Is the lessor of a rental car liable for damages incurred due to an accident caused by an authorized driver of the car?

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Is the lessor of a rental car liable for damages incurred due to an accident caused by an authorized driver of the car?

I rented a vehicle in NC and added an additional driver who had a valid driving license and insurance. In NY state, the additional driver was taking a 3 point turn when another vehicle hit the rental vehicle. The police issued a ticket to the additional driver. Will I be responsible for: damages to the other vehicle involved in the accident (even though I am not the driver), and/or damages to the rental vehicle?

Asked on September 6, 2011 under Accident Law, North Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I rally hate to throw this back in to your lap but you really need to read the rental contract involved here to see what in fact it says as to this very issue.  It see,s to me that logically if you added the other person as an additional driver to the rental contract - meaning that they are an additionally insured driver - that they will in fact be covered for the accident just as you would have been should it have been you driving the car. And if the driver had their own insurance on an owned vehicle that may be excess here as well.  Why are you worried?  Are they declaiming? If they are then report the claim to your insurance as you were on the policy.  The driver should do the same.  Good luck.


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