Overview of the car rental service
Turo Inc. is a company that was originally founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 2009 and is now headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company offers an app that people can use to list a car rental or to rent a vehicle. People who want to rent cars can sign up with their email addresses, Facebook accounts or Google accounts. After submitting photocopies of their drivers’ licenses, they are able to browse and book vehicles. The owners who have listed the cars can take up to eight hours to respond and may accept or decline the booking. Once a booking is accepted, the renter and the vehicle owner arrange to meet and exchange the vehicle. The owners can choose to purchase accident insurance from the company at the time that they rent out the vehicles or may opt to waive coverage if they have their own policies. Turo states that people who rent vehicles on their website do not have to have their own insurance policies.
Steps to take after a crash
People who are involved in collisions with drivers who have rented vehicles on the app and drivers who have rented vehicles via the app should take several steps after their accidents. The first thing that people should do is check to see if anyone has been injured. The drivers should exchange their information, including their names, addresses, insurance, and registration information. If someone has been injured, the drivers should call 911 and give the injured people first aid until help arrives.
If they can, the people should take pictures of all of the vehicles that were involved in the collision and the damage that was caused to each. They should also take wide pictures of the scene where the crash happened, including details such as skid marks, traffic control devices, road debris, and the weather conditions. All of this information can be important to prove liability in subsequent claims. When the police arrive, the people should explain what happened from their perspectives without apologizing or accepting blame. If there are any witnesses, they should get their names and contact information. Finally, it is important to seek medical attention even if people do not think that they are injured. Some people may not notice the symptoms of injuries for hours or days after their collisions.
There are several liability issues that can arise when accidents involve vehicles that are rented with a car rental app. First, it will be important to determine if it was the rental car driver’s fault or the fault of another party. There might also be situations in which both the rental car driver and another party share fault.
When the rental car driver is at fault
In cases in which the driver of the car that was rented via the app is at fault, there may be issues with determining which type of insurance might be available. The owners may have purchased insurance from the company and have their own policies. However, the owners may have decided to waive the insurance, meaning that the injured victims may be limited to the car owners’ policy limits. The rental car app company may also dispute the liability of the driver in an attempt to minimize the losses that it might be forced to pay.
When another party is at fault
Some collisions may also be caused by other drivers. In those situations, the other drivers will be liable to pay damages, including the car owner’s property damages and the drivers’ personal injuries. If the collision involved multiple cars, there may be complex liability issues that need to be sorted out to determine the percentage of fault that each driver had.
When the rental car driver and the other party share fault
California uses comparative negligence when there are several parties that share fault in causing accidents. Under this legal principle, the percentage of fault that each party has is determined. A plaintiff’s award or settlement will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault. For example, if the plaintiff is determined to be 20 percent at fault, his or her award or settlement will be reduced by that percentage.
Insurance coverage issues
Sorting out the insurance coverage issues after an accident involving a vehicle that was rented via the app can be difficult. The company gives people the option to purchase supplemental insurance of up to $1 million. There may also be coverage available through the driver’s own policy as well as the owner’s insurance policy. It is important for people to know what to do to protect themselves when they are injured in accidents involving vehicles that have been rented on the app.
People should ask to see both the car registration, the insurance proof, and the driver’s license of the drivers. If the vehicle is not registered to the driver, the people should ask the relationship of the drivers to the owners. If they see that an insurance policy is from the rental car app company, they should take pictures of it and ask for any insurance that the driver has himself or herself. While the company doesn’t require renters to have their own insurance to rent vehicles, California law requires all people who drive vehicles in the state to carry at least a minimum amount of liability coverage. Finally, the people should contact the owner of the vehicle and get their personal insurance information as well. Taking photographs is crucial for claims involving vehicles from the app.
Contact a personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Steven M. Sweat
After gathering all of the information, people should meet with an experienced rental car accident attorney in Los Angeles. An experienced attorney can help his or her clients to sort out the difficult liability and insurance issues. Call the Law Offices of Steven M. Sweat today to learn more.