Leased Vehicle Accidents
Car accidents occur all too often, and can lead to serious injury or even death. When a person is injured by another person’s negligence, they may be entitled to recover compensation for any damages incurred such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, or loss of quality of life. This principle applies to car accidents, and holds true whether the car was owned by the driver, rented, leased, or borrowed from a friend or a family member. What differs in cases where the driver and the owner of the vehicle are not the same person is that there may be additional sources of liability. In order to determine whether there may be additional liable parties for injuries that you have sustained in a Florida car accident, you should consult with an attorney about your case. There are many ways a third party may be partially liable for your injuries, and depending on the circumstances of your accident you may be able to assert a legal claim against them.
Motor Vehicle Leasing and Insurance in Florida
Under Florida law, all drivers who drive on public roads must have the minimum level of insurance coverage required by state law. Certain classes of drivers may be required to carry additional insurance; for example, people or companies who operate commercial trucks, taxis, limousines, or people who have a certain number of points on their license are legally required to have increased coverage. Under Florida law, the most drivers only need to carry the following kinds of insurance:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance – PIP insurance covers you or your family’s medical bills or lost wages in the event you are injured in a car accident. The minimum level of coverage required is $10,000, and generally PIP insurance will pay 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages up to your policy limits. You may purchase additional coverage to fill the gap, and also may extend you PIP insurance coverage beyond the mandatory minimum.
- Property Damage Liability Insurance (PDL) – The state requires drivers to maintain $10,000 in coverage for damage that they may cause to other property in a motor vehicle accident.
While the state does not require additional coverage on a leased vehicle, it is very possible that a company that leases a driver a car may require increased coverage as a condition of the lease. Generally, lease agreements require $100,000 of bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage per person, up to $300,000 per accident. BIL insurance covers any injuries that a driver may cause other people in a car accident. In addition, most lease agreements require $50,000 is PDL insurance, well above the state minimum of $10,000.
Generally, the person driving who caused the accident will be liable for any damages that resulted. If, however, a company leased a vehicle to the driver in a defective condition, and the company knew or should have known that the vehicle was defective, they may be liable for any injuries that the faulty vehicle caused.
In short, being injured in an accident that involves a leased vehicle could very well mean that the driver of that vehicle has coverage well above the state minimum requirements. In order to determine whether you have a claim against another driver or a car leasing company, you should have your case reviewed by an experienced car accident attorney. Call today, 954-961-5100 in Broward or 1-877-961-5100 in Florida.
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