If you’ve been in a car accident, one of your first concerns is getting a rental car. After being injured in a car accident, you will need a vehicle to get to your doctor appointments, get to work, and take care of your family.
When Can I Get the Rental Car?
Immediately. If your vehicle is damaged and undriveable, the at fault driver is required to rent a car for you or pay you for the loss of use of your car during the period of which the car is getting fixed or replaced.
How Long Can I Keep the Rental Car?
If your car is being repaired, you are entitled to a rental from the day that it goes in the repair shop until the day that your repair is finished.
What Kind of Rental Car Can I Get?
The rental vehicle provided should be comparable to the vehicle damaged in the accident. If you were driving a pickup truck, it is not reasonable for your replacement vehicle to be a subcompact.
What If My Car is a Total Loss?
The insurance company will typically pay for your rental car until the day they make their offer. Some insurance companies will allow you a couple of extra days in the rental so you can car shop or it might take time for them to get you the check. The number of days they allow is negotiable and some will allow up to 5 days. The courteous, cooperative, and professional people usually get more grace days here than the chronic complainers.
What If I Don’t Need a Rental?
If you have a second car or a friend’s car to borrow, ask the at-fault adjuster to “CASH YOU OUT” for your rental. The legal term for this is known as “loss of use.” You should be given a check for the daily rate that you were entitled to for the time frame of your repair. You should also be cashed out for any day that you did not have a rental when you were entitled to have one.
The above procedure should go smoothly when the other drive is clearly at fault and their insurance company accepts liability. However, when the other driver’s insurance company is being difficult or refuses to accept responsibility, then you will need to go through your own insurance company.
How to Use My Own Rental Coverage?
Read your policy or talk to your insurance adjuster to find out if you have rental coverage through your own insurance company. If you do, they will pay for your rental car while your car gets fixed. Your insurance company will, in turn, fight the at-fault driver’s insurance company to get compensated for the money they paid for your rental car once we get resolved the responsibility for the motor vehicle crash.
The key is to apply pressure to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The pressure you can apply is limited if you do not have a lawyer because you do not have a hammer (lawsuits are hammers). But you can still apply pressure on the insurer to do the right thing. Keep in mind that you have to comply with the time limit to bring a claim in your jurisdiction.
What Should I Do If I Have Suffered a Serious Injury in My Car Accident?
We handle serious injury auto accidents cases in Washington. We have successfully resolved hundreds of motor vehicle collision cases, earning over $10 million in compensation for personal injury victims in settlements and trial verdicts.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a car accident, call us at 206-229-9475 for a free consultation.