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What If My Rental Car is Defective and It Caused Me a Serious Injury?

March 9, 2022
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When you lease a vehicle from a rental agency, you naturally expect that you’ll be given a vehicle in excellent condition and without defects. But if you were provided with a recalled or defective car that caused a crash that led to your serious injuries, the liability for the accident may likely lie with the rental car agency. But rental agencies are known for drafting rental vehicle agreements that release them from vicarious liability and offering insurance to drivers who lack auto insurance coverage.

Generally, you are responsible for any accident involving a rental vehicle if your actions caused the accident. However, if your injuries resulted from the agency’s negligence, such as leasing a defective vehicle, then you can pursue a claim to recover losses against the agency.

Is The Rental Car Company Liable for The Car Crash?

The Graves Amendment provides that if the driver of a rental vehicle gets into an accident and suffers injuries, they can’t hold the rental car agency liable for the accident. This means that you can’t bring a claim against the agency just because it owns the vehicle. However, the rental agency can, in certain circumstances, be held liable for rental car accidents.

If the agency contributed to or caused your accident due to their negligence in their rental or maintenance processes, you might be able to sue them for financial compensation for your damages. For example, if your rental vehicle was defective because the agency overlooked the scheduled maintenance or failed to maintain or repair it properly.

To illustrate, let’s say that you crashed the rental car because the braking system did not work when you tried to stop the car. You might have operated the brakes correctly, but the car failed to stop on time before you could crash into another car. In this situation, you could hold the rental agency responsible for the crash and the resulting injuries. Likewise, other people who got injured in the same accident may have a claim against the agency as well.

Additionally, rental agencies own the vehicles they rent out. This means that when a vehicle manufacturer issues a recall or product defect notice, the agency will receive a notice of the announcement and must pull that vehicle from their rental list or repair it as needed. If you can prove that the agency chose to ignore the recall notice or failed to repair the vehicle, then it could be held responsible for any losses you incur due to their negligence.

Consult with a Queens Car Accident Lawyer Today

Were you or a loved one injured in a car accident because of a defective rental vehicle? The seasoned Queens car accident lawyers of Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman, P.C., will review your claim thoroughly, gather strong evidence to support your claim for damages, and make sure that you receive the compensation you are owed. To find out more about your case, please call our office at 212-285-3300 or send us a message online.


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