Who is Responsible for Providing a Rental Car While Your Car is Repaired?
Have you been involved in a car accident? Were you left without a vehicle after your car was totaled or left in the shop for extensive repairs? Who covers the cost of your rental car while you’re out a vehicle after the car accident?
After a car accident, vehicles are often unavailable temporarily either because they require repairs or they were totaled, and the paperwork needs to be processed before the driver can move on and purchase another vehicle. Yet drivers who have been in an accident still have places to go and people to see, and rental car costs are prohibitive, especially if you need the vehicle for longer than a week.
If the other driver in the car accident was at-fault, their insurance company should provide you with a rental vehicle until your vehicle is repaired or until they have provided you with payment (full market value) for your totaled car. The rental care the at-fault driver’s insurance provides should be comparable to the vehicle you typically drive. For example, if you drive a large SUV, the rental provided should also be a large SUV, not a truck or a sedan or a compact vehicle.
Is It Difficult to Get the Other Driver’s Insurance Company to Pay for a Rental Car After an Accident?
The process of being reimbursed for a rental car after an accident is often stressful. In a perfect scenario, the liable party’s insurance company would immediately take responsibility for the accident and quickly provide payment for a comparable rental car. In reality, this is not usually the way it works. Disputes about who is at fault and how much each of the drivers is at fault are common.
When the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company Claims They Weren’t At-Fault:
If the at-fault driver’s insurance company claims their driver was not responsible for the accident or insists more investigation is necessary before deciding fault, they won’t provide payment for a rental car. The payment for a rental car won’t be processed until the claims process is finished and fault is decided. If your own auto insurance includes rental car coverage, you may be able to use it to get a rental car. Then your insurance company will go after reimbursement from the other driver’s insurance company for the rental car costs.
If you are in this situation, verify with your auto insurance whether or not there is a limit on the number of days your coverage provides a rental car. Many rental car coverages limit the rental period to a certain number of days. Outside the specified number of days, the costs would need to be covered out of pocket.
If the other driver’s insurance company is not accepting fault and you do not have rental coverage you can access, you would need to pay out of pocket for a rental car. Paying out of pocket is a risky expenditure since there is no guarantee that the other insurance company will decide their driver is at-fault for the accident.
How Long Will It Take to Get Reimbursed for Covering Rental Car Costs Out-Of-Pocket?
If the other driver is eventually found at-fault for the accident, their insurance company would eventually need to reimburse you for your rental car costs, but the claims process isn’t fast. In some cases, where both sides insist the other party is at-fault, the resolution could be months in the making.
If you’ve been in a car accident and can’t get the at-fault driver’s insurance to cover your rental car costs, speed up the claims process by consulting with an experienced Dallas, Texas personal injury attorney at Hudson Law Firm. We put the “personal” back into personal injury law.