Posted on Thursday, February 1st, 2024 at 9:00 am    

Preparing for Your Personal Injury Mediation Process

A motor vehicle wreck can complicate your life in many ways. For example, in the aftermath of the crash, your vehicle may be out of commission. If you rely on a car on a daily basis, you might have to rent a vehicle to get around.

Does the at-fault driver pay for a rental car after an accident? Will insurance cover a rental car after an accident? The answers to these questions can depend on several factors.

Who Pays for a Rental Car After a Car Accident?

An insurer may cover the cost of a rental car after a crash. Whose insurance covers the cost may depend on who caused the wreck.

Perhaps you caused the collision. Check your policy if so. If it includes a clause that provides payment for a rental car when your car is out of commission, your insurer will probably pay. If you don’t have this coverage, you’ll have to pay out of pocket to rent a vehicle.

If you didn’t cause the wreck, and it resulted from the actions or carelessness of another driver, you can file a claim with their insurance.

Filing an insurance claim doesn’t guarantee that the insurance company will agree to cover rental costs. A claims adjuster may argue the insurer doesn’t offer such coverage. Or, they might argue you’ve failed to provide sufficient evidence that their insured caused the collision.

Gathering Evidence to Prove Someone Else Caused the Crash

An insurance company may be more likely to honor your claim if you provide evidence indicating the insured caused the wreck. Even if the accident was days or weeks ago, you can still collect evidence to support your case. Ways to gather such evidence include:

  • Getting a copy of the police report – A police report could serve as a valuable piece of evidence when you file a claim. A police officer is a neutral party who is unlikely to take anyone’s “side” when filing a crash report.
  • Speaking with witnesses who were at the scene of the wreck – Law enforcement may have spoken to witnesses at the time and noted their contact details. Some may be willing to provide witness statements about what happened.
  • Taking pictures of the crash scene from multiple angles – Return to the scene to photograph the location. Take pictures of your vehicle that thoroughly document the extent and nature of the damage. In addition, take pictures of any visual signs of injury.
  • Finding out if any video of the crash exists – Nearby businesses may have captured the crash on video. Or, witnesses may have been taking video when the wreck occurred.

Never say you’re sorry at a crash scene. Saying anything to suggest you might have caused the wreck can prevent you from receiving the full amount of compensation for which you may be eligible.

Don’t say you’re not injured, either. You don’t know if you’re injured until a doctor has had a chance to examine you. It’s possible you’ve sustained injuries without noticing symptoms.

Similarly, it’s possible your vehicle has sustained damage to its interior components that you don’t know about. Even if your vehicle appears to be in drivable condition, you can’t be sure this is the case until professionals have had a chance to take a closer look.

What If My Vehicle is a Total Loss?

You might not have to worry about rental car coverage at all if your vehicle is a total loss after a crash. An insurance company may determine that a vehicle is a total loss if the cost of repairing it is greater than the cost of replacing it.

Check your policy to learn what coverage is available in these circumstances. Your insurance may provide you with a permanent replacement vehicle if the cost of repairing your car is too great. Talk to an attorney for help figuring out how to get your costs covered until the at-fault party’s insurance pays up.

Are There Other Options Available?

While the other driver’s liability insurance would ideally cover the cost of your rental vehicle, you may have other options available to you if it won’t or if it delays accepting your claim. Understanding these options can ensure that you are not left stranded without a vehicle or faced with unexpected out-of-pocket expenses.

Rental Reimbursement Insurance Coverage

If you carry this optional policy, you should have coverage for a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired. This coverage may require you to pay a deductible first. It’s advisable to review your policy or speak with your insurance representative to understand the specifics of your coverage, including any daily or total rental reimbursement limits.

Credit Card Benefits

Many credit card companies offer rental car insurance as a perk for cardholders. This coverage typically applies when you use the credit card to pay for the rental car and may cover costs not handled by your primary insurance. It’s essential to contact your credit card issuer to verify coverage details, limitations, and the activation process before relying on this option.

Rental Car Discounts through Insurance Companies

Some insurance companies have partnerships with rental car agencies that offer discounted rates for their policyholders. Even if your insurance does not cover the full cost of a rental, these discounts can help reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.

How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

Preparing for Your Personal Injury Mediation ProcessAn attorney can play a very significant role in your case after a wreck. Examples of how a lawyer may help include:

  • Reviewing your case and explaining your legal options
  • Helping you gather evidence to show the wreck was another driver’s fault
  • Explaining how state-specific laws can influence the claims process
  • Completing claim paperwork and submitting it by all applicable deadlines
  • Handling correspondence with the insurance company
  • Finding the best way to get your rental car costs covered by insurance
  • Negotiating for the compensation you need

These are just a few reasons to enlist a car accident lawyer’s help after a wreck. At Abel Law Firm, we’re prepared to offer the representation you deserve right now. Learn more about what our Oklahoma City car accident lawyers can do for you by calling us at (405) 239-7046 or contacting us online for a free case review.

Voted Oklahoma's Best Personal Injury Law Firm
The Journal Record 2023 Reader Rankings - Top Winner - Abel Law Firm - Best Peronal Injury Law Firm
The Journal Record 2023 Reader Rankings - Top Winner - Abel Law Firm - Best Peronal Injury Law Firm

Oklahomans across the state have recognized the Abel Law Firm's unique heritage as a statewide institution. Founded by Ed Abel, and today led by his son, Luke Abel, our personal injury law firm has become synonymous with empathy, compassion, and the highest professional performance serving our neighbors. Our family has sought to leave a profound impact upon the State of Oklahoma. We appreciate that former Governor Mary Fallin recognized that dedication when she declared May 1st "Ed Abel Day."

To be named Oklahoma's Best Personal Injury Law Firm is humbling. We are grateful to have won this prestigious honor. We work every day to earn the trust of those we serve: Oklahoma families who are facing some of the most difficulty days of their lives due to the negligence of others. It is our intention and resolve to continue to be deserving of the faith Oklahomans have placed in our family's law firm. Thank you!

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