Victims of rental car accidents in Nevada may be able to file negligence lawsuits against not only the driver but also the rental car company. If successful, injured parties can win compensatory damages to cover their:
People injured in a rental car accident may still be able to seek monetary relief even if they were partially at fault: Nevada’s comparative negligence laws allow plaintiffs to recover damages so long as they were less than 51% responsible. And if the guilty party caused the car crash on purpose, victims may be able to get sizeable punitive damages as well.
Anyone involved in a rental car accident should never admit fault or negotiate with an insurance company without an attorney. Having an experienced lawyer can greatly increase the person’s chances of getting a large settlement that covers all his/her expenses and more.
In this article, our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about rental car accidents in Nevada, including claims, statutes of limitations In Nevada, and damages. Click on a topic to jump to that section:
- 1. What can I do if I got injured by a rental car in Nevada?
- 2. What money can I get if I am injured by a rental car in Nevada?
- 3. Whom can I sue if I got injured by a rental car in Nevada?
- 4. What insurance covers rental car accidents in Nevada?
- 5. Can I still get money if I was partially at fault for my rental car accident in Nevada?
- 6. When can I sue after a rental car accident in Nevada?
Also see our related article on Las Vegas car accidents.
People injured by a rental car in Nevada can file a lawsuit against the guilty party (or parties) for negligence. Negligence has four elements, and the plaintiff (victim) has to prove all of them in order to win the case:
- The defendant(s) owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
- The defendant(s) breached this duty;
- This breach caused the plaintiff’s injury; and
- This injury resulted in damages.1
Some examples of rental car drivers being negligent include:
- Distracted or careless driving, which is common in Las Vegas where the renter is a tourist unfamiliar with the streets;
- Drowsy driving, which is also common in Las Vegas where drivers have been partying on the Strip until the early hours;
- Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs (DUI); and/or
Note that rental car companies can be negligent as well, such as renting cars to underage drivers or failing to maintain the vehicles properly. If the car is defective, it may be possible for the injured party to bring a strict liability suit against the manufacturer.2
People injured by a rental car may be able to pursue compensatory damages for the following:
- doctor’s costs;
- lost wages;
- loss of future earnings;
- pain and suffering (capped at $350,000), and/or
- wrongful death (the deceased’s estate acts as the plaintiff)
If the guilty party is a government employee acting in the course of his/her job, then he/she is liable for up to $100,000 in compensatory damages.3
Note that rental car accident victims may be eligible for punitive damages if the guilty party intentionally or maliciously caused the rental car accident. However, Nevada puts a cap on punitive damages at:
- $300,000 (if the compensatory damages amounts to less than $100,000), or
- Three times (3) the compensatory damages (if the compensatory damages is $100,000 or higher).4
Also note that people who deliberately contribute to a rental car crash can be charged for a crime in Nevada and face hefty prison time.
Potential defendants in Nevada rental car accident cases include:
- The driver of the rental car;
- The rental car company; and/or
- The rental car manufacturer, if the car had a defect
Obviously if the rental car was hit by another car, the rental car driver could sue that other driver.
3.1. Rental car companies in Nevada
Currently, the following rental car companies operate in Nevada:
Depending on the case, there are three possible sources of rental car coverage in Nevada:
- The renter’s own car insurance,
- The rental car company’s insurance, and/or
- Credit card companies, which often provide automatic insurance when cardholders use the card to rent cars
How and when these various insurance policies apply turn on the circumstances of the auto accident and the fine print in the insurance contracts. Drivers with their own car insurance as well as supplemental rental company’s insurance may be able to get coverage from both, especially if their personal insurance is insufficient to cover damages…
Nevada law mandates that rental car companies pay up to $25,000 if there is an accident and no other coverage exists. And if the injured party is not adequately compensated by the driver’s personal insurance, rental car companies have to pay up to $50,000 per accident.5
People who rent cars are advised to consult with their insurance agents to learn more about their policies and their options in the event of an accident. Note that liability coverage comprises medical expenses and damages to the other car, while collision coverage comprises damages to the policyholder’s vehicle. And even if a car renter already has automobile insurance, it may be wise to buy the rental company’s supplemental insurance to be double covered.
It depends how much at fault. Under Nevada law, courts can award damages to a rental car victim as long as he/she was less than 51% to blame for the accident. As expected, courts reduce the damages amount by the percentage that the victim was at fault.6
As with any automobile accident case, typical evidence that comes into play include surveillance video, eye-witnesses, weather reports, road conditions, medical records, GPS records, and photos that the drivers or other bystanders may have taken of the damage.
There is a two (2) year statute of limitations in Nevada to bring rental car injury lawsuits.7
Call a Nevada personal injury attorney…
Were you injured by a rental car in Nevada? Then contact our Las Vegas rental car accident attorneys for a consult free of charge. We will fight for the largest money damages possible in your case, and you pay zero unless we win your case.
- See, e.g. Scialabba v. Brandise Const. Co., 112 Nev. 965, 921 P.2d 928 (1996).
- See, e.g. Valentine v. Pioneer Chlor Alkali, 109 Nev. 1107, 864 P.2d 295, 297 (1993).
- NRS 41.035.
- NRS 42.005.
- See Salas v. Allstate Rent-A-Car, Inc., 116 Nev. 1165, 14 P.3d 511 (2000); NRS 485.185.
- NRS 41.141.
- NRS 11.190.