Rental Company Refuses to Compensate Innocent Man

Toyota Tundra 2002 When New

In most societies the owner of a car, drone, dog etc. is liable for damage their property causes, unless someone used it without their consent. However, this excludes car rental firms in Florida, as Dennis Baxter discovered to his cost on 16 May 2018.

The drama began when Dennis was on his way to visit a friend in Richmond Heights, Miami-Daide County in his 2002 Toyota Tundra pickup. A person pulled out of a shopping center into the right hand lane in a rented Impala, before crossing over to the left lane and colliding with Dennis Baxter’s truck. The woman in the Impala told law enforcement Dennis was to blame for the accident.

"If I didn't have the camera, I would be stuck," he told Local 10 News. However, the camera attached to his rear view mirror recorded the true facts. The woman driving the Impala was cited for "improper change of lane" and driving with a suspended license. Dennis sued the rental company but they repudiated the claim.


The Driver Was Not The Person Who Rented the Car


"The driver of the rental during the accident was not the person who rented the vehicle,” they said. “Nor were they listed as an additional driver." Dennis needed to get his truck repaired, but he had not had full coverage in years. However, his troubles were just beginning.

"It was their vehicle," Baxter told the Local 10 team. "I asked them for the name of the person who rented the car, and they refused to give it to me. I've tried to get in touch with the rental car company, and they refuse to pay." And under federal law they do not have to pay either.

The rental company should have had to pay, according to the original intentions of the 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users. However, Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri successfully sponsored an amendment whereby rental companies in some states - including Florida - were exempt from damages in crashes where their cars are involved.  Unless the rental car company itself was negligent in some way.


Beware the Iniquitous Principle of Dangerous Instrumentality


Now we at Pteet affordable rental car insurance would have thought the rental company was negligent for not checking the validity of the Impala driver license, but that may be hard to prove. The principle of ‘dangerous instrumentality’ still applies to all other people in America. If you lend your car to someone always make sure they have their own comprehensive coverage. If you don’t, you could face a lawsuit over something you did not do.

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