Denver Rental Car Accidents

Rental cars are involved in collisions at a higher rate per registered vehicle compared with non-rental cars, according to the Journal of Advanced Transportation. 

There are many potential reasons for the above-average crash rate, including unfamiliarity with the new vehicle, unfamiliarity with local roads when tourists rent cars while away, and drivers simply being less careful with a car they don’t own. 

Unfortunately, crash victims suffer when these rental car accidents happen. Dulin McQuinn Young provides legal representation to those affected. Our experienced Denver car collision lawyers can fight for your right to be fully compensated for losses. You can also read on to learn about who is responsible for covering damages when a rental car accident happens. 

Rental Car Accidents

Is a Rental Car Company Responsible for Accidents or Injuries?

For a long time throughout the United States, rental car companies could be held liable for an accident caused while the vehicle was rented out. However, that changed as a result of the Graves Amendment, which was enacted in 2005 and named after its sponsor.

The Graves Amendment was codified in 49 U.S. Code § 30106, which states that companies engaged in the business of renting or leasing vehicles can’t be liable for harm to persons or property resulting from the use of those vehicles unless the rental company was in some way negligent or engaged in criminal wrongdoing.

If a car rental company did breach a legal responsibility by acting carelessly, such as by renting out a vehicle they knew had faulty brakes, the car rental company could be held accountable for any losses that occurred because of their negligence. In most situations, though, neither the renters of the vehicle nor others hurt by an accident involving that car can take action against the rental car company. 

Who Covers the Costs of a Rental Car Accident?

In general, the driver who was responsible for causing a rental car accident is liable for covering the resulting losses. This could be:

  • The driver of the rented vehicle
  • Another motorist who caused a crash through negligence or intentional wrongdoing

If the driver of the rented vehicle is to blame, they would both have to pay to repair or replace the rental car and cover any damage they caused others to experience. Their own auto insurance might potentially pay for these losses if they have coverage, although there may be exceptions such as when someone rents a car for business purposes when their personal policy specifies this type of use isn’t covered. 

Drivers can also choose to buy optional additional coverage through the rental car agency including:

  • A collision damage waiver allows the driver of the rented vehicle to avoid being held responsible for damage to the rental car in the event of an accident or other incident. 
  • Supplemental liability protection, which pays for damage the driver of the rented vehicle does to other’s vehicles or property 

Most motorists won’t need this since their personal policy will cover them, but it’s important to check because, without coverage, a driver of the rented car might have to pay out-of-pocket for losses they cause. 

On the other hand, if another driver caused the accident and damaged the rental car or harmed its occupants, that driver would be held accountable.

Those who are harmed should consider reaching out to Dulin McQuinn Young at (303) 246-1111 to speak with a Denver rental car accident lawyer and learn more about their legal rights.

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