal options.
Who is responsible for a rental car accident?
As with any car accident, the driver responsible for causing the crash will be held accountable for their negligence. If you were partially or fully at fault for a collision, depending on your auto insurance, they will likely cover accident-related expenses. However, the District of Columbia is a contributory negligence state. This means if you were partially at fault for a collision, you will be barred from recovering any monetary compensation for your damages. If another driver was at fault for the accident, you can file a claim with your insurance company to recover compensation for your damages. It is critical to note that the contract you signed with the rental company may require you to pay for the car’s damages within a certain timeframe. This period may be shorter than the time it takes to resolve the claim. When this is the case, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver to collect compensation for your losses stemming from the accident.
Can I take legal action against the rental company?
Oftentimes those involved in rental car accidents wonder if they are entitled to take legal action against the rental company for their damages. According to the Graves Amendment which was signed into law in 2005, drivers who rent a vehicle cannot take legal action against the rental company if their injuries were caused by another driver’s negligent actions. However, the only time there is an exception to the Graves Amendment is when you can prove that the accident was caused by the rental company’s negligent actions. For example, if the rental company failed to uphold its legal duty of performing routine maintenance to ensure the vehicles they rent to their customers are safe to drive and the accident is caused due to a lack of maintenance, it is possible to pursue legal action against the rental company for your losses stemming from the collision.
In the unfortunate event that you have been injured in a rental car accident, it is in your best interest to contact our seasoned attorneys at Trombly & Singer, PLLC. Our firm is committed to helping our clients hold negligent parties accountable to secure the fair compensation they deserve.