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Who Pays for a Rental Car After an Accident?

Unexpected car accidents can cause a lot of damage. If you are a victim of a car accident, you may find yourself in need of a rental car. You may need to continue to commute to work, school, or doctor’s appointments. However, on top of medical bills, lost wages, and other costs associated with your injuries, you may not have enough funds to pay for this rental out of pocket.

Say you don’t have the time or the money to think about getting a rental car, but you need one to perform your daily tasks. What are your options in this situation?

Your Insurance Options

In California, you can opt for rental car reimbursement insurance with your policy plan. This option pays for a rental car in the event of an accident. It allows you to still get around while your car is undergoing repairs. However, not all car insurance plans automatically include rental reimbursement coverage. You will have to call your auto insurance provider to check if you have this coverage.

In addition, rental car reimbursement coverage can be quite limited. If you do have this coverage included with your insurance plan, make sure to double check what the daily rental price limits are. You will have to pay the difference out of pocket if you choose a more expensive rental.

If you don’t have rental reimbursement coverage, your insurance may still pay for a rental car if you have standard collision coverage, reimbursement coverage, or any other type of comprehensive coverage. These plans can pay for rental cars after unexpected events, including damage, theft, and vandalism. Always inquire with your insurance company about your rental car options, just in case these hidden benefits exist.

At-Fault Driver Insurance Options

If your own insurance doesn’t cover the cost of a temporary rental car, another option is to go through the at-fault driver’s insurance company. To do this, you must open a claim with this insurance company to prove the circumstances of the accident. The insurance company will arrange a rental car option for you.

However, this option comes with underlying issues. Insurance adjusters are notorious for lowballing claimants who do not have adequate legal representation. The company may take days or even weeks to process your rental car request.

In addition, insurance companies may only let you rent a car for a few days until they make an offer to purchase your totaled car. Do not agree to this without speaking to a qualified San Jose car accident attorney. Insurance companies tend to purchase cars from injured people at a low price, leaving them with no backup means of transportation.

Recovering Rental Costs

If the driver is determined to be not at-fault for the accident and/or you do not have rental reimbursement coverage on your auto insurance plan, you will need to pay for the rental car out of pocket. You may find yourself in another situation that requires you to pay the costs of a rental car upfront. If you’re able to scrape these funds together, you can recover damages for rental costs at a later time.

Always save your rental car receipts and invoices. Usually, if you have rental car coverage, you will need to submit these receipts to receive a reimbursement from your insurance company. If you do not have rental car coverage and pursue civil action against the at-fault driver through a personal injury lawsuit, you can recover damages to cover the costs of your rental vehicle.

Contact an Attorney for Questions

If a car accident caused your injuries in San Jose or the surrounding area, the personal injury lawyers at Henshaw & Henry, PC can help you file a personal injury lawsuit.