If your car is not drivable because of another party’s negligence, they owe you for your property damage, which includes a rental car until they pay you for your car or your car is repaired.
You have the option of either going through your own insurance company or the other party’s insurance company. If you go through your own insurance company for rental, you must have rental coverage. If you do not have rental coverage, they will not pay you for the rental. If you do have coverage, they only pay for your rental while your car is getting repaired, or until they pay you for your car. Your insurance company will not give you extra days of rental to give you time to find a new car. Furthermore, your insurance company will only pay up to the amount of coverage that you have. If you have $30 a day for rental coverage, they will not pay for anything more than that.
If you go through the other party for your property damage, they other party’s insurance company most likely only pay you for your rental on a reimbursement basis. This means that you will have to come out of pocket for your rental while you wait for payment on your car or while your car is getting repaired. If you stall or delay on getting your car paid for or repaired, they will not pay for your rental during that time. You have a duty to mitigate your damages, which means that you must limit your damages as much as possible. For example, if your car is not drivable, you can not let the car sit in the tow yard while you’re in a rental and expect that the other party’s insurance company will pay you for your rental while the car sat in the tow yard.
Your job is to get your car paid for or repaired as quickly as possible. Then the insurance company will reimburse you for your rental. When you get your rental, keep in mind that they will only pay you for a similar make and model. Do not upgrade to a bigger or nicer car when you get a rental and expect them to pay for it. They won’t and they shouldn’t. They owe you for what your actual damages are, nothing more, but nothing less either.
If the other party does not have enough insurance coverage to pay you for your damages to your car and your rental, they will not reimburse you the full amount of your rental. This is important to keep in mind when you come out of pocket for a car. You will get reimbursed some of your money if there are limits issues, but not dollar for dollar.
In some circumstances the other party’s carrier will pay for your rental directly. When insurance companies do this, it makes the process a lot easier for everyone involved. Unfortunately, most insurance companies do not provide direct rentals because they don’t care about what is right or convenient, they care about saving as much money as possible. If they don’t pay for a direct rental, they limit their damages because a lot of people don’t make loss of use claims if there is no rental.
At Lem Garcia Law, we make sure we get you paid for your property damage as much as possible and we do not charge anything for it (we only get paid on your bodily injury claim).
If you’ve been involved in a crash, give us a call and we would be happy to answer any questions or concerns that you might have – for free. Even if you’re not interested in having an attorney represent you, we can provide you with the information that you need to prevent yourself from getting taken advantage of by the insurance company.
Call West Covina car accident lawyer, Lem Garcia, today.
By: Lem Garcia, car accident attorney in West Covina