Who Might Be Liable for a Rental Car Accident?

June 13, 2023
car with airbags deployed

If you were hurt in an accident involving a rental car and you want to seek compensation, the first step is determining liability. Once you assign blame for the crash, you’ll know who is responsible for your losses because South Carolina applies a fault-based/comparative system to car wrecks.

Naturally, the liable party or parties will depend on the circumstances surrounding the wreck. Chances are, however, that the investigation will reveal it’s one of the following:

1. The Driver of the Rental Car

If the person who was driving the rental car was at fault for the crash, they may be liable for the damages. Whether they must cover them out of pocket will depend on the scope of their personal car insurance coverage and if they purchased any supplemental coverage from the rental car company.

2. The Rental Car Company

If the collision occurred because the car was poorly maintained, the rental car company may be to blame. Rental car providers are responsible for maintaining the vehicles in their fleets to a reasonably safe standard, so they can handle the demands of everyday traffic without breaking down and jeopardizing the well-being of everyone around them.

3. Other Drivers

If the accident is attributed to other drivers who were involved, they’ll be responsible for the damages. In order to secure compensation from them, you’ll likely have to file a third-party claim with each of their auto insurance carriers.

4. The Rental Car Manufacturer

Sometimes, vehicles that are adequately maintained break down in traffic because of manufacturing defects. When this ends up being the case, the manufacturer is usually liable for the damages that result.

In such a scenario, it’s important to enlist help from a personal injury attorney who is well-versed in product liability. Major corporations inevitably have the resources to challenge every claim that comes their way, so holding them accountable can be especially challenging.

5. A Government Agency

Local, state, and federal government agencies are responsible for designing roadways that account for all the vehicles that will be using them and then maintaining said roadways (and their corresponding traffic signals) so they remain reasonably safe.

If you were hurt because the road was poorly designed or maintained, you may be able to take action against the government entity that was negligent. Since the government has certain protections from civil suits, however, building a strong claim against them is inherently complex. Additionally, the statute of limitations is generally two years. As such, it’s wise to seek representation from a seasoned attorney before getting started.

Speak with a South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer

If your life was turned upside-down by a wreck involving a rental car, you deserve justice. For help seeking it, turn to Hodge & Langley Law Firm.

Our team has more than 50 years of collective experience in the legal field, and we know what it takes to go up against even the largest insurance corporations. To schedule a free initial consultation with a car accident attorney in South Carolina, call 864-585-3873 or fill out the Contact Form on our website.



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