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Can an Injured Person Sue a Rental Motorcycle Company For an Accident?

Aug 2, 2020 | Motorcycle Accidents

When the driver of a rental vehicle is a part of the accident, it is important to know who is liable and how the injured victim must get compensation for the caused injuries.

Usually, incidents, where a rental motorcycle has been obtained by a driver, do not lead to a case, because the driver accepts responsibility for the motorcycle, and the rental company can’t be responsible for damages to the victim. Though, it is often difficult to discern without a thorough investigation which insurance carrier must provide funds to the injured party.

When the driver has purchased a rental company’s insurance, less coverage is allocated to the driver than his own insurance would allow. Generally, a renter needs to get his own liability insurance to rent a car, and in case he doesn’t, he is supposed to buy liability insurance with minimum coverage through the rental vehicle company. In California, rental vehicle companies do not automatically provide protection to a renter as part of the rental agreement, though some do provide minimum liability protection to international renters.

Asserting Injured Person’s Rights After a Rental Motorcycle Accident

In case a person is suing a driver of a rental motorcycle for causing injuries, usually, he will have to establish the elements of negligence such as duty, a breach of duty, causation, and damages. But, in case the driver has insufficient insurance coverage for the accident, whether through his personal insurance policy or a policy got from the rental motorcycle company, the injured person may not be able to recover the full scope of the damages, even if he manages to establish the driver’s liability for the accident.

Rare Circumstances Which Allow Bringing a Lawsuit Against the Rental Company

In California, rental vehicle companies are not obliged to investigate a renter’s driving record. Though, the situation is different in case the at-fault driver rented the car with a suspended license. Rental motorcycle company is required to check the license and compare the signatures on the customer’s license and the rental agreement. In case the rental vehicle company doesn’t follow the mentioned procedure of verification, it may be held directly liable for negligent entrustment when it rents to an incompetent or unfit driver who has a revoked or suspended license.

The rental agency can also be liable if the provided motorcycle had a defect that could lead to an accident and it was known by the company without a fix implemented. So there was foreknowledge about the defective materials or parts within the motorcycle that was allocated to the victim of the accident. Even if an insurance policy was purchased at the motorcycle company, the business can still be liable for the caused damages because of the breach in duty owed to the injured individual.

Usually, claims go through an insurance provider for guaranteeing compensations and recovery of the victim.

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, we invite you to contact KAASS LAW for a free consultation at 310-933-5171. Our staff speaks English, Spanish, Armenian, Russian, and French.