How to Get a Rental Car After an Accident

June 21, 2024 Accident Attorney

Car accidents can lead to serious injuries and painful suffering that put your life on hold. However, car accidents can incapacitate you even without causing injuries. How? By damaging or destroying your means of transportation. If a car accident robs you of your wheels, you may find yourself extremely inconvenienced and perhaps unable to engage in your life activities until you have a car again. Unless, of course, you get a rental car.

However, rental cars are quite expensive, and car accident victims typically find themselves in a financial pinch after experiencing a car accident. Fortunately, many car accident sufferers may take advantage of insurance policy coverage that provides rental cars after an accident. But the process for actually receiving this benefit can be daunting and may involve battling against an insurance company that is unwilling to honor its contract.

Texas Law and Car Rentals After an Accident

In Texas, the law is clear that negligent drivers can be held liable for the losses they cause. Victims can pursue compensation by way of an insurance claim or a lawsuit, and this compensation includes rental car costs. If your car is totaled or damaged because of someone else, it is unfair to force you to pay for a rental car.

But you very well may have to provide the funds for a rental car after an accident, at least initially. Rental car reimbursement often comes after a person has paid for a rental out of their own funds. In order to receive payback for their costs, car accident victims may be required to submit receipts of expenses already paid for.

In the end, whether you get a car rental after a crash depends heavily on the insurance policy language found in the contract in question. It also depends on whose insurance policy is being tapped for the coverage . . . yours or the other driver’s.

Rental Car Options After a Crash

Car rentals are lifelines for many who experience car accidents. Without access to a vehicle, many of them would experience extreme difficulties relating to work and home responsibilities. But car rentals are expensive, and many would not be able to afford one without help from insurance.

So when it comes time to look for a rental, most people will need to investigate the potential insurance policies that might cover their rental.

Your Insurance Policy

Your car insurance policy may offer rental car reimbursement after an accident. To find out, make sure to pore over the terms of your policy. Since rental reimbursement is optional in Texas, you may or may not have this coverage in your current policy. If you do have policy language regarding rental cars, read it thoroughly to truly understand the scope of the coverage.

When you contact your insurance company for this benefit, the adjuster will want to know who was at fault. If you were not at fault, your policy may have language barring you from receiving rental car reimbursement unless you have policy provisions to the contrary. Keep in mind that if you do take advantage of the car rental reimbursement provisions in your insurance policy, you may experience a rise in your policy’s premiums.

It is important to note that insurance coverage for rental reimbursements is typically capped. You may have to pay for some of the rental yourself if you hold onto the rental for a long period of time. You may also have to pay some out-of-pocket expenses if you exceed the daily reimbursement limit for a vehicle. For example, if your insurance company offers you $100 per day in reimbursement expenses, and you rent a car for $200 per day, you will be on the hook for $100.

The Other Driver’s Insurance Policy

The process of holding at-fault drivers responsible for the losses they cause others can be daunting. The other driver’s insurance company will likely put up a fight or use tactics to attempt to pay less or deny your claim. When insurance companies pay out claims, their bottom line gets smaller, and insurance companies are most interested in making profits.

Generally speaking, an insurance company representing the other driver will usually cover the expenses involved with renting a car if their policyholder is liable. However, insurance company adjusters love to dispute liability in cases that are not open and shut, and disputes can take time. So there may be a significant time delay between the accident and your getting money from the insurance company for a rental.

If this happens to be the case, you should be prepared to use personal funds to rent a car until you receive funds from the insurance company. Keep in mind, though, that it is not uncommon for an at-fault driver’s insurance company to contact the victim in the accident shortly after the crash with car rental options.

Ensuring You Have a Rental Car After an Accident

Experiencing a car accident could lead to devastating financial consequences if your car is incapacitated or totaled. Without transportation, your employment could be at risk, as could the employment of other members of your family. Although the other driver’s insurance company might pay for a rental after a wreck, you can make sure that you have a reimbursed rental with some simple planning beforehand.

Elect for Rental Reimbursement

To make sure that you have a rental car after a crash, review your current insurance policy for language relating to rental cars. If you have not elected for rental reimbursement, do so and notify your insurance agent. Take extreme care to read the provisions of the agreement, and don’t be afraid to ask your agent any questions you might have.

Keep in mind that with rental reimbursement, you may be limited in which type of car you rent. For example, if you normally drive a sedan to commute to and from work, you will probably not be permitted to rent a sports car.

Set Aside Rental Car Funds

Another option for ensuring that you have a rental car after an accident is to set aside money to cover a rental should you need it. Going this route bypasses insurance and allows you to choose where you want to rent your car and which car you would like to rent. It also takes all of the guesswork out of the equation and gets you behind the wheel of a replacement car quickly.

If it turns out that you do indeed have coverage for rentals, you can simply submit your receipts for reimbursement when making a claim against your or the other driver’s insurance company.

Rental Car Complications

Sometimes, complications arise that can muddle the car rental and reimbursement process. When issues do come up, the time to resolve problems and the case as a whole increases.

Some of these issues include:

  • Multiple Drivers: The existence of multiple drivers in an accident increases the complexity of the compensation process by making it more difficult to determine fault.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: When the at-fault driver is an uninsured motorist, there will be no liability insurance to speak of, but the victim may have recourse through their own insurance or through a lawsuit.
  • Liability Issues: If an insurance company believes that its driver was not at fault, it will likely not pay for a rental car up front or for reimbursements. Although the victim may still be able to get a rental car from their insurance company regardless of liability, there will still likely be a significant delay before the victim is behind the wheel again.

Regardless of the issue, car accident victims can bypass many problems and shorten delay times by hiring an experienced car accident attorney to represent them.

How Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law Can Help

Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law can fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your losses. If you are in need of a rental car while your car gets repaired or replaced, we can potentially help you acquire one by way of insurance.

As mentioned, after a crash, your insurance coverage or the other driver’s coverage may provide you with access to a rental car. However, policy language is often difficult to comprehend. Additionally, insurance company adjusters are experts at manipulating policy language to exclude benefits, such as rental cars.

However, with Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law representing you, you have an advocate who will fight vigorously for your interests. If you need a rental car, our team will scour all relevant insurance policies for any provisions that may allow you to acquire one at little or no charge.

Our team will also work diligently to gather the evidence you need and build a strong case for compensation for you. When you choose Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we handle everything.

Don’t suffer any longer than is necessary. Reach out to our team to set up a free consultation to discuss your case and options for moving forward. Call our office at (713) 973-8888 today.

Attorney Terry Bryant

Attorney Terry BryantTerry Bryant is Board Certified in personal injury trial law, which means his extensive knowledge of the law has been recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, setting him apart from many other injury attorneys. The 22 years he spent as a Municipal Judge, Spring Valley Village, TX also provides him keen insight into the Texas court system. That experience also helps shape his perspective on personal injury cases and how they might resolve. This unique insight benefits his clients. [ Attorney Bio ]

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