Who pays for a rental car after an accident?

It is no secret that traffic in Los Angeles is dreadful and that there seem to be more cars on the road than ever before. At this point, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, there can be as many as 150 accidents per day inside city limits. 

Car accidents catch you off guard and come with a laundry list of stressful repercussions. One such obstacle is being unable to get around while your car is in the shop. If you were in a car accident and your car was damaged, whose job is it to pay for the rental car? 

Who will pay for the rental car after an accident depends on who is at fault?

who pays for rental car after accident scaled

When Another Driver Is at Fault

If the other driver caused your accident, your rental car should be covered by their insurance company.

After the insurance claim is made, if the company approves it, then they will cover the cost of your rental. The rental car will most likely be similar in size and price to your vehicle. 

When You’re at Fault

If you were the one who caused the accident, then you or your car insurance company will cover the rental. When you signed up for your insurance plan, you decided if you wanted rental car coverage or not. So, if you elected to include that in your plan, then your rental car will be partially or completely paid for by your insurance company.

What to Do if the Insurance Company Denies Your Claim

When you are in an accident, you file an insurance claim. If you believe the other driver is at fault, you file a claim with their insurance and request a rental car. 

But what if their insurance doesn’t accept your claim? 

Insurance companies are actually known for finding any reason to deny claims, as it is their main goal to keep as much money in their pockets as possible. This puts you in a difficult situation. Not only do you need a rental car, but you are also expected to pay for a rental car as a result of an accident that you believe was someone else’s fault. 

The insurance company’s decision can be disputed, but those disputes can take months to be resolved. This puts you in an even tougher spot – do you wait for the dispute to be resolved, knowing that you will be without a car indefinitely, or do you go ahead and pay for a rental car out of pocket, hoping that you will be reimbursed later? 

If you are in this situation, you can turn to your own insurance company for assistance, but hiring a car accident lawyer is the best move. A good attorney will help by handling the back-and-forth communication between insurance companies for you, figuring out who pays for the rental car after the accident, and finding you the best path forward.

Don’t Make These Mistakes With a Rental

When renting a car after an accident, these are some common mistakes to avoid:

Continuing to rent after your car is fixed.

Once your car is fixed and ready to pick up from the repair shop, the insurance company stops paying for the rental car. Finding time to pick up your vehicle and return the rental can be a pain, but don’t delay picking up your car. 

If you do, you will be stuck with a bill for the extra days that you rented the car after the insurance stopped paying.

Continuing to rent after you receive an insurance check.

Once you receive an insurance check, you need to return the rental car. That check covers what it covers, and there won’t be more money. Don’t wait to return the car, or you will be stuck paying out of pocket.

Splurging on a fancy rental.

This is one of the most common mistakes, but it is also the easiest to avoid. Insurance will cover the rental of a comparable vehicle. If you drive a 2010 Ford sedan but choose to rent a 2021 BMW SUV, you will be expected to pay anything over the insurance’s standard payment. 

For example, if the insurance company covers a $40-a-day rental car, and the BMW costs $90 a day, you will have to pay the $50 difference per day of renting. It can be exciting to drive a fancy car for a while, but it does add up quickly, so resist the urge to splurge. 

In an accident? Ernst Law Group is here to help.

When you get in a car accident, a lot of expensive and stressful consequences can be added to your plate. It can be difficult to know your rights and options after a car crash. 

If you were in a car accident, Ernst Law Group can help you. We’ve represented Californians for four decades, getting them the maximum compensation available after their accident.

Call 805-541-0300 today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles car accident lawyer.


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