Palm Beach Lakes Blvd, South Florida (JusticeNewsFlash.com) — When driving on the roads of Florida an out of state car is required to conform to the laws of the roads of Florida. Many rental car companies and major leasing companies have been attempting to circumvent this state law by hiding behind the Graves Amendment.
The Graves Amendment eliminated vicarious liability of owners of rented or leased vehicles beginning Aug. 10, 2005. The amendment was named after Missouri Congressman Sam Graves, one of its sponsors, and it was part of a much broader piece of transportation legislation signed that day by President Bush.
Those involved in the car rental industry as well as the truck rental and leasing industries led the fight for passage of the amendment, and celebrated the day it became law.
Prior to the signing date, an owner of a rented or leased vehicle could be found responsible for damage caused by that vehicle, even if the owner was not at fault. In one of the worst cases-just prior to the passage of the Graves Amendment-Budget was held liable for millions in damages when one of its renters struck and seriously injured a pedestrian in New York City.
Vicarious liability was the law in 14 jurisdictions, most with a cap on damages. However, in New York, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, vehicle owners could be held liable in unlimited amounts. This uncertainty as to the ceiling on risk led insurers to become wary of writing coverage in states with unlimited loss potential.
This has led to the pendulum swinging to the other end of the spectrum, where rental car companies and major leasing companies have now hidden behind Graves and attempted to not provide any coverage to these vehicles when in Florida. A Rental or Leased vehicle is required to provide the coverage of the host state. Most policies provide the local coverage due to the conformity clause which is standard in virtually all policies issued in the USA. This needs to monitored since PIP is required in Florida and many of these vehicles policies do not list this coverage specifically.
About West Palm Beach Attorney:
Patrick J. Tighe is an West Palm Beach lawyer – attorney in the law firm of Patrick J. Tighe, P.A., FL. He practices in the areas of general negligence and personal injury. Patrick has represented injured parties exclusively for the past 6 years. Mr. Tighe earned his B.A. degree from Villanova University, in Villanova Pa. and his J.D. degree from St. John’s University – School of Law, in New York City. He is a former Senior Claims Representative for the #1 insurer of Automobiles in the country. Patrick is often asked to speak regarding differing insurance coverage issues. Patrick is a member of the American Justice Association, the Florida Justice Association and the Palm Beach County Justice Association.Patrick J. Tighe
Jana Simard is a contributing writer for Justice News Flash with degrees in Political Science and Spanish. Born in Canada, but raised in sunny south Florida, Jana had an early passion for writing. During her high school and college years she interned at a Florida Congressman's office as well as a Rhode Island Governor and Senator's office. While in her last two years of college, Jana spent six months in Salamanca, Spain where she truly discovered her passion for writing and had her articles published in her school's newspaper. Her experience in two Providence high profile law firms has equipped her with the ability to write for Justice News Flash as a Legal Reporter.