Jason Stephens | November 30, 2020 | Car Accidents
One of the most challenging parts of dealing with the fallout of a car accident is figuring out what to do while your vehicle is being repaired. There is a good chance you rely on your car for performing everyday tasks like getting to and from work, dropping kids off at school, and picking up groceries at the grocery store. Without a car, doing any or all of these simple tasks can be extremely frustrating.
If it has been determined that the other driver was at fault for the accident, you could contact the other driver’s insurance company and discuss with them the possibility of having them pay for a rental car for you to use while your car is being repaired. This can sometimes prove difficult, however, as insurance companies are known for seeking to limit the amount of money they have to pay out in claims.
In many cases, the best way to communicate with the other party’s insurance company is with the help of a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer that specializes in car accidents. Car accident lawyers know how to deal with insurance companies and push them toward an outcome that is favorable for you.
Assigning Fault for a Car Accident
While getting the other driver’s insurance company to pay for your rental car should be a straightforward process, insurance adjusters might attempt to make it more difficult by trying to pin some of the blame on you.
If an insurance company can assign some of the blame for the accident to you, it could mean they have to pay out less to you for things like car rental and repair fees. If an insurance adjuster takes an accusatory tone with you it is definitely time to hire a car accident lawyer.
What if the Rental Company is Disputing Liability?
In some cases, the insurance company will argue that you were at least partially liable for the accident and deny your claim for a rental car. While the ensuing dispute is playing itself out, which can take weeks if not months to be fully resolved, you might be forced to pay for a rental car out of pocket.
If that is the case, make sure to keep detailed records of all costs you incurred. Keep receipts for things like:
- Rental fees
- Repair fees for your car
If at the end of the dispute it has been determined that you were not at fault for the accident and the insurance company should have paid for your rental car and other fees, you can submit those receipts to them and get reimbursed for those costs.
It should be noted, however, that you will be liable for any damage you cause to the rental car. Even though the insurance company might be paying for it, you are the one who is responsible for it while you are using it.
What if the Rental the Insurance Company Offers Isn’t Comparable to Your Car?
Another way insurance companies seek to limit their costs is by offering substandard rental cars and making you pay for the difference. While this might be fair if you drive a luxury vehicle and a compact will suffice for a few days while your car is being repaired, in other cases it doesn’t add up. For example, if the insurance company is only willing to pay for a compact but you need a minivan or SUV to haul your family around, you shouldn’t be stuck with paying for the extra cost.
Hiring a Skilled Car Accident Lawyer
After any car accident, things can get messy as the parties involved and their insurance companies seek to deny fault so as to limit their financial liability. To make sure you don’t get stuck with the bill for a rental car or to repair your car, hire a qualified personal injury lawyer. A good lawyer will advocate on your behalf and know how to convince an insurance company that the best course of action is reaching a settlement that is fair and equitable for all.