When you Need to Rent a Car
After an accident, your car is in the shop, or maybe even totaled, but you still have places to go. If you were injured in the crash, you probably don’t feel well enough to walk to your doctor’s appointments.
This can be especially difficult if you are single or part of a one car family, and many crash victims will have to rent a car.
Unfortunately, renting a car after an accident can be one of the most difficult first steps in the process. It can be quite a battle, and it’s you against an insurance company’s army of lawyers. Here’s what you need to know.
Sometimes things will go smoothly
Every once in a while, the insurance company representing the at-fault driver will take the easy road. They accept liability for the car crash immediately, and everything falls into place. The carrier will then pay for your rental car until you get the check for the value of your totaled car, or until they pay for the repairs. Hopefully, this is how your rental car process will go, and you don’t have to read this blog any further.
Unfortunately, that’s not what usually happens.
The insurance companies are denying your rental car
More often than not, insurance companies simply don’t want to pay for your rental car. They will either flat out deny responsibility, or keep telling you that they will be withholding a decision. This means you’ll have to pay the money upfront if you need a rental.
Keep in mind, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying for a rental car during the time you would reasonably need one. So if your car is in the shop, or totaled, you would reasonably need a car. The insurance company may deny paying for a rental initially, but if they later agree to accept liability or are found to be responsible, they will reimburse you. But you will have to front the money for the rental vehicle initially.
I can’t afford the upfront rental cost!
It’s easy for a multi-million dollar insurance company to say that they’ll reimburse you once the investigation is finished. They don’t understand that the average Joe probably can’t afford to lose the money they paid for that upfront cost of the rental. You’re putting a lot of money on the line.
After all, the liability may not be resolved in your favor. Then you’d have to cut your losses on the rental car cost. You’re assuming a risk by paying up front. That’s why you’ll really need to make sure your car accident lawyer is ready to fight for you.
How long can I keep a Rental Car after an accident?
In most states, you can keep your rental car for as long as you are waiting for repairs to be made to your car, or for as long as it takes to get the check for your totaled car.
The important thing is to make sure you keep a record of everything that goes on in your case. That means medical information, car repair information, and police reports.
What if I was injured in the crash?
If you were injured in the accident, you’ll want to talk to a St. Louis personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. We always recommend talking to the attorney before calling the insurance company. That way you can get an idea of what to expect.
We handle serious auto accident and commercial truck accident litigation throughout Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas. If you’ve been injured in a crash, call an attorney at Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers 314.444.4444.