If you’ve experienced some kind of car difficulty related to an accident, you’re probably not going to be driving that vehicle for some time. Unfortunately, though, your life isn’t going to stop just because of that. You’ll need to drive, and if you don’t already have a second vehicle you’ll need access to a rental car. Figuring out how to pay for that rental car, though, is going to be a problem. You’ll need to figure out if you are on the hook for the cost or if someone else will pay for the car. The answer depends on several factors.
Perhaps the easiest way to get a rental car after an accident is through your own insurance. Check your coverage to see if a rental vehicle is available while yours is in the shop and always make sure that you run things by your insurance company first. This is particularly useful when you are not able to track down the other driver or the other driver does not have insurance – after all, you uninsured motorist coverage should kick in to help you through this trying time.
Be careful with renting a car, though. This is often one of the first things a car insurance company will try to deny. If you rent a reasonable, low-cost car for a minimal amount of time, though, you should be able to get the coverage you need. If you don’t have coverage, it’s never a bad idea to ask what your insurance can do for you – you might be surprised by the answer you get.
It’s also possible that you’ll get a rental car through the person who injured you. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that’s going to automatically happen through the other person’s insurance provider. Few, if any, individuals have a clause in their coverage that will rent a car for another person. What you might find, though, is that you can get a car out of a settlement.
If you are offered a settlement, make sure to contact a personal injury attorney. He or she can give you advice about a reasonable settlement, including whether or not you should ask for a rental car. Remember, though, it’s always difficult to get rental coverage so don’t go crazy – ask for reimbursement for a reasonable car and there’s a good chance you’ll get what you need. Don’t fret when there’s push back, but do try to make your case that having a rental car will make you more likely to settle.
Out of Pocket
In many cases, you’ll be paying for the cost of your rental car yourself. If you are not pursuing any kind of lawsuit, you’ll be the one on the hook. If you’re very lucky, you might be able to get a free loaner through the ship at which your repairs are being done. This is not necessarily a common practice, but several of the major car companies do offer this service through their dealerships.
If no one will cover the cost of a rental car, you’re not completely out of luck. If you choose to file a suit against another driver, you can point towards your rental car receipts as part of the damages that occurred due to the accident. You shouldn’t expect to get compensated for the rental of a luxury vehicle, but most courts will look at reasonable rental costs when they make any kind of award.
The downside to getting compensation this way is that you’ll have to wait until the end of the trial for reimbursement. In many cases, this may mean having to pay for the cost of car repairs on top of that rental cost, creating something of a financial difficulty. Still, this may be the best way for some individuals to get their money back from renting a car.
If you are in a car accident, call a NY personal injury attorney. He or she might be able to help you figure out your options when it comes to paying for a rental vehicle. While you might not always get the answers you want, working with an attorney will give you your best chance to get compensation.