A family friend got into an accident in California while driving a rental car. Her daughters company was paying for the insurance on the rental car from hertz but she was added on as a secondary driver. Hertz never told them that they needed to get insurance for the secondary driver. The accident was her fault now what needs to be done. Hertz is saying she needs to pay to fix the car and also pay to fix the car of the other drivers.
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5 Answers from Attorneys
I am sorry but this is not really a personal injury question- if the friend was at fault then she is a potential defendant and I do not represent defendants. However, as to insurance, as she is apparantly not covered under Hertz, she should notify her personal auto insurance to be sure that they do not have a duty to defend her under that policy.
In addition to what Jerome said, EVERY driver has a DUTY to know if they are insured. It is not Hertz's duty, and the daughter has a responsibility to verify coverage before driving. Her personal policy MAY cover her, so she should call them.
I agree with Glen and Jerome, you need to be vigilant yourself. Its a famous maxim "equity favors the vigilant not the endolent". However you can still send a legal notice to your insurance company claiming the insurance in it to make them pay at least half. But do not go in litigation as your case would be weak.
Rental car accidents often times present complicated insurance coverage questions. There's really no way to answer your question without reviewing the policies. You should attempt to submit a claim to every insurance company you believe may be required to provide coverage. Then, let the insurers duke it out.
Mr. Hadi has given you excellent advice. Mr. Ashman may not know California law, and I know that I do not, so his comment about every driver having a duty to know whether there is insurance may not be correct. Also, again depending on California law, it may very well be that Hertz does have some responsibility to have advised that the secondary driver needed to be separately insured. You should probably contact an attorney licensed in California. ( I am guessing that the vehicle was rented there). If rented elsewhere, it would be a good idea to contact counsel in that state. Good luck.
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