There are many setbacks associated with car accidents, and one of your main concerns after your medical treatment will always be to have your vehicle repaired or replaced depending on how severe the sustained property damage was.
Car repairs can end up costing a lot more than most people would assume, so it’s always alarming for accident victims to properly obtain a rental car and ensure that the at-fault party pays for it.
The odds are that you need a vehicle on a daily basis, and on this page, we’re going to go over some of the finer details into properly going about your rental car acquisition. So if you or a loved one was involved in a car accident and you have questions about what you should do in terms of obtaining a rental car, contact us for a free case review so we can go over the details of your accident and help you navigate the proper channels towards getting your rightfully owed rental car and other damages.
Common Ways to Obtain a Rental Car Post-Accident
The State of New York has provided a list of tips associated with obtaining your rental car, and these pointers are many times very important when you’re looking into getting a rental car after being the victim of a car accident that wasn’t your fault.
One of the first things you’ll need to do after your car accident is obtaining an accident report, which is typically produced by the local police officers that were at the scene of the collision. The police report will sometimes entail the details associated with who was the at-fault driver, which will subsequently allow the victim(s) of the accident to seek out their rightful compensation for any incurred damages, including rental car fees.
The following steps are necessary when you choose to exercise your right to a rental car, and these steps begin immediately after an accident occurs:
- Get the at-fault driver’s information, which includes their license information, insurance policy information and personal information like phone number and address.
- Collect any statements or contact information to witnesses of the collision.
- Take as many photos/videos of the accident scene as you can. These images should include the sustained damages to all involved vehicles, and any visible injuries you sustained.
- File the accident report.
- Reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney prior to your insurance company. The reasoning behind this is that your insurance company may potentially try to take advantage of you after your accident, so you’ll want a legal expert on your side to represent your best interests.
Where Can You File A Claim For A Car Rental?
You’ll generally have two options when it comes to covering the costs of a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired, or when you’re in the process of negotiating a replacement car with insurance companies. Understanding who will pay for your rental car is sometimes a bit of a complex insurance issue, but in general, you’ll have the following options:
- At-fault driver’s insurance company: In this situation, your rental car will simply be a part of the overall compensation for your damages that you sustained in the car accident, which is the at-fault driver’s responsibility. The at-fault driver’s insurance company would cover your rental car fees as a part of your larger settlement.
- Your insurance company: There are many times in which an at-fault driver’s insurance company will refuse to pay for your car rental, and in this situation, you’ll have to go through your own insurance company to cover your costs (particularly if you have rental reimbursement coverage). Your insurance company may end up requesting reimbursement of these costs from the at-fault driver’s insurance company after your full settlement is negotiated.
5 Considerations When Obtaining Your Car Rental
You’ll ultimately need to have a thorough understanding as to which insurance company to go through when obtaining your rental car, and here are 5 considerations to think about when choosing which company to file a claim with:
- Filing with your own insurance company will allow for a quicker process, which subsequently means you’ll obtain your rental car much faster.
- You’ll be covered for what you’ve purchased in terms of car rental insurance, which means you’ll have a maximum amount per day that your insurance company will pay or a set maximum amount of coverage. This may end up leaving you with added expenses that you’ll need to recover as a part of your case’s damages.
- Your daily rate under your own insurance policy may not be quite enough to properly assist you in obtaining the type of vehicle you want.
- An at-fault driver’s insurance company is ultimately responsible for covering your car rental fees while your vehicle is being repaired/replaced, so there will be no set day limit like you may have within your own insurance policy.
- An at-fault driver’s insurance provider will undoubtedly conduct a much more thorough investigation prior to authorizing your car rental purchase, so this will subsequently leave you without a vehicle for possibly a week or even longer while this convoluted process resolves itself.
Obtaining a Comparable Vehicle to Yours
Insurance companies will almost always try their hardest to limit their costs to a minimum, which may mean they’ll offer you the smallest, cheapest rental car that’s available.
Your right to a rental car that’s comparable to your vehicle varies depending upon which company provides the car rental. An at-fault driver’s insurance company will be ultimately responsible for providing you with a similar vehicle to the one you currently drive, but your own insurance company is only responsible for providing you with a comparable vehicle to a certain extent.
Your insurance provider will only be required to pay up to the limits within your policy, which may not allow you to get a high-quality rental car.
How Long Can You Have A Car Rental?
In general, you’re allowed to keep your rental car while your vehicle is being repaired or replaced. If you’re working with an at-fault driver’s insurance company after your car has been totaled, it’s important to understand that their adjusters will most likely not allow you to keep your rental car for more than a week after they’ve settled your claim.
This is partly why it’s important to have experienced legal counsel on your side so you’ll be provided with an adequate amount of time in terms of deciding your next vehicle and to ensure that your settlement is completely fair!
Have You Or A Loved One Been Injured In A New York Car Accident?
Your rental car and subsequent property damage is typically only the beginning when it comes to obtaining your rightful compensation within a car accident case. Many times accident victims will sustain long-lasting injuries and pain, which can be difficult to be compensated for if you aren’t properly represented during litigation.
The Siler & Ingber team has helped countless accident victims in terms of obtaining their compensation for any and all damages, and our 20+ years of experience has put us in the position to be a go-to personal injury firm across New York.
Contact us today for a free case review so we can understand the details of your situation and put you in the best position to receive your most favorable results!