You were at a stop light waiting for it to turn green when you were suddenly slammed into from behind. The plates on the other car were from another state, and you learn it’s a rental. You need that driver to follow through with their insurance.
The rental company
Pursuant to 49 USC 30106 you have no recourse against the rental company under any state or municipal law for damage to person or property simply because the rental company was the owner of the vehicle. A cause of action might lie against them if they negligently leased the vehicle to somebody who shouldn’t have been driving, and they knew or should have known that the person wasn’t supposed to have been driving.
Rental company insurance
Any insurance the driver might purchase from the rental company is ordinarily secondary insurance. That means you’ll be looking to the driver’s own car insurance for compensation. They may or may not have insurance. They only need a valid license and credit card to rent the vehicle.
The accident investigation
Make sure that the investigating officer takes all appropriate information from the other driver, including the name of the insurance company that they say insures them personally. That insurance company is who you’ll look to for compensation. There’s no way of actually compelling them to report the accident. That doesn’t stop you from reporting it to their insurer yourself.
Florida no-fault insurance
Since Florida is a no-fault insurance state, there’s really no need to wrestle with the insurer of the driver that hit you. The accident can be reported to your insurer. If medical bills and property damage are both under $10,000, this might be the most convenient alternative for you.
Underinsured or uninsured driver
If your damages are in excess of $10,000, you might want to claim any excess on your underinsured motorist coverage. If the other driver was uninsured or his insurer refuses to cover him, you can claim on your uninsured motorist coverage.
If you’re hit by any rental car, try to make sure that you find out who the driver’s personal insurer is. That’s who you’ll initially claim against. If they’re uninsured, claim under your own policy. That’s what insurance is for.
For a free and immediate consultation with Hillsborough County personal injury lawyer Bryan Caulfield, call him at 1-800-535-2529 orcontact him online.