The process for getting a rental car after an accident typically depends on the type of car insurance policy you have as well as who was liable for the accident. The details of your specific car insurance policy will tell you everything you need to know, from who pays for the rental car — and for how long — to the type of rental car you receive.
It is important to keep in mind that the limits of your policy may have the final say on your ability to get a rental car after an accident.
If you were not at fault, then it is much easier to get a rental car reservation. An attorney can streamline this process because they will be able to read your policy and help you find the best way forward.
If you filed an insurance claim, you should receive a rental vehicle that is similar to the vehicle you were driving before your accident. This means that if you were driving an SUV at the time of your accident, for instance, you should expect to be offered a rental SUV. Unfortunately, insurance companies may try to lowball you by offering the smallest and cheapest option available. If they do, contact your car accident attorney immediately as they may be able to help you get a rental vehicle closer to the quality of the vehicle affected by the accident.
While it always feels nice to treat yourself, don’t upgrade your rental. Insurance only will provide funds for a comparable vehicle. So, if you drove a minivan, you will need to pay more money for a sporty convertible.
Before a determination on who will pay for a rental car can be made, your insurance company must first determine who is liable for the accident. Even in the most clear-cut cases of the other driver being at fault, it takes at least 3-5 days to hear back from the negligent party’s insurance company about your rental car.
If there is a dispute about liability, then this process gets a little more tricky. If your negligence caused the accident, then your insurance company may be able to help you get a rental car. If you must use your own insurance, there may be different expectations.
In either case, insurance companies usually only offer a rental car for a few days or for the amount of time it takes to fix the damage that resulted from the accident. In many cases, this window of time is not enough! A skilled lawyer can help you petition for more time, if necessary.
How long you keep your rental car will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Your return date is generally dictated by whether or not your car is deemed a “total loss” — or if it is repairable.
- If your car is repairable, you will keep the rental until your vehicle is repaired. Be careful: if you don’t return your vehicle quickly enough, you may be responsible for paying for additional days after your maintenance is complete.
- If your car is a total loss, the insurance company will provide you with what they think is a fair value for your vehicle. If you have any add-on customizations that increase your car’s value, you must tell your insurance company before they issue your reimbursement
Generally, you will be able to drive the rental until you receive your reimbursement from insurance.
Our Car Accident Attorneys Help Keep Your Life Moving
While you are struggling with not having a car, you may also be dealing with the stresses of missing work and disruptions in your routine. Meanwhile, the insurance company is dragging their feet on your rental car. You shouldn’t have to worry about how you’re going to get to your medical appointments or fulfill your life errands. A car accident attorney will fight for you needs — including helping you get a rental car.
You owe it to yourself to contact our attorneys today. We prioritize your recovery, and you won’t have to pay anything unless we win your case. Our attorneys are passionate about what’s right for clients. We have helped recover over 1 billion dollars for our clients.