An obvious concern for anyone involved in a car accident is how they will get around during vehicle repairs. Renting a car could be a very efficient option after a car accident.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you might be eligible to avoid out-of-pocket costs for a rental car. First, you’ll need to find the details of your insurance policy and the at-fault party’s policy. Their insurance may cover your rental car expenses while you wait to get your car back.
Read on to find out how to get a rental car after a Denver car accident. If you have further questions, contact a Denver car accident lawyer. They can review your case and discuss your options for a rental car. They can also help you determine who will pay for the rental fees.
Getting a Rental Car
The first option for your rental car compensation will be the other party’s insurance company. When it comes to accident liability, Colorado follows fault-based insurance laws.
Before 2003, Colorado was one of the few states that used no-fault insurance laws. In a no-fault state, each party will use their insurance to pay for damages, regardless of fault. However, at-fault states have laws placing liability on the negligent, or at-fault, driver. These laws allow accident victims to seek damage compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
The first step is to gather as much information as possible from the at-fault driver. You’ll want to get their name and insurance information, as well as their license plate number and details about their vehicle.
Once you ensure you don’t have any severe injuries and can get to a safe place, call their insurance company to report the accident. Then, you can proceed to file a claim for damages.
Remember to clarify that you will need a rental vehicle when you file your claim. Depending on the other party’s policy coverage, their insurance company may or may not cover the costs.
What Type of Vehicle Can I Rent?
If the other party’s insurance does cover rental costs, you can expect a similar rental to your vehicle. For example, if you drive an economy vehicle, their insurance will compensate you with a temporary vehicle of equal or less caliber. In addition, they may agree to pay for a comparable car if you had a larger vehicle damaged in the accident.
However, consider that insurance companies want to pay the minimum amount possible for your rental car. Therefore, they see it as simply needing to provide you with transportation rather than fairly compensating you for your losses.
How Long Should I Be Able to Keep the Rental Vehicle?
Generally speaking, most insurance companies will pay for your rental car until your car is repaired. Or until you receive compensation for the total loss of your vehicle.
If your car is totaled and the at-fault driver’s insurance is paying the rental costs, they will likely only authorize a rental car for a few days after you reach a settlement agreement.
You will probably need some time to find a new car and purchase it after you receive a check. Therefore, you’ll want to make arrangements for a replacement vehicle to avoid out-of-pocket costs while you find a replacement vehicle.
What About the Days I Did Not Have a Rental Vehicle Following My Accident?
Following an accident, the insurance company will likely take time to investigate and decide if they accept liability. As a result, you may not get immediate approval for rental coverage.
However, in Colorado, you are still entitled to compensation for the lost use of your vehicle. Therefore, even if you did not get a rental car, the at-fault party’s insurance is still responsible for compensating you with a reasonable amount similar to your car’s value.
Your Rental Car Insurance
What happens if you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver? Or perhaps you were in a hit-and-run accident. In those scenarios, the other driver’s insurance would not cover the costs of a rental car. So, in that case, you would turn to your insurer for compensation.
Your insurance can cover the difference for vehicle repairs, lost wages, medical expenses, and rental car costs. If you have rental car insurance, your insurer will cover the costs. This is an optional type of coverage that you may have through collision, comprehensive, or liability insurance coverage. You may need to initially pay out-of-pocket for a rental car and then seek reimbursement from your insurance company.
Some insurance companies work with rental car companies so you don’t have to pay with your own money. Instead, your insurance company will send you their affiliated rental partner. Then they will send the bill directly to your insurance provider. As a result, you can pick up a rental without worrying about a huge bill.
Rental Costs as Part of a Settlement
Regardless of whether another party pays your rental car bills, you can recover the costs later through a settlement. For example, if you get a payment from the at-fault party’s insurer, that could include rental car costs. If the insurance company refuses to agree to a reasonable settlement, you can hire a Denver personal injury lawyer. Your attorney can proceed to court to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
In addition to rental car expenses, an attorney could help you recover for more damages like:
- Physical pain
- Emotional trauma or suffering
- Mental anguish
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
Hiring an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer will increase your chances of a successful trial outcome. Solid legal representation can also help you ensure:
- Determine and establish liability
- Assess your damages to determine their value
- You file your personal injury claim within the statute of limitations
Speak With an Experienced Denver Car Accident Lawyer
If you have questions about your rights to a rental vehicle, contact us today or call 720-500-HURT. Even if you didn’t get a rental after the accident, you might be entitled to compensation for vehicle damages.