How Do Florida Courts Handle Car Sharing Car Accidents?
Car sharing is different from ride sharing. It’s a newer, divergent market that allows people to rent their vehicle to hopeful renters. Since the legislation on this service is still developing, courts are relying upon outdated case law and unparalleled contexts to decide on who is responsible for a car accident in this manner.
So, what happens if you are a renter and cause a car accident? What if you are the lender and someone else wrecks your vehicle? These are the questions legislators are piecing together at the moment, but there are a few indicators as to how they should be handled. Specific questions regarding a potential car share car accident in Florida are best answered by a licensed car accident attorney.
Car Sharing as a Service
Car sharing is exactly like it sounds. Using a mobile application, people with personal vehicles can rent them out to others. It’s growing in popularity for a reason. People can find competitive rates, specific cars, and varying lengths of time. In short, it’s easy, convenient, and less expensive.
If all goes according to plan, the vehicle is then returned to its rightful owner. Everyone moves on. However, this isn’t the case if the vehicle is involved in a car accident that involves damage or injury to another person or personal property. Here is what we know about how Florida handles these accidents.
Florida’s Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine
Since civil courts in Florida are responsible for handling car sharing car accident lawsuits, judges will look at the Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine. The concept is rudimentary but valid. In simplest terms, the doctrine provides that the operator of a dangerous tool is the responsible party. This includes motor vehicles.
The doctrine provides car rental companies with exceptions. Traditional car rentals are devoid of responsibility for negligent actions on behalf of the driver. In contrast, vehicle owners must maintain insurance levels at the state minimum. This protects against property damage and injury when at fault.
With all of this in mind, what role does the car sharing company play? At the moment nothing. They are simply a matching service. This means that the car sharing company enjoys limited liability at the moment. The default of responsibility is placed on the shoulders of a driver.
Legal Representation for a Florida Car Sharing Car Accident
You likely play one of two roles if you are reading this blog post: 1) you wrecked a vehicle owned by a lender or 2) you were injured by a car sharing driver. The laws are still fresh, and it is not easy to take on an insurance company alone. Hiring an experienced car sharing accident lawyer with a keen eye for case law and arguing new matters is critical to your success.
If you were injured by a car share driver, considering contacting the legal team of Payer Law. Our Orlando auto accident lawyers are here to help you navigate a potentially complex case ahead of you.