Getting a Rental Car After an Accident

One of the first questions people have after a car accident is how they get a rental car and who pays for it. Car accidents often leave the innocent person without a drivable vehicle, an essential part of daily life for most people in the Austin area. This is especially true after they have been hurt or injured in a car accident, as they now need a way to get to the medical treatment they need. A rental car is often the only means by which people can continue to get to the places needed, while they wait for their vehicle to be repaired or replaced. Understandably, people often presume that the insurance company for the other driver, the one that caused the crash, will provide them a rental car and do so right away. Unfortunately, this is not always true. Sometimes the other driver’s insurance company does not admit their driver was at fault for some time. If so, the innocent driver must turn to their own insurance or pay for the rental car out of their own pocket and wait to be reimbursed later.

Below, please find additional details on how to obtain a rental car after a car accident. Or, if you prefer, please feel free to contact Sandoval & James to speak with one of our injury attorneys regarding getting you into a rental car as soon as possible. Consultations are completely free.

Will car insurance cover a rental car after an accident?

If the other driver caused the car accident, they are responsible for the reasonable cost of a rental car until your car is repaired or deemed a total loss. However, the other driver’s insurance will not provide you with a rental car or reimburse you for a rental car until they admit fault. Understandably, however, most people cannot wait the days, weeks, or even months it may take the other driver’s insurance company to admit their driver was responsible. Unfortunately, this leaves people with only two options. If they have rental coverage on their own policy, they can use it to pay for the rental car. Otherwise, they must pay for the rental car on their own and wait until the other driver’s insurance admits fault to be reimbursed.

If you pay for the rental car yourself, you will likely only be reimbursed for the number of days it took to complete the repairs of your vehicle or to declare it a total loss. Also, they will only reimburse you at a reasonable rate. Therefore, if you rent a vehicle that was much nicer than the one you were driving or keep it for longer than necessary, the other insurance company may be unwilling to reimburse you for the entire cost of the rental.

If you have rental coverage, your own insurance should be able to get you into a rental car quickly and easily. Your insurance company will then request that the other driver’s insurance reimburse them later. If you are using your insurance company, the rental period they will cover is often limited to a certain number of days and they will only pay a set amount per day. So, if you opt for a more expensive vehicle, you may be responsible for a portion of the cost. Therefore, you may want to verify the number of days and the daily rate that your insurance company will cover.

You could be responsible for the cost of the rental if you keep the rental car longer than the covered period. This is true even if your vehicle is still being repaired. If you do not have rental coverage, you will likely have to rent a car at your own expense and seek reimbursement from the other driver’s insurance if they admit fault and, unless you were rear-ended, it is unlikely they will do so right away.

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