Category: Insurance Lawyer

Do I need to buy the insurance offered by the rental car company?

My last blog post dealt with whether you could hold a rental car company responsible for accidents caused by drivers of rental cars in Florida. This blog post deals with the insurance you need to protect yourself if you rent a car.

As discussed in my last blog post, rental car companies used to be responsible for injuries caused by the negligence of the drivers of their vehicles. Thus, if you rented a car and you were negligent and injured someone, the injury victim could pursue a claim against the rental car company-a known “deep pocket.” That is no longer the case. Nowadays, the rental car company is usually off the hook for injuries caused by drivers of their vehicles. Due to this, it is more important than ever to make sure you are properly covered if you rent a vehicle.

If you own a car, your personal policy will generally cover you when you rent a car in the United States or Canada. If you have good coverage, which includes healthy limits for bodily injury liability and property damage liability, then you probably don’t need the additional coverage offered by the rental car companies. Your bodily injury liability coverage will protect you if you are at fault and you injure someone else. Your property damage liability coverage will protect you if you are at fault and you damage another vehicle. If you have comprehensive and collision coverage, that will usually cover any damage you cause to the rental vehicle itself. In the event you have a deductible, if you charge the rental to a credit card that covers rental cars (many do), then the credit card company will usually cover your deductible.

When is it wise to purchase the insurance offered by a rental car company? Continue reading “Do I need to buy the insurance offered by the rental car company?”

Rental Cars and Accidents

Although it is now the “off-season” in Florida, we are a Mecca for tourists who often rent cars. Unfamiliarity with the vehicle and the local roads sometimes results in these tourists causing accidents. Unfortunately, if this occurs, recovery from the rental car company may be limited or nonexistent.

Generally speaking, when the owner of a motor vehicle allows someone else to use their vehicle, the owner is responsible for the negligence of the driver of the vehicle. This principle is called “vicarious liability.” The idea behind this legal theory is that a motor vehicle can be extremely dangerous if operated by someone who is an irresponsible driver, and by holding the owner responsible hopefully the owner will use good judgment in deciding who to allow to use their vehicle. When I first started practicing law over 30 years ago, this principle applied to rental car companies and rental car companies could be held responsible for the negligence of the driver of one of its vehicles.

This all changed, however, in 2005 when a law known as the “Graves Amendment” was passed by Congress. In a nutshell, this law did away with vicarious liability for rental cars. Lawyers representing injury victims in Florida raised challenges to the new law, claiming that it conflicted with existing Florida law. When the dust finally settled, after about eight years of litigation, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that rental car companies were entitled to the benefit of the Graves Amendment. Thus, anyone injured in Florida by a negligent driver of a rental car can no longer effectively pursue the claim against the rental car company and is often left with a claim against an uninsured or underinsured driver. Rental car companies will usually provide some minimal level of coverage, usually $10,000, which is often all that can be recovered unless the driver has a personal policy with additional coverage, or the driver has significant assets which makes the case worthwhile to pursue against the driver. The Graves Amendment is another reason why you should have adequate uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage under your own automobile vehicle policy. This coverage allows you to pursue a claim under your own policy for your injuries if the coverage available from the rental car company or the driver of the rental car is insufficient to fully satisfy your claim. Continue reading “Rental Cars and Accidents”

Accidents Involving Rental Cars

Car Accident Lawyer Delray Beach FL

If you have been the victim of an accident involving a rental car, you need a car accident lawyer Delray Beach FL trusts who can help. Florida is a mecca for tourists who often rent cars. Unfamiliarity with the vehicle and the local roads sometimes results in these tourists causing accidents. If this occurs, recovery from the rental car company may be limited or nonexistent.

Generally speaking, when the owner of a motor vehicle allows someone else to use their vehicle, the owner is responsible for the negligence of the driver of the vehicle. This principle is called “vicarious liability.” The idea behind this legal theory is that a motor vehicle can be extremely dangerous if operated by someone who is an irresponsible driver, and by holding the owner responsible hopefully the owner will use good judgment in deciding who to allow to use their vehicle. When I first started practicing law over 30 years ago, this principle applied to rental car companies and rental car companies could be held responsible for the negligence of the driver of one of its vehicles. A free consultation with a car accident lawyer Delray Beach FL relies on can help you learn your rights if you have been injured by a rental car.

This all changed, however, in 2005 when a law known as the “Graves Amendment” was passed by Congress. In a nutshell, this law did away with vicarious liability for rental cars. Lawyers representing injury victims in Florida raised challenges to the new law Florida, claiming that it conflicted with existing Florida law. When the dust finally settled, after about eight years of litigation, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that rental car companies were entitled to the benefit of the Graves Amendment. Thus, anyone injured in Florida by a negligent driver of a rental car and needing a car accident lawyer Delray Beach FL counts on can no longer effectively pursue the claim against the rental car company and is often left with a claim against an uninsured or underinsured driver. Rental car companies will usually provide some minimal level of coverage, usually $10,000, which is often all that can be recovered unless the driver has a personal policy with additional coverage, or the driver has significant assets which makes the case worthwhile to pursue against the driver. The Graves Amendment is another reason why you should have adequate uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage under your own automobile vehicle policy. This coverage allows you to pursue a claim under your own policy for your injuries if the coverage available from the rental car company or the driver of the rental car is insufficient to fully satisfy your claim. The cost to add uninsured/underinsured motorist to a policy is modest and well worth the few extra dollars. An experienced car accident lawyer Delray Beach FL residents acclaim can help you determine whether you have a valid claim.

Eric Luckman is a Florida Board Certified Civil Trial lawyer. Less than 2% of lawyers in the state of Florida are recognized with this prestigious certification.

Board certification recognizes attorneys’ special knowledge, skills and proficiency in various areas of law and professionalism and ethics in practice.

Feel free to call our office to discuss your case. The initial consultation is free, and you will speak directly with Eric Luckman, about your claim and your rights.

An experienced car accident lawyer Delray Beach FL respects can help you determine whether you have a valid claim.

What is animal liability coverage and why you should add it to your Homeowner’s Policy

 

Back in November I wrote a blog post called “Insurance coverage for dog bites?” It discussed dog bite claims and the difficulty in getting the homeowner’s insurer for a dog owner to pay the claim. This difficulty arises from the fact that a number of years ago most homeowner’s insurers added exclusions to their policies that bar coverage for “animal liability,” including dog bites. Continue reading “What is animal liability coverage and why you should add it to your Homeowner’s Policy”

Homeowner’s Insurance and Mold Coverage

Mold exists everywhere in Florida. Our state is a veritable paradise for mold, with its high levels of humidity, abundant food sources and temperate climate. Many homeowners become quite concerned when mold is found in their home. Fortunately, mold is usually harmless. However, it can be a problem for certain individuals who are sensitive to mold, especially when there are elevated levels of certain strains of mold. Continue reading “Homeowner’s Insurance and Mold Coverage”

Motorcycle Accidents: What happens when insurance companies let you down?

According to information released by Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System, during 2012 there were more than 9,000 accidents involving motorcycles on Florida roadways. In total, 457 drivers and passengers were killed and overall, there were more than 8,600 injuries. Continue reading “Motorcycle Accidents: What happens when insurance companies let you down?”

Motorcycle accident victims often suffer at the hands of insurers

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According to “Ride Smart Florida” there are more than 600,000 registered motorcycles across the state of Florida. Unfortunately, statistics also show that during 2012, there were more than 9,000 accidents involving motorcycles. When you combine the speed of a motorcycle with the lack of protection offered to drivers and passengers, it comes as little surprise when serious injuries or death occur after a motorcycle accident. Continue reading “Motorcycle accident victims often suffer at the hands of insurers”

When your insurer lets you down

If you are like most homeowners, you have paid your insurance premium monthly for as long as you’ve had your home. Then comes the day when you need to file a claim and your insurance company does everything in their power to avoid paying that claim. Not only are you out the money from the claim, but you now have had to spend endless amounts of time fighting for them to do what’s right. Instead of battling one-on-one with your insurance company, consider contacting the Law Office of Eric H. Luckman, PA. My practice is devoted to helping people just like you come out on the right side of these types of disputes. Continue reading “When your insurer lets you down”

New Florida Bad Faith Insurance Decision

Residents in Palm Beach, Miami, and throughout southern Florida count on their insurance providers to be there when they need them. The entire purpose of paying premiums into an insurance policy is to provide peace of mind, knowing that necessary support will be provided in case some unexpected or harmful event occurs. In this way, policyholders place significant trust in their insurance companies, counting on them to act reasonably to abide by the terms of the policies in a timely, fair manner. Continue reading “New Florida Bad Faith Insurance Decision”