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Hit by a Rental Truck? Who Is Financially Responsible?

A Truck
Rental trucks are a common occurrence on the road. Like any other massive vehicle, they come with their fair share of threats. When a threat turns into a collision and the collision results in injuries, determining who is at fault is priority number one. 

While you might think the driver of the vehicle is automatically to blame, you have instances when the rental company is entirely at fault or at least shares some of the responsibility. Read on to ensure you know who to seek compensation from.

Due Diligence

Rental companies cannot wrongfully discriminate against customers, but rental companies do have grounds to deny a renter. Rental companies should exercise a certain level of due diligence to protect their equipment and, more critically, the overall community.

Consider a scenario when a person comes in to rent a truck, for instance. The person smells of alcohol and struggles to maintain a coherent conversation. You can safely assume the person is under the influence. The same driver successfully rents the truck and hits a car about a mile away from the rental facility.

A similar situation would warrant some level of blame on the rental company given the fact they ignored the blatant signs and allowed the driver to drive off with their property, knowing the driver was a danger to others. From intoxication to license status, rental companies must ensure the renter is equipped to drive safely.

Proper Upkeep

One luxury of renting a truck is the absence of responsibility with upkeep and maintenance, as this is the responsibility of the rental company. When the business does not take this goal seriously and the reason behind your collision was a mechanical failure, the rental company may be the at-fault party.

For example, consider a scenario where the truck's brakes have been worn down to the metal, and the rental company has just ignored the repair. The driver attempts to stop, but with the extra weight on the truck and the failing brakes, they slam into a car and cause serious injury.

The fact that the rental company was aware the brakes were in dangerous condition could make them liable for any injuries and property damage. If the driver of the truck was following too closely or speeding, they might share some of the responsibility for the collision.

A skilled attorney will speak to witnesses and review the police record to help highlight a malfunction that might not be immediately obvious. 

Insurance Coverage

Rental companies typically suggest renters carry some form of insurance on their trucks. The protection often comes in the form of a policy purchased through the rental company since many standard auto insurance policies won't cover the rental trucks. 

When a driver purchases coverage from the rental company, financial responsibility generally rests on the company's insurance policy since you would need to file a claim against their insurance plan and not the driver's. Like your auto policy, the rental company's liability policy will come with a pre-set cap.  

However, if you had multiple people in your car or serious injuries, and your costs exceed the policy threshold, you may be able to file a direct suit against the rental company and the driver of the vehicle. 

When you are hurt due to the actions of another person or organization, you deserve to be taken care of. At Dean Law Firm LLC, we strive to ensure our clients get fair treatment, and we will extend the same benefit to you. 

If you were injured in an accident with a rental truck, contact our firm so that we can fight for you.