Jan 24, 2017
Prior to 1995, if you were hit by a tourist in a rental car, resulting
in injuries that may have required a long period of recovery, you would
have been able to file a claim against the rental company under a “vicarious
liability” theory in many states that allowed it. With the passing
of the Graves Amendment, this type of claim was practically eliminated.
What does this mean for you? It means that if you have been injured in
an accident and the driver was in a rental vehicle, your legal recourse
is to sue the driver himself.
Luckily, there are laws against allowing an uninsured motorist behind the
wheel of a rental car, so rental car drivers will likely have some insurance,
but that does not mean the insurance is adequate. With someone who is
underinsured, a case may drag out since it might take time to determine
how much treatment you require and how it fits within the limits of the
at-fault driver’s insurance.
If you have been in an accident involving a rental car and suspect that
they are underinsured, it is important to give notice to your insurance
carrier as soon as possible due to time limitations. The rental company
is only obligated to provide $10,000 of coverage to the renter, so if
you are severely injured, or expect costly medical bills for your recovery,
this will not be enough for compensation.
When filing an underinsured or uninsured motorist claim, your insurance
company will vigilantly investigate your medical treatment and injuries,
given that their interest is to save as much money as they can and pay
you as little as possible. If this turns into a bad faith claim, you could
pursue a separate case against your insurance company.
At Fieger Law, our
Michigan car accident attorneys have secured hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements.
We never back down from challenges that arise from uninsured or underinsured
motorist accidents, because we know the law, we know your rights, and
we are prepared to fight for you.