| Read Time: 3 minutes | Car Accidents

Who is liable for a rental car accident in California? This is a key question for anyone renting a vehicle, as liability can extend beyond just the driver. California boasts numerous tourist destinations, from Joshua Tree National Park in the south to Lake Tahoe in the north. Visitor air travel on domestic flights to California destinations increased from 21.4 million in 2021 to 35.5 million in 2022. This extensive travel to the state of California frequently necessitates renting a car.

rental car accident in California

If you rent a car in California, you should prepare for the possibility of being in a rental car accident. Rental car accidents can present unique issues that do not exist in a typical car accident claim. For example, typically, a negligent driver is responsible for any losses arising from an accident their negligence caused. However, if a rental car dealer’s negligence causes the accident, they may be liable instead.

A rental car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Ali Yousefi, P.C., can review the details of your case and determine who is liable for your rental car accident. Contact our office today to speak to a qualified attorney about your rental car accident claim.

Who Is Liable for a Rental Car Accident in California?

The U.S. recorded more than 5 million car accidents in 2020, with an average of 6,235 people suffering a car accident injury daily. These injuries can easily result in thousands of dollars in medical bills and rehabilitation costs. Naturally, the first thing many car accident victims want to know is how to recover compensation for their injuries.

At-Fault Driver

Car accident victims who suffer injuries due to another driver’s negligence can file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for their losses from the at-fault party. In most cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will pay for your losses, though your attorney may need to negotiate with them before they give you a fair offer. Even if the at-fault party was in a rental car, you should still contact an attorney and initiate the process of filing your claim. If the driver purchased additional liability coverage through the rental car company, they might also cover some of your damages.

Rental Car Company

In some cases, the rental car company can face liability for an accident their rental car caused. For example, a rental car company can be liable if it:

  • Knowingly or negligently rented a defective vehicle, and the defect caused the accident and subsequent damages; or
  • Rented a car to someone without a driver’s license.

The rental car company should carry an insurance policy that can compensate accident victims if their negligence causes a collision.

What If My Rental Car Is Damaged in an Accident?

Vehicle repairs are an expense that you can recover after a rental car accident. Thus, if another party crashes into your rental car, their insurance company is on the hook for repairing or replacing the rental car. However, the insurance company can process and conclude your claim for months. The rental company might demand payment from you in the interim. 

If you pay the cost out of pocket, you can seek compensation for your losses in your claim against the liable party. Alternatively, if you purchased insurance coverage from the rental company when you rented the car, that insurance policy may cover the costs of repairing the vehicle. An experienced rental car accident attorney can review your rental agreement to determine the extent of your insurance coverage.

Contact Our Legal Experts Today

Our team at the Law Offices of Ali Yousefi has extensive experience navigating personal injury claims in California. We strive to offer our clients the highest level of legal representation and to give each case the time and attention it deserves. An attorney will work closely with you throughout the process to help secure the most favorable outcome. We are confident in obtaining the best results possible for our clients and keep the process as straightforward and painless as possible. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

Author Photo

Attorney Ali Yousefi is the founder of Law Offices of Ali Yousefi, P.C., and has distinguished himself as one of the leading lawyers in California. Ali values that his work allows him to make a direct, positive impact on the lives of people who have experienced stressful or traumatic events.

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