When you rent a car and it receives minor damage in a storm while in your possession, are you liable?

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When you rent a car and it receives minor damage in a storm while in your possession, are you liable?

Would it be concider an act of God? It got 5 scratches with a quarter size dent within it.

Asked on April 13, 2015 under Accident Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It depends on what exactly you agreed to in the rental contract.  As a general matter, you would not  normally be responsible for damage to another's property that was not caused by your intentional acts or negligence/carelessness--and so would not be liable for weather-related damage. However, that can be changed by contract: a party to a contract can agree to be liable or responsible for things he/she would not normally be liable for. Therefore, check the rental agreement: if it would make you responsible for this, you are; but if the contract does not, you should not be.


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