However, navigating the complexities of insurance companies can be challenging. When things don’t fall into place, remember that The Law Offices of Colby Lewis is here to provide free advice on post-car accident matters. Contact us at 832-821-5298.
FAQ 1: How can I secure a rental if someone else caused the accident and they’re insured?
Post-accident, you should promptly file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Provided they accept liability, expect a rental car in a day or two. However, be cautious as insurance companies often seek opportunities to deny your claim.
FAQ 2: Why might the at-fault driver’s insurance company deny liability?
Insurance companies often strive to find fault loopholes to deny payment. Even when the other party clearly caused the car wreck, insurance companies might argue otherwise, denying your rental car claim.
You might be entirely convinced that the other party was indeed responsible for the accident. For instance, they may have rear-ended your vehicle. Regrettably, it’s not uncommon for individuals involved in a car wreck to evade accepting blame. They might claim to their insurance company that you abruptly switched lanes in front of them or hit the brakes unexpectedly just before the collision. If the insurance provider for the party at fault can uncover any justification to attribute the accident to you, they certainly will. In cases where they assign fault to you, you are almost invariably denied a rental car.
FAQ 3: What steps should I take if the at-fault party’s Insurance Company refuses to provide a rental car?
Answer 1: You fight.
To establish that the accident wasn’t your fault, there are certain steps to take. Here are some actions that our law firm would undertake on your behalf if we represented you. Nonetheless, you can also competently carry out these tasks independently:
- Obtain the police report:
- If it indicates that the other party was at fault, submit it to their insurance company.
- If there are inaccuracies, try getting it corrected by the officer who wrote the report.
- Speak with the officer who filed the report:
- Consider asking them to provide a written statement affirming the other person’s fault.
- Conduct recorded interviews of witnesses:
- If liability is disputed, it’s advisable to locate and interview witnesses to the accident. People are often willing to cooperate if you accommodate their schedule. Always ask for their permission before video or audio recording the interview.
Remember, each step helps build a stronger case to confirm you weren’t at fault.
Answer 2: You have the option to pay for the rental car upfront and seek compensation later. According to Texas law, it’s the responsibility of the at-fault party to cover the costs of a rental car for the injured party, not the at-fault party’s insurance company.
If the insurance company of the at-fault party refuses to fund a rental car, you will need to pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault party and secure a court verdict in your favor before you can compel their insurance provider to reimburse you for the rental.
Insurance companies are well-versed in this law and often leverage it to their benefit. They may deny your claim, hoping you’ll back down. They are aware of the capped liability they have towards rental car costs (see question 6 below) and are less concerned about potential reimbursement claims after a court decision, assuming you proceed to file a lawsuit and emerge victorious.
FAQ 4: Will my insurance company cover the rental car if I was not at fault?
The answer varies depending on your insurance coverage. If you’ve opted for rental coverage, your insurance provider will usually cover the cost of a rental car for you. Your insurer would then exercise its right of subrogation, seeking reimbursement from the at-fault party’s insurance company for the rental vehicle cost they’ve covered.
On the other hand, if you do not have rental insurance, typically your insurance company will not foot the bill for a rental car. There is an exception though: if you carry uninsured motorist coverage (even without rental coverage) and you fall victim to a hit-and-run incident, your insurance provider should supply you with a rental car. If they refuse, don’t hesitate to contact us. Their denial could be perceived as bad faith, and you might have grounds to sue them.
FAQ 5: How long am I entitled to a rental car after a car wreck?
If your car is capable of being repaired… Should your car be deemed repairable, you are granted a rental for the duration necessary to fix your vehicle. Regrettably, insurance companies that cover the cost of your rental may hold an unrealistic expectation of a 24/7 work schedule for mechanics and body shops. As a result, they often provide you a rental car for a shorter period than truly needed.
If your car is considered a total loss… In the event your car is deemed a total loss, you have the right to a rental vehicle for the duration it takes to find a suitable replacement. This stems from a relatively recent change in Texas law. Before January 8, 2016, there was ambiguity about whether one was entitled to a rental vehicle in case their car was totaled. However, as per the Texas Supreme Court’s ruling in J&D Towing, LLC v American Alt. Ins. Corp., 478 S.W.3d 649, (Tex. 2016), you have the right to a rental vehicle in the same class as the totaled car for the time it takes to acquire replacement property.
Be prepared, however, as insurance companies can be sluggish in following this law. Don’t be taken aback if an insurer tells you that you’re not eligible for a rental vehicle on the grounds that your car has been designated a total loss.
FAQ 6: What type of rental car am I entitled to?
Under Texas law, you are entitled to a rental car in the same class as your damaged vehicle.
FAQ 7: Can I choose any rental car company?
The answer can vary. Generally, the insurance company covering your rental will have an established partnership with a specific rental car service they would prefer you to utilize. If the insurance company is bearing the cost of your rental, it’s usually best to follow their recommendation to avoid any complications. However, it’s important to remember that when it comes to car repairs, we advise against automatically opting for the repair service the insurance company recommends.
FAQ 8: Am I entitled to a rental car if I am not the owner of the vehicle involved in the wreck?
No. Rental car entitlement is given to the owner, not the driver of the vehicle.
FAQ 9: What if I need financial assistance getting a rental car after a wreck?
At the Colby Lewis law office, we may be able offer a financial assistance program for qualifying clients to secure a rental car after a car wreck. We wait to get repayment upon case resolution. Contact us at 832-821-5298.
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Getting involved in a car wreck can be challenging, and acquiring a rental car afterwards can be complex. Remember that the Colby Lewis Law Office is here to guide you through these hurdles and secure your rightful compensation. For more advice on post-car accident matters or to hire a car accident lawyer, reach out to us.