If you are traveling, a rental car may be part of your plans. However, there are some legal issues you should keep in mind, particularly when it comes to auto accidents involving a rental vehicle.
The truth is that renting a car actually involves some complex legal paperwork, and you should have a good understanding of your rights and obligations before getting behind the wheel. There are a number of matters to consider, including the terms of your agreement and your insurance in case you’re involved in an accident
The first thing you should do when still standing at the counter of a rental agency is review your contract. Too often, people sign these documents without fully knowing what they’re signing. When it comes to a rental agreement, be sure to familiarize yourself with the terms of the contract, especially when it comes to who the company holds responsible in the event of vehicle damage.
On that note, you should also thoroughly examine the rental car before taking possession of it. If you notice any dents or dings, alert the agency to these conditions to make sure the information is on file. The last thing you want is to be charged for damage that was there before you ever took the keys. Inspections are also a good idea, as you might notice problems with the car that could affect its drivability and safety.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, find out what car insurance is covering you in your rental vehicle. Many people have policies that extend to rental vehicles, but not all do. Contact your insurance company and ask this question before you drive a rental car. In most cases, rental agencies will not cover damage caused by their drivers, and you may end up footing a costly bill if you fail to conduct your due diligence ahead of time.
If you have been involved in an auto accident in Florida, speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer right away.
Attorney Mark Link also contributed to this blog post.