In what is certainly bad news for those injured in car accidents caused by the negligence of rental car drivers, Federal Law now definitively prevents any such personal injury cases against those rental car companies. While the United States Congress previously enacted the so-called Graves Amendment, a number of lower courts in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale had found the amendment to be unconstitutional.
However, yesterday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which essentially oversees all cases in the Southeastern United States, issued a ruling that the Graves Amendment is constitutional. This ruling, for all intensive purposes, puts an end to all such personal injury and wrongful death cases against all rental car companies.
Considering the number of out-of-town and international drivers operating rental cars upon the roadways of the State of Florida, it is truly disappointing to inform our severely injured clients and surviving family members of such deadly accidents, that they will be without any recourse, unless the renter of the car actually took out additional liability insurance. We can only hope that the new congress will rethink this law, which only serves to protect an industry which profits significantly from those out-of-town drivers, many of whom are unaware of, or disregard, the dangers of driving on our roadways.