If a 26 ft rental truck hit my sister but the driver was not insured, can she go after the rental company?

UPDATED: Jan 15, 2015

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If a 26 ft rental truck hit my sister but the driver was not insured, can she go after the rental company?

The driver of the truck did not have any insurance and did not get any supplementary insurance when they rented the truck. Can my sister go after the rental company for more then the minimum state 30K. Her medical bills are over 40K so far.

Asked on January 15, 2015 under Accident Law, Maryland


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The truck rental company is liable for your sister's injuries.  If the rental company's insurance is inadequate to compensate  your sister, she should file a lawsuit for negligence against the rental company.

It would be premature to file the lawsuit until your sister completes her medical treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in her medical treatment where no furthe improvement is anticipated.  Unless the statute of limitations is approaching which would necessitate filing the lawsuit immediately, your sister should wait on filing the lawsuit until her total bills are known. 

Your sister's lawsuit should seek compensation for the medical bills, pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills based on the medical reports which document the nature and extent of her injury, and documentation of any wage loss.

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.

Your sister's lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or she will lose her rights forever in the matter.  Your sister's lawsuit should name both the rental company and the truck driver as defendants.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is worthwhile for your sister to discuss her case with a personal injury attorney, since she may be able to sue the truck rental company: as a general matter, the owner of a vehicle is liable, or financially responsible for, the damages or injuries caused by those whom the owner allows to drive its vehicle(s). She can also sue the driver him/herself--the fact that the driver did not take out insurance does not mean you can't recover from the driver, such as garninshing his/her wages, levying on (taking money from) a bank account, putting a lien on real property, or executing on (having the sheriff seize and sell) personal property.

The key thing is: the driver must have been at fault in some way, such as by driving negligently, or carelessly (for example, speeding, texting while driving, going through a stop sign, etc.). If the driver was not at fault, there would be no liabilit for the driver or the owner.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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