Stephen Hasner | Car Accidents | June 7, 2020
Being involved in a car accident can be inconvenient and disruptive. Even if you do not sustain physical injuries, your car is likely to need repairs. If you are like most people, being without a car significantly impacts your ability to work and care for your family.
However, if another driver caused your accident, you may be entitled to a rental car after an accident without paying for the vehicle.
Requesting a Rental Car During Repairs
In most cases, the insurance company for the other driver provides a rental car for your use while your vehicle is in the repair shop. The company may require you to use a rental car agency of its choosing. Also, the daily rate for the rental car may be limited.
Therefore, you may not receive the vehicle you desire. For example, if you drive a luxury vehicle, the rental car may not be a comparable model to your vehicle. If you desire a luxury rental car, you may be required to pay the difference between the rental fee for the most expensive vehicle the insurance company provides and the rental fee for the vehicle you desire.
However, most insurance providers attempt to place individuals in a comparable model vehicle if their insured is at fault. Also, if you have a legitimate reason for requesting another model, talk to the insurance company. For instance, if you have a disability or a family member with a special need that requires a specific model vehicle, the insurance company may work with you.
How Long Can You Keep a Rental Vehicle?
In most cases, you are entitled to a rental vehicle for as long as it takes to repair your vehicle. After your vehicle is ready for pickup, you need to return the rental car immediately. If you keep the rental car beyond that time, you are responsible for the rental fees.
Who is Responsible for Damages to the Rental Car?
Even though you may not be paying for the rental car, you are responsible for any damages to the rental car until it is returned to the car rental agency. The rental agency may offer car rental insurance, but the insurance may be expensive and limited in coverage.
Your car insurance provider may cover rental vehicles. Contact your insurance agent to determine if your car insurance policy covers rental vehicles. If so, keep in mind that you would be responsible for the insurance deductible, and your policy may only cover liability claims.
What Happens if I Am Blamed for the Accident?
If the insurance provider for the other driver disputes liability for the car accident, it will not provide a rental vehicle. It will not pay to repair your vehicle either. You will need to prove that the other driver was at-fault for the crash to recover compensation for your car repairs and car rental fees.
Make sure that you document the damages. Keep copies of all evidence proving your financial losses, including repair costs and car rental fees. If you win your claim, you should receive reimbursement for these financial damages.
Can I File a Claim With My Insurance Provider?
If you have car rental insurance coverage, you can file a claim with your insurance provider. Your insurance coverage may pay for a rental vehicle while your vehicle is with the mechanic.
Your insurance coverage may also pay for repairs to your vehicle. Your insurance agent can explain your insurance coverage and deductibles.
In many cases, filing a claim with your insurance company may result in receiving help quicker than claims filed with the at-fault insurance provider. If the other driver’s insurance provider concedes and accepts liability, your insurance company has a claim for any money it paid for vehicle repairs and rental vehicles. Generally, your insurance company files a claim with the other insurance company to settle property damage claims.
What Should I Do When the Other Driver’s Insurance Company Denies My Claim?
Call a car accident lawyer immediately. Insurance companies do not want to pay claims. They do not make money by paying accident claims.
The insurance claims adjuster tries to find evidence that places the blame on you for the cause of the accident. By doing so, the insurance company can deny your claim. Even if it can place partial blame on you, it can save money because your claim is worth less.
Do not accept what the insurance company tells you. Talk to an attorney to learn about your legal rights and options. With an attorney’s help, you may be able to have your car repaired, receive a rental car, and recover compensation for your injuries and other damages and losses.