What to do about a bogus damage claim regarding a rental car?

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What to do about a bogus damage claim regarding a rental car?

I returned a rental car to in good condition. I came to the agent who said I can just “leave the keys with him” and he didn’t do an inspection. Then later, I got a letter from them claiming that the car was damaged. This seems like it’s “my word against theirs”. Is there anything I can do?

Asked on March 17, 2011 under General Practice, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can contest the claim that you damaged the car; you don't necessarily have to take the rental place's word at face value. You should dispute it in writing; if they still want to come after you, then--

--to make you pay, they'd have to sue you, and even if it's one person's word against another, the burden is on them, as the party suing to prove their case, giving you a slight advantage; or

--depending on the amount, if sued, it may be worth your while to either pay the amount, to avoid the cost, inconveniece, etc. of litigation (it can be very time consumming, even if you represent yourself; and an attorney may cost more than settling the case), or else possibly see if you can't negotiate to settling it for less than the face value of the claim.

Good luck.


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