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Can Vehicle Rental Companies Be Held Liable?

The carefully ingrained case law and the dangerous instrumentality doctrine permit vehicle owners to be held responsible for accidents sustained by the negligence of registered drivers when it comes to responsibility for Florida car crash injuries, though the owner may not have been driving or otherwise liable. Nevertheless, under the federal Graves Amendment, there are exclusions for rental car operators. If the rental company is liable, it might be possible to sue for Florida car crash accidents in such conditions.An example of this reported last month in The Tampa Bay Times tells the story of a man who alleges he was drunk and unable to read or sign documents when he decided to rent a vehicle from a well-known company. The man was subsequently involved in a serious accident where his sibling lost her life and his mother suffered serious injuries. In this scenario, the rental company may have been negligent.There is otherwise a clear argument against the rental car industry considering the Graves Amendment, leaving aside the fact that it may be complicated for drunk drivers to recover insurance for the injury they inflict. This is because, based on the doctrine of dangerous instrumentality, it does not assert vicarious guilt, but instead under the legal principle of negligent entrustment.In Florida, with its huge population and thriving tourist industry, hundreds of rental car companies do business. The Graves Amendment would not exempt them from behaving with due caution when doing business while giving them some degree of protection from legal responsibility. The bottom line is whether or not this argument is successful, there are occasions where rental car firms may be responsible for car crash accidents in Florida.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.646People Reached66EngagementsBoost Again

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