Rental Car Accidents in Colleyville

Determining who is financially responsible for damages or injuries from rental car accidents in Colleyville can be difficult. These cases can involve complex insurance law issues depending on your policy or if the rental car driver does not have adequate insurance.

When you or a relative were injured in a crash involving a rental car, one of our dedicated car accident lawyers could potentially help you recoup compensation for your damages or injuries.

State Law Does Not Mandate a Collision Damage Waiver

The state does not require that people who rent vehicles purchase a collision damage waiver. Rental car companies offer collision damage waivers to protect customers from financial responsibility when the vehicle is damaged or stolen.

While the state does not require a collision damage waiver, many drivers have personal insurance policies that cover damages for crashes when operating a rental vehicle. However, gaps in coverage can exist if a negligent rental car driver fails to obtain a collision damage waiver or maintain adequate personal insurance.

An individual still has options to recover compensation for their injuries or property damage from Colleyville accidents even when a rental driver does not have adequate insurance coverage. The injured party can pursue a personal injury claim directly against the at-fault party for negligence.

Establishing That a Rental Car Driver Was Negligent

To prove that the rental car driver was negligent in a personal injury claim, the injured victim must show that they had a duty of care. In cases involving Colleyville rental vehicle crashes, the court generally holds that a driver had a duty to obey traffic laws.

The plaintiff must also prove that the rental car driver engaged in actions or inactions that breached their duty of care. For example, driving at excessive speeds or while drinking are breaches of a rental car driver’s duty of care.

If the rental car driver breached the relevant standard of care, the victim must show that this breach led to their injuries. This means that the accident was a predictable result of the defendant violating their duty of care.

The plaintiff must have suffered actual damages due to the breach. The court will consider damages with a measurable dollar value, such as hospital bills, and noneconomic relief, like compensation for mental anguish or distress.

However, the state’s doctrine of modified comparative negligence doctrine, Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code § 33.001, can completely bar a plaintiff from recovering compensation if they are deemed to have contributed more than 50 percent of the negligence that led to the accident.

Rental Car Companies Do Not Have Vicarious Liability for Accidents

Federal law generally prohibits pursuing an action against the rental car company for crashes in Colleyville under the Graves Amendment, 49 U.S.C. § 30106. This rule prohibits holding rental car companies vicariously liable for crashes involving vehicles they own.

However, an injured party could pursue a negligence claim against the rental car company if it engaged in certain negligent behavior, such as negligent entrustment. The court set out the elements for negligent entrustment in Williams v. Steves Industries, Inc., 699 S.W.2d 570 (1985).

For example, a court could possibly find a rental car company liable for negligent entrustment if they entrust a vehicle to an unlicensed or incompetent driver, and they knew or should have known about the driver’s inadequacy. A plaintiff must also show that the rental car driver’s actions actually caused their injuries.

While it is more difficult to prove negligence liability against rental car companies for a driver’s actions, an attorney can help pursue evidence or records to establish negligent entrustment. If a rental car agency allowed an underage driver access to a vehicle, for example, this could help demonstrate negligent entrustment.

Consult With a Colleyville Attorney About Rental Car Crashes

An injured party should not delay seeking representation if they are injured in rental car accidents in Colleyville. Time is of the essence since the state imposes a two-year statute of limitations to file personal injury claims from the date of the incident.

One of our attorneys could help you understand the complex insurance law questions that arise when dealing with rental car companies. Call today to schedule a consultation and get started.