CAN I SUE RENTAL CAR AGENCIES FOR LACK OF MAINTENANCE?
People who rent cars are most likely to do so because they require a safe and reliable mode of transportation. They give their money to rental car companies fully believing that they will be provided with such a vehicle. When consumers are injured in an accident because their rental car was not properly maintained, rental companies could find themselves liable for the ensuing damages.
Common Areas of Neglect for Car Rental
Rental agencies sometimes fail to inspect certain components of a car or to perform routine maintenance in order to ensure it operates properly. As a result, some of the most commonly neglected areas include:
- Brake systems
- Power steering systems
- Airbags and seatbelts
Consumers have a right to assume that any vehicle they are renting is safe for them to operate. This doesn’t mean that every rental car is, which is why drivers should make a thorough inspection of the vehicle before signing a rental agreement. Doing so could not only protect them from being charged for existing damages, but also prevent them from renting an unsafe vehicle that would increase their odds of having an accident.
Exclusions in Fine Print
Before signing a rental agreement, it’s also important to read the fine print very carefully. This is because rental companies sometimes place exclusions in the “fine print” of a contract in an effort to shift responsibility should there be an accident. It’s important never to sign any agreement that completely abolishes the rental agency from responsibility due to a poorly maintained vehicle.
Proving Damages for Rent-A-Car
Those who are injured due to a poorly maintained rental vehicle must generally prove three things in order to show a company was negligent:
- The defendant was engaged in the car rental business
- That the plaintiff actually rented a vehicle from said business
- The lack of maintenance resulted in the customer having an accident
It can also be helpful for an individual to show that the rental company had (or should have had) prior knowledge about a defect. Whenever defects could have been found by performing a reasonable inspection, this is normally enough to satisfy that burden of proof.
Hiring a Lawyer
Car rental agencies often try to evade questions whenever a patron is involved in an accident, especially if they know a lack of maintenance could be to blame for it. In these cases, injured parties should consider hiring a personal injury attorney to help them show the company they are serious about pursuing their claim.
The best way to start preparing for your case is to schedule a free case evaluation. This way, a personal injury attorney can go over your case and determine the best defenses to use. Schedule your free case evaluation today by calling 713-222-1222.
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