Jurors Award $11.4 Million Verdict Against Toyota Dealership
A family physician was driving a rented 2006 Toyota Sienna when the ball joint failed. The failure caused the car to roll over into a ravine, resulting in serious injuries to the driver and her five passengers. This case is unique, since the driver did not own the car; instead the vehicle was rented from a Toyota dealership. The driver accused the dealership of concealing the defects, failing to warn of unreasonable dangers and various defects present in the vehicle.
After a five-week trial, the jury agreed with the victims, finding an award for personal injuries in their favor.Accidents Involving Rental Cars
Those driving a rental vehicle are much more likely to be involved in a standard car accident than one resulting from faulty maintenance of the rental vehicle. In these situations, after emergent injuries are treated and vehicles are repaired determining liability and covering the costs associated with the accident can be difficult.
As with most accidents, insurance often covers the cost of damages. If the driver of the rental vehicle declined additional insurance when renting the car, coverage will depend on the driver’s car insurance policy. Some policies do not cover rentals, potentially leaving the driver liable for costs. If the policy does cover rentals, it would apply as if the driver were driving his or her own vehicle.
In addition to auto insurance, some credit card companies offer rental coverage. Unfortunately, this type of coverage may not cover many types of accidents. Before taking one of these policies, contact the credit card company to determine the extent of coverage and whether it will work for your needs.Car Accident Law in California
Drivers involved in auto accidents in California will be asked to show responding officers their driver’s license, vehicle registration card, evidence of financial responsibility and current address. Since registration is required, it is a good idea to ask the rental company where the car’s registration is located. Generally, it can be found in the glove compartment.
Proof of financial responsibility is required in California, regardless of whether the vehicle driven is a rental or owned by the driver. Most often, this requirement is met by showing that the driver carries a car insurance policy. Every driver is required to provide financial responsibility and those that do not can face various penalties including a $250 fine.
Car accidents are not uncommon. In fact, the California Department of Motor Vehicles reports that one in three people will suffer injuries or death due to a car accident. If you or a loved one is injured or killed in a car accident, compensation may be available to cover the cost of medical and rehabilitative costs as well as lost wages and potentially pain and suffering.
Determining liability in these accidents can be difficult. As a result, it is wise to contact an experienced auto accidents attorney to discuss your situation and better ensure your legal rights and remedies are protected.