Regardless of whether you rent a vehicle for business or leisure, the last thing you want to deal with is a car accident. Those injured in rental cars often are unsure how to proceed as the vehicle does not belong to them. This added pressure of not owning the car can make the situation even more confusing and stressful. However, handling a rental car accident is similar to how you would handle a collision if you were driving your vehicle. If you have been injured in an accident while driving a rental car, contact a proficient Birmingham Auto Accident Lawyer who can help you hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence. Please continue reading to learn who can be liable for a rental car accident in Alabama.
Who is accountable for rental car accidents in Alabama?
Following a rental car accident, it is imperative to establish fault to recover monetary compensation for your damages. In Alabama, the at-fault driver is accountable for the accident. However, Alabama is a contributory negligence state, meaning that you cannot recover compensation for your damages if you are partially at fault for the crash. This holds even if you are only found 1% at fault for the cause of a collision. Therefore, if you were partially at fault for the crash, you cannot recover compensation for your losses stemming from the accident.
Nevertheless, if you are not at fault for the cause of the collision, you can file a claim against the other driver to recover compensation for your damages. However, when you rented the vehicle, you signed a contract that, depending on the terms, may oblige you to pay for the vehicle’s damages. Sometimes, the timeframe they require you to pay for the damages is shorter than the time it takes to resolve the claim. When this is the case, the rental company will charge you for the damages despite the claim not being resolved, as your rental agreement holds you liable. If this happens, you must file a claim with the other driver to be reimbursed for the charges.
Can I take legal action against the rental company?
Those injured in rental car accidents often wonder whether they can take legal action against the rental company. According to the Graves Amendment signed into law in 2005, renters cannot pursue legal action against the rental company that blended them a vehicle if a negligent driver caused the injuries they sustained in an accident. However, if the accident was caused due to a lack of maintenance, you can take legal action against the rental company for your damages. This exception is because the rental company is responsible for adequately maintaining the vehicles under their control. This includes regularly servicing the cars to ensure there are no mechanical issues or defects that could result in a collision if not remedied.
If you have been injured in an accident while driving a rental car, contact a determined Birmingham auto accident lawyer from Alabama Personal Injury Lawyers, LLC today, who can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Our firm is committed to helping our clients get justice.