Your life must go on while you are waiting for the repair or totaling process to complete. Payment for the rental car can be made by either your insurance company or by the other driver’s. Either way, you often have to pay upfront for the vehicle.
Liability Accepted by Other Party
If liability is accepted directly after the accident by the other driver, his or her insurance company will pay for your rental car. Note that any rental car should be of the same size and functionality (such as a van or truck) as your vehicle that was damaged in the crash.
Towing & Rental Coverage
Chances are that liability will not be directly accepted, which means you will want to go to your own insurance to determine if you have rental car coverage. If you do not yet have it, definitely consider adding this inexpensive addendum to your policy. If you have rental coverage, your insurance company will pay the costs and then collect from the other insurer if liability falls on the other driver.
If you do not have rental coverage, and if the other insurance company is not accepting responsibility for the accident, it is time to get aggressive. There are time limits related to when you can collect, and obviously you don’t want to have to foot all the bills yourself. This can be a good time to hire an accident attorney to negotiate on your behalf.
Skipping the Rental Car
If you decide, for whatever reason, that you want to forgo a rental car, you are entitled to reimbursement for the cost of a rental car regardless if you are not at fault. The wrongdoer’s insurance company must pay out this amount once liability has been established.
There are two possible periods that refer to a reasonable amount of time for you to rent a car. One is the amount of time it takes to conduct repairs. The other is if the vehicle is totaled – in which case the insurance company will make an offer to buy your vehicle at Fair Market Value. Keep in mind that Fair Market Value is more ambiguous than it sounds. You do not have to accept their offer. Once you do, you will have a window of about a week to deposit their check and buy a new vehicle.
Keep careful records and receipts of anything that has to do with the rental car. All dates and times should be noted. Document names of anyone you speak with as well, carefully noting what they express to you. This both provides a paper trail and will make them take you more seriously.
Andriotis Law Firm specializes in auto accident and personal injury cases. Due to statutes of limitations and other laws surrounding these incidents, it is wise to reach out to an attorney for advice immediately following an accident. We offer a free consultation and will only get paid if we collect.