For many of us, our cars are the way we help our families get around, get ourselves to work, tend to our health, and attend special events. So when we get into a car accident, our first thought is how to get another vehicle a soon as possible so we can keep living our regular lives.
Unfortunately in many cases, getting a rental car proves to be a more complicated process than it should be. Here is what you need to know:
If You Have Rental Coverage
Many auto insurance companies offer optional rental car coverage. If you purchased this coverage, then your rental company will pay for a rental car for you. Some rental car companies will even bill your insurance company directly.
Many insurance companies offer “tiers” of coverage rather than having customers choose each individual insurance option. So you may not know exactly what your insurance covers. If you aren’t sure whether or not you have rental coverage, call your insurance agent to check before pursuing other approaches.
If you don’t have rental coverage, you won’t be able to get your insurance company to pay for a rental car. But there may be other options for you.
If You’re At Fault
If you don’t have rental coverage with your insurance and you’ve accepted fault for the accident, then you will need to pay for your own rental car. Unfortunately in this instance, there are no other options.
If the Other Driver Is At Fault
If the other driver has accepted fault for the accident, then their insurance company is supposed to pay for a rental car.
If this is the case, you will want to contact them as soon as possible. Call the customer service line or their adjuster with their insurance information you were given at the time of the accident.
Even if the other driver has admitted fault, working with the other insurance company may take longer than the time you have before you need a car rental.
If Fault is Contested
This is the most difficult case. You will want to contact both your insurance company as well as the company of the other driver.
The two companies will ordinarily work together to assign fault and divide costs. But this process can be lengthy and may not come to a satisfactory conclusion. This may be a situation where securing an attorney can be valuable.
How Do I Choose a Vehicle?
When you choose a rental vehicle, you will want to choose a vehicle as similar to the vehicle you can no longer use as possible.
If you choose a much nicer vehicle, it can be used as evidence to not pay for the rental.
How Do I Get the Money?
Unfortunately in most circumstances, getting approval and funds to pay for a rental car takes a while, and you may not have that kind of time to wait.
This means that you will need to get a vehicle and pay for it out of pocket. You will then be reimbursed for your costs if you have the coverage or if the other driver is found to be at fault.
If you aren’t sure how to get your needs accommodated after a car accident, it may be worth it to reach out to an attorney. The Packard Law Firm is committed to helping individuals who have been in car accidents in an affordable way. Reach out to us today.