Hertz Car Renters Falsely Accused of Theft and Arrested

April 4, 2022
Hertz Car Renters Falsely Accused of Theft and Arrested

Hertz False Arrest Personal Injury Lawsuits

The need for rental cars only seems to have gone up over the years and millions who utilize the services of rental car companies like Hertz pay their rate, use the car and return it with a full tank of gas on time with no complications. Unfortunately, there seems to be a growing portion of renters that have experienced severe issues with Hertz when they have used their services normally only to be wrongfully arrested for car theft Hundreds of people have come forward with stories of wrongful arrests and discovering warrants claiming they stole rental vehicles from the major rental company, Hertz. It is believed that the reason for these false accusations of theft is due to issues with the Hertz computer system that seems to have existed for some time where problems with payment processing or even just locating a car in the lot wrongfully escalate to the involvement of law enforcement. 

How Many People Are Affected by Hertz Wrongfully Filing Police Reports?

It is true that there are people that fail to return Hertz vehicles on time and even attempt to steal them on occasion but the rate of stolen cars reported by Hertz has garnered some scrutiny. Hertz claimed in a statement to CBS that-  "Of the more than 25 million rental transactions by Hertz in the United States per year, 0.014 percent fall into the rare situation where vehicles are reported to the authorities after exhaustive attempts to reach the customer,"   This means that they claim an average of 3500 customers steal cars from Hertz every year. This number has many doubtful and rightly so. A recent lawsuit over Hertz's harmful policies represents 250 people wrongfully arrested. These people that have taken legal action are but a fraction of the thousands estimated to have been harmed by Hertz.

Why Are People Wrongfully Arrested for Hertz Rental Car Theft?

A common scenario among customers affected by Hertz's actions involves them paying for a rental car only to get pulled over by police down the line and told they were driving a stolen vehicle. In other cases, people have rented a car, and returned it in the condition they found it by the return date with everything paid for only to be arrested by the police because of an outstanding warrant for their arrest filed by Hertz. These warrants sometimes even claim they stole the vehicle they returned sometimes months earlier. 

Hertz Computer Systems and Improper Police Reports Lead to Arrests

Investigation into the controversy surrounding these arrests indicates that the cause for these arrests is the computer system and policies of Hertz. Clerical issues involving processing payments from customers or trouble locating cars have resulted in the rental company filing police reports claiming theft.  Many renters have had their payments go through after and the money taken from their respective accounts by Hertz after a momentary issue with payment processing only for them to still end up wrongfully accused. Others may switch cars or extend their rental which can lead to confusion in the system that results in a car being reported as stolen. Some have even rented a car and been arrested while driving it because of a theft report filed because of issues with that car's previous renter. In one case, a Colorado man was arrested for allegedly stealing a car that Hertz claimed he rented in Georgia despite him having never even been to the state. This stems from a recurring issue of Hertz filing police reports whenever they run into an issue and failing to retract their accusations of theft once an issue is resolved. Many who have been wrongfully arrested also claim they knew nothing of the exhaustive attempts to contact them Hertz claims to make before filing a police report.

Hertz Utilizes Police and Taxpayer Dollars Unnecessarily

Bureaucratic issues within their rental system are bad enough but Hertz immediately going to the police when there is an issue with a rental car is a serious misuse of law enforcement. Taxpayer dollars should not go towards the resolution of a private company's dispute with a customer over private property when the situation could be handled by a collections company.  Hertz's use of police essentially as repo men takes taxpayer dollars and puts them to use in the interests of a private corporation which has many lawmakers incensed. What is worse is that many of these arrests of accused rental thieves end up wasting taxpayer money and the valuable time of law enforcement once they realize that the arrested are completely innocent. 

The Damage Caused by Hertz Wrongfully Accusing Customers as Thieves

As one might imagine, being wrongfully arrested can be an incredibly traumatizing experience. Being put in handcuffs and told you are accused of a crime that you know you did not commit can lead to emotional distress and occasionally, physical injury.  One may think that the mishaps of Hertz wrongfully accusing renters of theft could be cleared up fairly quickly and without serious harm, since the person arrested is innocent and the investigation should be able to prove so fairly easily. Even though those arrested may eventually be vindicated and the accusations against them proven false as the result of Hertz's incompetence, severe damage can still be done. 

Hertz Wrongful Arrests Can Lead to Innocent Renters in Jail

Many wrongfully arrested because of Hertz end up serving jail time as they wait for the criminal justice system to realize that there has been a mistake. Some serve days in jail, others have remained incarcerated for months over a mistake on the part of the rental company.  Jailtime is punitive by design and even a day spent behind bars can significantly disrupt someone's life. There is, of course, a high level of emotional and mental distress, not to mention the harm done to reputation and relationships caused by jailing innocent renters.  However, there are also financial consequences caused by wrongful arrests. Time spent in jail is time that otherwise would be spent working and earning wages, fulfilling obligations, and generally, time stolen from someone innocent.  Being arrested can result in someone missing out on career opportunities or even losing their job altogether. Even if your name is eventually cleared, the consequences of an arrest and subsequent jail time can negatively affect your reputation and by extension, your career to the point that you lose clients or are let go. 

Lawsuits Against Hertz Over Wrongful Arrests

There are currently hundreds of people who are suing Hertz for millions over the wrongful arrests they suffered due to their policies. The issues with Hertz and their system causing wrongful arrests have existed for years now and only seems to be getting worse. Despite Hertz filing for bankruptcy in 2020 the lawsuits against Hertz have still been cleared to continue with more people coming forward with complaints every day. Hertz has had every opportunity to address these issues but neglected to do so despite clear signs that they were causing customers dearly. While only a small fraction of their millions of customers were arrested falsely, that does not diminish the fact that they still caused thousands to suffer unnecessary damage due to their actions.  It is due to this behavior that those harmed by wrongful arrests can file personal injury lawsuits against Hertz and seek compensation for damages they suffered as a result. A personal injury lawsuit not only serves to attain restitution for damages like lost wages and mental anguish but also holds those who acted negligently like Hertz, accountable for their actions so that they are not repeated. 

What a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Do For You After a Wrongful Arrest Because of Hertz

Taking legal action against a major corporation means that you are at a disadvantage when it comes to resources, experience, and ability. This is why you should consider speaking to an attorney about representing you and your interests when filing a personal injury lawsuit. They can level the playing field and provide the resources and legal insight essential for winning your case.  An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you through every step of the process so that you stand the best chance possible at getting the restitution you deserve.  They can identify what damages you can seek compensation for in your lawsuit and how much they are worth. Your lawyer can also investigate your case and help you gather the necessary evidence. Most of all, they can represent your best interests at the negotiating table and in court so that you are not taken advantage of. 

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we fully review every detail of your case in order to provide you with the best possible counseling and exceptional representation. We have handled thousands of personal injury claims involving a wide-ranging variety of damages, including punitive damages.  Unlike other Florida law firms that handle similar personal injury cases, our lawyers focus on the quality of representation, rather than the number of clients. We do take pride in the number of injured victims whom we have had the privilege of representing, but we take more pride in their level of satisfaction. Let us assist you with your personal injury case to get your life back on track and make sure those responsible for your damages understand their actions have consequences. Call us today at 727-451-6900 or contact us online for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.  

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess or $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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