The Rental Car Industry is More Complicated than Motorist Subrogation

Although automobile rentals experienced a hiccup in 2020, it is an $86 billion industry and is projected to enjoy continued growth moving forward. Unfortunately, greater numbers of rental cars on the road also means increased collisions involving rented cars. Compounding the problem, rental cars also experience higher rates of collision per registered vehicle than private vehicles, and those accidents often result in relatively high injury severity.  

Where insurance claims are concerned, often the severity of the accident means medical expenses alone can max out the policy limit. As rental car companies work on regional and national levels, these insurance costs can start to pile up. Proceeding under a subrogation legal theory in every claim is imperative to minimize losses.

Jurisdictional Complexities Are Endemic to Rental Car Subrogation

Another complication in navigating the subrogation claims process for a rental car incident is jurisdiction. The company may be based in one state, while the incident may have occurred in another. Companies need attorneys from a subrogation-focused law firm that works with a nationwide network. 

Laws regarding insurance and subrogation differ by state, and some jurisdictions may have statutes that directly contradict another’s. Retaining counsel that has an understanding of state-specific subrogation laws is vital to maximizing recovery on rental car claims.  

Rathbone Group has years of experience in subrogation on behalf of rental car companies. Rental car subrogation claims proceed under both contractual and tort legal theories, and with both federal and state laws in play. Rental car subrogation is an ever-evolving field of auto insurance law, and at Rathbone Group, we keep abreast of changing industry regulations.

Recovering from Third-Party Tortfeasors in Rental Car Subrogation

In cases involving third-party liability, successful subrogation recovery on behalf of the rental car company requires an in-depth understanding of rental car contracts and an eye for detecting alternate routes to compensation. 

Rathbone Group’s understanding of contractual claims ensures a swift judgment and appropriate executions post-judgment. Our tort-based subrogation recovery background provides the opportunity to pursue all tort claims simultaneously with contract claims when applicable.

In addition, in the subrogation of rental car claims, Rathbone Group is adept at finding coverage when none seems to apply and identifying additional liable parties to increase the likelihood of a recovery. This includes under-insured or uninsured third parties. Our skilled attorneys are able to take a second look at subrogation potential and uncover any assets the uninsured tortfeasor may have.

Achieving Subrogation Recovery from Negligent or Tortious Renters

When collection attempts are not enough, litigation can be necessary to pursue a renter who has damaged a vehicle. The expectation that a renter return a vehicle in the same condition it was rented is contractual in nature; it is imperative that a rental company have a clearly stated and well written rental agreement. Most states do not regulate this type of recovery, and courts turn to the contractual language of the rental agreement to determine the financial obligations of a tortious renter.

Additionally, rental car companies may be able to pursue loss of use damages. Loss of use recovery is permitted in some jurisdictions and barred in others. Unlike physical damage to a rented automobile, many states have specific laws governing loss of use for automobile rental companies. 

Rathbone Group’s subrogation legal team helps car rental companies understand if this is an advantageous legal theory in a given claim. In addition, we can take a second look at previous loss of use cases where a subrogation claim may apply, given our proficiency at pursuing these various legal theories.

Rathbone Group: Thorough, Focused Subrogation Services for Rental Car Companies

As a national subrogation law firm committed to insurers’ rights to subrogation recovery, we offer a different brand of subrogation services for rental car companies. Our resourceful, tech-savvy team of attorneys and specialists understand the nuances of varying state insurance and recovery laws. Focused on resolution rather than litigation, we will exhaust every alternate avenue to recovery before proceeding to trial. 

We know when to implement creative strategies to maximize subrogation recovery in cases previously designated as total losses. With thorough investigations, skilled negotiations and cost-effective services, Rathbone Group offers rental car companies subrogation counsel that protects their bottom line.

Contact Rathbone Group