Thomas G. WitkopLaw Offices

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Unsatisfied judgment through rental car

My client rented a car. She waived the collision insurance. She had an at fault accident. Under the contract between her and the rental car company it states she is liable for those damages plus attorneys fees. The rental car company sued her for breach of contract for failure to pay. They got a judgment.

She never paid that judgment and now her license to drive in Maryland is suspended. I was somehow under the impression that this only applies if the driver is uninsured. Clearly she had the minimum liability coverage required by Maryland. The Maryland statute is written much more broadly and is as follows:

Section 17-201 "Judgment" defined
In this subtitle, "judgment" means any final judgment resulting from:

(1) A cause of action for damages arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use on any highway or other property open to the public of any vehicle of a type required to be registered in this State; or

(2) A cause of action on an agreement of settlement for damages arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use on any highway or other property open to the public of any vehicle of a type required to be registered in this State.

Bottom line, use a credit card which might give you collision coverage or have collision coverage on your own vehicle which would extend to the rental vehicle. She had neither. I do not see a way out of this for her other than an installment payment plan which he breached or bankruptcy which she can't afford.
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