Have you recently been in an automobile accident and are getting your vehicle repaired? If so, you are probably asking yourself, “How am I supposed to get back and forth while my car is in the shop?” Chances are, if you have been in a serious accident, you are having to get around to medical appointments on top of everywhere else you need to go. Being without a vehicle can add stress to an already stressful situation.
Let’s face it, relying on public transportation is not an option for everyone, especially if you do not live in a city or nearby suburb. Also, it can get pretty expensive to be handing money over to taxis, Ubers, Lyfts, and/or friends or family who are helping to drive you around. If you have a fully comprehensive auto insurance policy on your vehicle, you might qualify for a rental car to help get you around until your vehicle is done in the shop. A courtesy car can be provided for your use by the repair shop. If it is not a standard part of your insurance policy, you might have the option to purchase this extra feature.
If you have been in an automobile accident and must wait while your vehicle is in the shop undergoing repairs, there are ways to get back and forth from where you need to go. Depending on who your auto insurance provider is and what kind of plan you are signed up for, you might be able to qualify for a rental car to drive while your vehicle is in the shop getting repaired. You should check with your insurance provider to see whether a rental car is provided for under your plan. This policy will differ from insurer to insurer.
Certain stipulations might also vary based on where you live. In certain states, such as Florida, the acquisition of a rental car is entirely up to the at fault driver’s insurance company. In Arizona, you can receive compensation for charges incurred if you have to rent a vehicle while yours is in the shop. If you are not the at-fault driver and your car is being fixed courtesy of the at fault driver’s auto insurance provider, you can qualify for a rental vehicle through their policy. It is considered a part of their responsibility to you as the not-at-fault driver.
However, if you are getting your car repaired under your own policy, you need to have renter’s insurance on your policy in order to qualify for a rental vehicle. If there is no at fault driver (for example, if your car is damaged by wind, hale, a fallen tree limb, hits an animal, or is damaged by vandalism or theft), chances are you can qualify for a rental vehicle, but you must check your comprehensive coverage policy with your auto insurance provider to know for sure.
If you qualify for a rental vehicle, you should be aware that the rental vehicle you receive will generally be comparable to your personal vehicle that was involved in the accident. If you were driving a four door sedan, you will likely end up driving something similar, not a sporty convertible or large pick-up truck.
Be warned, especially if you were not injured in the accident that damaged your vehicle, you might have a difficult time with the rental company letting you rent a car. If the process goes smoothly, the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company will immediately accept liability for the collision. Should this be the case, they will pay the cost of your car rental until they are able to pay you the fair market value for your damaged or totaled personal vehicle.
Of course, things do not always go smoothly when you are dealing with collisions and auto insurance policies. If the at-fault driver’s insurance company makes no decision (which sometimes happens when they are unable to contact the at-fault driver to get their version of the collision), you can contact your auto insurance company to see if you are covered by renter’s insurance. Unfortunately, if the at-fault driver’s insurance denies responsibility or makes no decision, you will have to front the money for the rental charges, at least until the insurance company makes a decision or the at-fault driver claims responsibility.
Dealing with auto insurance companies and at-fault drivers can be nothing short of a nightmare, especially when you are without a vehicle of your own and/or are coping with injuries from an automobile accident. If you have been injured in an auto accident and need legal assistance, contact Phoenix’s top-notch personal injury lawyers at Lamber Goodnow to learn about your rights.