After a car accident, you can face many hardships–physical, financial, and emotional. If you have been in a serious car accident, you have more than likely incurred significant damage to your vehicle.
If your car is not drivable after your collision, you may need to get transportation while you wait for your car to be repaired. This can involve getting a rental car. If this is the case in your accident, who pays for the rental car? Do you? Does your insurance company? If another driver was involved in the accident, do they or their insurance company pay for your rental car? Who is responsible for rental car payment in an accident?
These are common questions after a collision. At The Doyle Law Offices, P.A., we have experience in guiding clients through the aftermath of auto accidents. In this article, we shed some light on different scenarios for rental car payment after an accident.
In terms of payment by insurance for a rental car after an auto accident, everything stems from who was at fault in the collision.
You can get a rental car after an accident while you are waiting for either your car to be repaired or the insurance company’s determination that the car is a total loss. The option of purchasing a new vehicle is available if your car is declared a total loss. If the costs to repair your vehicle exceed 75% of the actual cash value of the vehicle, then it is assessed to be a total loss. In this case, depending on the circumstances, the insurance company may make an offer to cover some or all of the cost of replacing your vehicle.
When it is determined that a driver other than you was “at fault” in the accident, you can get compensated for the cost of renting a car or purchasing a new vehicle through the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You can ask for compensation for rental car fees from the date the crash occurred to the date when your vehicle is repaired and becomes drivable again. It’s crucial for you to notify their insurance company that there has been an accident and that you will need a rental. If the insurance company approves your claim, then it will cover the costs. If your auto is classified as a total loss and you receive compensation for a new vehicle, the insurer is no longer required to pay for your rental car.
If you are at fault for causing the accident, you may be able to seek compensation for rental fees through your insurer. It depends on your auto insurance policy. When you were selecting options on your insurance policy, you may have been asked whether you wanted to include coverage for a rental car. If you responded “yes” to rental reimbursement, your insurer will cover some or all of the cost of a rental. However, the insurance company may refuse to pay for your rental car if you don’t have collision coverage.
The insurer will put limits on the type of car you can get and the length of time you can keep it. Additionally, there will be a maximum number of days for which the policy will cover the rental. If you exceed the maximum time, you will be responsible for the rental car payment for the days after the maximum was met.
Sometimes it isn’t crystal clear who exactly was at fault for the accident, making it less clear-cut where the responsibility lies for rental car payment. For example, you may think that another driver is entirely responsible for an accident and you file a claim with their insurance company asking for a rental. It’s common for an insurer to find any reason to deny a claim. So, if the other driver’s insurance company disputes the fact that their driver is responsible for the accident, your request for compensation and a rental car will be denied.
These kind of disputes over liability can take some time to resolve. More than likely, you need a car immediately and can’t wait for months while the at-fault driver is determined. In this case, it may be better to either request your insurance company to help with the cost or to pay for the rental yourself and ask to be reimbursed if and when the at-fault driver’s insurance company accepts responsibility. If you are not at fault, you have the right to be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses, including the cost of a rental, after the accident.
As you can see in this article, when you have been in an auto accident there may be several scenarios that are factors in who pays for a rental car. Our car accident attorney can help you through this process. Call us today at (919) 228-4487 or fill out the form below.