Attorneys for People Injured in Car Accidents Involving Zipcars
Zipcar is a company that allows people to rent cars on demand for fractional amounts of time, whether that be a few hours or a day. This gives people in a large city without parking space, or those that need cars infrequently, the flexibility to use a car when needed and less hassle than renting or borrowing a car. However, when people are injured in a car accident involving Zipcars it brings up complicated issues over who is liable to the victims for damages.
Call Royce Injury Lawyers today if you have been in a car accident involving a Zipcar to find out who is liable. Royce Injury helps clients in the Kansas City area with car accidents of all kinds, including those with Zipcars and other rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft. Our experienced attorneys have represented hundreds of clients in the Kansas City area. Call today for a free consultation with an attorney at 855-976-9235.
Issues with Car Accidents Involving Zipcar
Since a Zipcar car accident is not a normal accident with clear ownership and insurance there are several considerations to determine liability and damages:
- Insurance – Since Zipcar drivers are by definition part-time drivers, there is a high chance the driver either does not have insurance or has the bare minimum insurance required to rent the car. Additionally, often Zipcar drivers may have insurance at the time they signed up for Zipcar, but since then their insurance has lapsed. If the driver does not have insurance, it makes it incredibility difficult for the victim to collect damages if the driver is an uninsured or underinsured Zipcar has policies on the amount of insurance a driver has to have and also provides drivers with insurance, but the damages are capped at $300,000 which is below the common liability amount for most drivers at $500,000, creating a possible $200,000 recovery shortfall. Additionally, unlike car rentals that generally ensure drivers are 25 or over, Zipcar has no age limit and those under the age of 21 have an insurance coverage lower than $300,000. These issues can lead to victims potentially recovering less than they would have in an accident not involving a Zipcar and having to sue Zipcar the company to make up the difference.
- Driving Experience – Zipcar drivers are often younger than the average driver on the road. Drivers under 20 account for 5.4% of drivers but over 8% of accidents. Additionally, driving is a skill that like all skills must be used to stay sharpened. Part-time drivers are not going to be as good of drivers as someone who drivers daily. Younger part-time drivers create a situation with Zipcar where there is a higher probability of Zipcar’s getting into accidents.
- Car Familiarity – Each time a driver rents a Zipcar they could get a different kind of car. Each car has its own blind spots, features, and distractions. A driver getting used to a car creates a situation where accidents are more likely to occur.
- Car Condition – Drivers using a Zipcar have no idea of the condition of the car. Are the breaks working correctly, was the oil changed, is the clutch sticking?
All of these factors combined make it more likely to have an accident with a Zipcar while at the same time potentially recovering less in damages than you would have if you had an accident with a non Zipcar. If you are in an accident with a Zipcar, you should talk to a car accident lawyer Kansas City, MO right away.
Can I sue Zipcar in Addition to the Driver?
People injured in a car accident involving a Zipcar of course have a cause of action to file against the driver of the vehicle. However, as noted above, the amount of insurance coverage is potentially not going to cover all damages, so an experienced attorney will try to find additional parties to sue to make sure the victim recovers the amount they are fully entitled to.
One additional party to sue is Zipcar, if your lawyer can prove that Zipcar was somehow responsible for the accident. Zipcar is great defendant because they have up to $5 million in additional coverage per accident. To prove Zipcar was responsible for the accident we look to prove things like, they knew the car had a defect and still let it get rented, there were in facts defects, or a routine maintenance on the vehicle didn’t happen and led to the accident.
Potential maintenance and mechanical issues that could prove Zipcar is responsible for the accident include:
- Worn out tires – Did a tire blow out because it was old and worn down? Was the tread on the tire to low and lead to an accident in wet or snowy conditions?
- Breaks give out – Were the breaks working properly? Did breaks fail leading to a longer time to break than necessary?
- Warning signals – Was there a broken brake light or turn signal? If the driver did not know of these issues, it becomes a Zipcar issue.
What if you Are the Driver of a Zipcar Involved in an Accident?
If you are the driver of a Zipcar and another causes an accident, you may be able to recover damages from the other driver. However, if you are the driver of a Zipcar and caused an accident you cannot sue Zipcar unless you are able to prove improper maintenance or mechanical issues like bad tires, improperly working signals, or other similar issues.
Contact Your Kansas City Auto Accident Attorneys
If you were in a car accident involving Zipcar in Kansas City or anywhere in Missouri, talk to an attorney right away. You may be able to recover more compensation from Zipcar by hiring an experience law firm that knows how to investigate the car and see if there were issues Zipcar should have taken care of. Royce Injury can help you get the money you deserve.