Rental Car Cost Coverage After An Accident In Washington Explained

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Rental Car Cost Coverage After An Accident In Washington Explained

Suffering injuries in a car accident in Washington can lead to a great deal of pain and frustration and presents some challenging questions for you to answer in the aftermath. Among the most pressing concerns is how you will travel to healthcare appointments, work, or school if your car needs to be repaired or replaced. Many injured individuals need to rent a car to get around after being involved in a collision.

But who pays for a rental car after an accident? This question is vital because other financial concerns, such as medical bills and lost income, can make it impossible for many accident victims to pay out of pocket for a rental car. Determining who pays for rental car coverage depends on several factors, such as who was at fault for the crash, whether negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance go smoothly, and the terms of your own insurance policy.

What Happens If the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company Accepts Responsibility?

Many injured individuals wonder, “Does the at-fault driver pay for my rental car?” If the at-fault driver’s insurance company accepts responsibility for the accident, they will typically cover the cost of your rental car. In most cases, you must pay for the rental car upfront and then submit your receipts to the insurance company for reimbursement. The insurance company will likely have a daily limit on how much they will pay for a rental car, so it is essential to clarify this with the adjuster before renting a vehicle.

What Happens If the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company Denies Responsibility?

If the at-fault driver’s insurance company denies responsibility for the accident, you may need to turn to your own insurance company for assistance. If you have rental car coverage as part of your policy, your insurance company will likely cover the cost of your rental car. However, you will still need to pay any applicable deductibles before your coverage kicks in.

If you do not have rental car coverage, you may need to pay for the rental car out of pocket and then seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company once liability has been established. This process can be lengthy and challenging, so it’s often beneficial to work with an experienced car accident attorney who can handle these negotiations on your behalf.

When Can I Get the Rental Car?

If your vehicle is damaged and undrivable due to an accident caused by another party’s negligent actions, the at-fault party is required to compensate you for the loss of use of your car for the entirety of the period that you cannot drive it. As such, you will be eligible for rental car coverage immediately.

What Kind of Rental Car Can I Get?

When renting a vehicle after an accident, the insurance company should cover the cost of a car similar to your own. For example, if your damaged vehicle is a pickup truck, you will be eligible to rent a similar truck rather than settling for a compact car.

How Long Can I Keep the Rental Car?

The length of time you can keep your rental car will depend on several factors, including the extent of the damage to your vehicle and how long it takes to complete the necessary repairs. In most cases, the insurance company will allow you to keep the rental car until your own vehicle is ready to be picked up from the repair shop.

What If My Vehicle Is a Total Loss?

If your car has been totaled in the accident, the insurance company will generally pay for your rental car until the day your compensation offer is finalized. However, they might give you a grace period of a few days while you wait to receive the funds, and so that you can have time to shop for your new vehicle.

Can I Get Reimbursed for Rental Costs If I Do Not Need to Rent a Car?

In some instances, you might not require a rental car. For example, you might have a second vehicle, or a friend might offer to let you use their car while you await repairs on your own. In such cases, you can ask the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster to cash you out for the total amount you would have been eligible to receive for your car rental. These types of payments are known as “loss of use” in insurance terminology.

However, if the insurance company is reluctant to accept liability, an attorney with sharp negotiation skills can help the process move more smoothly. Alternatively, you might need to turn to your own insurance for loss of use payments. 

How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?

Rental Car Cost Coverage After An Accident In Washington ExplainedThe process of renting a car after an accident can be challenging, especially if you are also dealing with injuries and other losses. A skilled car accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and options. They can work with the insurance companies on your behalf to increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.

Your attorney can also help you secure a rental car if the insurance company is being uncooperative, and they can advise you on how long you can reasonably expect to keep the rental based on the specific circumstances of your case. Additionally, your lawyer can help you explore all available options for covering the cost of your rental car, including seeking reimbursement from your own insurance company or pursuing a claim against the at-fault driver.

Contact Tamaki Law Today

If you have recently been injured in a car accident in Washington and need assistance securing a rental car or with any aspect of your insurance claim, contact Tamaki Law today. Our team of experienced car accident lawyers has been helping injured individuals in Washington since 1994, and we are ready to put our skills and knowledge to work for you. Call us today at (800) 801-9564 or fill out our online form for a free consultation with one of our car accident attorneys in Washington.