Rental cars and trucks are everywhere. Each year in the U.S., passenger rentals generate over 20 billion in sales and account for over 1.5 million rental cars being on the road. They also get into accidents every day and cause damage and injuries to others out on the roads. Some people may only operate a large moving truck once in their life, and, accidents happen.
For example, on September, 4, 2019, in Airway Heights, Washington—near the Spokane International Airport—two women were critically injured after they were struck by the driver of a rental truck. Police say that the accident happened at the intersection of S. Flint Road and W. Airport Driver when the rental pickup driver failed to yield to the right-of-way to the vehicle carrying the two women.
Suing the Car Truck Company
We have many good moving truck rental companies in the area such as U-Haul, Ryder, Penske and Budget. When accidents like these happen, the victims often want to know if they can sue the rental truck company. The answer is typically no. However, the driver of the truck’s auto insurance will typically cover the losses for the wreck. Don’t expect that company to compensate you nicely though. Always speak to an attorney after any major crash.
When a rental company rents a car to a person, they routinely check the driver for having auto insurance, and they will also offer added insurance to the driver renting the vehicle.
There are some circumstances that will allow a lawsuit against the rental car company, but these are rare and often difficult to prove. Some of them are:
- Background Check: The car company is supposed to check for a valid driver’s license and do a background check. So if the driver didn’t have a driver’s license and had DUI’s on their record, this might be a basis to sue the rental car company.
- Negligent Maintenance: If they were negligent in the way they kept up on the car, then they might be held liable. Bad brakes, bald tires, and other maintenance issues that cause a safety hazard for the driver.
- Rental Company Car Driver: In some cases, the rental company picks up the car renter to give them a ride to their car lot. If the renter is injured in an accident on the way, the rental company might be responsible for the damages.
As a part of the requirements of negligence, the injured person is going to have to prove in court that the cause of the accident was related to the alleged negligence. For example, if the victim is saying that the rental car had bald tires and the cause of the accident was not related to bald tires, then the rental company would probably not be liable for the accident.
If the driver of the rental car is at fault and has no insurance, you might be able to sue the rental company for not checking up on their insurance, however, this is going to be tough to prove that this was the cause of the accident.
If there was no insurance on the driver, then the victim might have to rely on their own auto insurance policy ‘s uninsured/underinsured policy—if they have one.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer:
If you got injured in an accident with a rental car and were injured, you should talk to an attorney who will give you unbiased advice and will inform you of your rights. At Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S.,we offer a free consultation where you can ask questions from someone who is knowledgeable and on your side.
We serve clients in Spokane, Washington, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and surrounding communities. They can go toe-to-toe with the insurance companies and their lawyers to get you fair compensation for your injuries. Call them at (509) 926-4900, or send them a message by clicking here.