Owners who participate in car sharing may be liable for accidents

Florida drivers should be aware that car sharing, where one individual rents their personal car to another through a company, may have consequences that are not understood by either party. The problem lies in the fact that most insurance companies do not cover car sharing services as this is a relatively new industry. Regardless, these companies are gaining popularity and popping up throughout the United States.

Some companies do provide those who choose to rent out their personal vehicles with coverage. However, others only provide the minimum amount as required by the state, which does not protect against expensive liability verdicts. One company was forced to close its doors in the state of New York after it was discovered that the insurance coverage it offered was not only not state approved, it could have potentially left vehicle owners liable for injury, death and other damages caused by the actual drivers if they became involved in car accidents.

The report highlighted one car sharing incident that occurred in 2012 in which a driver, who was renting a vehicle through a peer-to-peer rental company, allegedly caused an accident that injured four others. While the driver did not survive, the injured individuals were able to sue both the driver’s estate and the individual who actually owned the car. The case was ultimately settled out of court.

If a driver who is renting a vehicle causes a car accident that results in injury, those who were injured may be able to seek monetary compensation for their injuries. If the driver’s insurance company does not cover the accident, an attorney may be able to seek compensation from the actual owner of the vehicle and from the rental company.

Source: Forbes, “Beware The Liability Of Sharing Your Car With Strangers“, M.P. McQueen, October 15, 2013

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