For many of us North Texans, our car is a lifeline. It’s how we drive to work, transport our children to school, and run errands. When someone hits you and you can no longer drive your car, it’s more than just an inconvenience—it makes it exceedingly difficult to keep your life moving.
So, how do you get a car rental after someone hits you? And, how quickly can you get one? Unfortunately, sometimes insurance companies make getting a rental car a complicated and drawn-out process.
In this article, our Carrollton car accident attorneys will explain the different avenues you have to get a rental vehicle and how to deal with insurance companies that may deny or delay your rental request.
How Do I Start the Process of Getting a Rental Car? And How Long Will It Take?
The first thing you’ll need to do is file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company and ask them to provide a rental car for you while yours is out of service.
Sometimes this process goes smoothly. Every once in a while, the insurance company accepts that their client was clearly at fault, they’ll have you in a rental vehicle within a few days, and everything falls into place. The carrier will then pay for your rental until your car is repaired or you get the check for the value of your totaled car. But, most of the time, they like to take the hard road and find any excuse to delay or deny your rental car request.
Why the Rental Car Process Sometimes Gets Dragged Out
Every part of the car accident claim process hinges on the concept of liability (or who was at fault). Whether you’re seeking compensation for your injuries or a rental, you must prove that the other person is responsible for the accident.
Unfortunately, many people tend to shirk responsibility when they realize they may be on the hook for damages or if they think that their auto insurance rates will go up. Maybe they tell their insurance company that you slammed on your brakes or pulled in front of them right before they hit you to minimize the blame. When liability is in question, both the other driver’s insurance company and your insurance company will investigate the crash to determine who’s at fault.
During this investigation, the other driver’s insurance company will likely try to find any reason to avoid compensating you. Remember, insurance companies are in the business of profits, and they don’t make those profits by simply paying for victims’ rental cars. More often than not, they will either flat out deny their driver was responsible and deny you a rental car, or keep telling you that they’re withholding a decision until they complete their investigation. Worse, they may even argue that your insurance company should pay for their client’s rental car.
When disputes over fault happen, it’s always advisable to consult with a team of Carrollton car accident attorneys so you can a) get the compensation you need and b) avoid being on the hook for the other party’s losses.
So, What Do You Do If The Other Party's Insurance Company Denies or Delays Your Rental?
If they’re putting up a fight, you’ll need to put up a fight too. You’ll need to prove that you’re not at fault for the wreck and that the other party is liable for covering your losses. You can do this on your own by gathering police reports, witness testimonials, and camera footage. However, this is a time-consuming process, and if you’re recovering from injuries and don’t have the capability to get around town, this might not be the most effective route.
If you really want the insurance companies to speed up the process, you’ll want to talk to a team of Carrollton car accident attorneys. When they realize that you’re serious about getting what you’re entitled to and that you might take legal action, they’ll likely stop playing their games. If they continue to deny liability, a car accident attorney can gather all the evidence you need to prove fault—and, if necessary, file a suit against them.
This process may take a while to play out, and you probably need a rental now. In the meantime, you can either ask your insurance company to cover the cost of a rental or pay the money upfront and seek reimbursement later.
Will My Insurance Company Cover the Cost of My Rental?
If you need a rental right away, your insurance company might help you get a car quicker than the at-fault party’s insurance carrier. Talk to your insurance agent to see whether or not you have coverage for all or part of the cost of a rental vehicle. If you do have coverage, your insurance company will pay for the rental and will seek reimbursement for any rental cost and vehicle repairs they covered by going after the at-fault party.
What If I Don't Have Rental Coverage?
If you don’t have rental car coverage under your policy, unfortunately, you’ll likely have to front the money for a rental while the dispute is being sorted out with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier. It’s not fair, but you’ll eventually get reimbursement for these costs when your claim is resolved.
Our Carrollton Car Accident Attorneys Will Fight to Get You Back on The Road and Headed Towards Recovery
It’s easy for a multi-million dollar insurance company to say that they’ll reimburse you once the investigation is finished. But, they don’t understand that the average car accident victim probably can’t afford to front the cost of a rental while they’re vehicle is out of service. That’s why it’s critical to speak with a team of Carrollton car accident attorneys. If you’re putting money on the line to pay for your rental, they can help you win compensation for these costs and other losses, like medical bills and property damage.
At The Law Office of Tim O’Hare, our attorneys have an average of over 20 years of experience fighting for the rights of car accident victims. Plus, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything unless you receive compensation for your losses. Contact us today for a free consultation. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.