If your vehicle is badly damaged or declared a total loss after an accident, you will likely need to rent a car to get to and from work, medical appointments, and other places. You may able to avoid paying for a rental car out of your own pocket.
Below, learn more about options for covering rental car costs after a crash. If you have questions about your insurance coverage or other issues related to your accident, call our Sacramento car accident lawyers for a free consultation.
After you file a claim for an accident caused by another driver, an insurance adjuster from the at-fault driver’s insurance company usually contacts you to discuss your options for renting a vehicle. The insurance company must offer you a vehicle similar to the one that was damaged in the crash. For example, if you drive an SUV, they cannot offer you a compact car.
However, if the fault is being contested, the at-fault driver’s insurance company might not offer to pay for a rental car until a court decides who was to blame for the crash. There may also be a delay with paying for the rental car through insurance, and the insurance company may only pay for a rental car for a certain amount of time, even if it will take longer for your car to be repaired.
These variables make it important to speak to an experienced attorney who can help expedite the process while assisting with your injury claim.
If liability for the accident is not clear, or the liable insurance company is slow to pay out for a rental, you may be able to rent a vehicle through your own insurance policy if you have rental car coverage.
This insurance add-on is optional in California, but you should strongly consider purchasing it. You never know when a crash may happen and renting a car can be very expensive.
Generally, rental car coverage has a daily dollar limit for a set number of days, typically 30 days, and is only available if your vehicle is being repaired after an accident or is declared a total loss, regardless of fault.
When renting a vehicle after an accident, there are some recommended guidelines to follow to avoid paying additional fees that may not be covered by the insurance company.
Be sure to select a vehicle similar to your own and avoid the temptation to upgrade to a more luxurious vehicle. For example, if you drive a Honda Civic, you should not select a BMW or Mercedes as your rental vehicle, as there could be an upgrade fee. The insurance company will likely deny paying that fee.
As soon as your vehicle’s damage is repaired, you should return the rental car to avoid paying any penalty fees for failing to return the vehicle on time.
If your vehicle was declared a total loss in the accident and you have received a check from the insurance company to pay you the fair market price for your vehicle, the insurance company may provide a window for you to purchase a new vehicle before they stop paying for the rental. Try to purchase your replacement vehicle within this allotted time frame to avoid additional fees.
If you are unsure about how to get reimbursed for renting a vehicle after your own vehicle was damaged in an accident, call an experienced attorney at the Arnold Law Firm to help you file your claim.
Our attorneys have decades of combined experience helping injury victims recover the compensation they need after an accident. We offer a free consultation and charge you nothing while we work on your claim, so there is no risk to you.
Call us today at (916) 777-7777