An Atlanta car accident lawyer explains how the system works in Georgia
After a car accident, your vehicle might have a lot of damage and need extensive repairs or to be completely replaced. When that happens, you might not be able to drive your car for several days or weeks while your car is being repaired or the damage is being assessed.
If you don’t have access to your vehicle during this time, getting a rental car is usually the next best option. But who pays for the cost of a rental car after an accident? Are you covered under your own auto insurance policy? Or should you file a car rental reimbursement claim with the other driver’s insurance company?
Many people have these questions after a bad car wreck, especially if the collision was caused by another driver. Below, you can find the answers to these questions and many more, courtesy of an experienced car accident attorney in Atlanta who handles accident claims throughout Georgia.
Does my insurance pay for a rental car after an accident?
The short answer to this question? Maybe. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the answer often depends on several different factors, including what type of car insurance you have and the circumstances of your crash.
If you have rental reimbursement coverage as part of your car insurance package, the cost of renting a car after an accident should be covered by such insurance, regardless of who was at fault. Car rental reimbursement coverage also often covers other transportation costs (public transportation, taxicab fares, Uber or Lyft rides, etc.) if you cannot drive your vehicle after your accident.
Rental reimbursement coverage is optional and an extra premium on top of most car insurance policies. Car rental coverage also often has certain limits, including how much your insurance company will pay each day for a rental car (often $30 a day) and how long your insurance will pay for a rental car (often a maximum of 30 days).
But just because you have car rental reimbursement insurance doesn’t automatically mean that your insurance company will pay for a rental car after an accident. Some insurance companies can be very slow to respond when it comes to reimbursing drivers for a rental car.
You should also read the fine print in your insurance policy, which may place additional restrictions on your rental car. Sometimes, insurance companies want you to rent from a specific preferred rental car company. If you rent a car from another company, your insurance company might deny your car rental claim.
And don’t be surprised if there’s some debate about who was at fault and caused your collision, which can also complicate the rental car process.
Does the other driver’s insurance pay for a rental car after an accident?
Even if you have car rental reimbursement coverage, you may be able to pursue a car rental claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Many people choose this option since filing a car rental claim with your own insurance company could potentially raise your insurance rates.
In order to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, you will likely need to prove that the other driver was at fault and caused the accident. This is especially true if you live in an at-fault car insurance state, such as Georgia.
In an at-fault state, the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company is generally responsible for all the injury victim’s accident-related expenses (damages), including rental car fees. This might sound straightforward. But in many cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will reject or deny the car rental claim, even if the other driver was clearly at fault.
What should I do if my car rental claim is denied?
Insurance providers often deny rental car claims after a car accident, especially if there’s a debate about who caused the collision. As we mentioned above, your insurance company might deny the claim because you rented a car from a company that's not approved by your insurance provider.
But in most cases, car rental reimbursement claims are rejected after an accident because the other driver’s insurance company denies liability. When that happens, don’t try to debate the issue with the other driver’s insurance company. Talk to a lawyer right away and have them deal directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your behalf.
How can an attorney help?
When you have an experienced attorney on your side after an accident, you can dictate what happens next, including making sure you get the rental car you need while your car is being repaired or the damage is being assessed. This process can often take several weeks. During that time, you should not have to be without a car. And you should not have to pay for the cost of renting a car, especially if you have rental reimbursement coverage or the other driver was clearly at fault.
We understand how the insurance system works in Georgia. That’s why many people dealing with complicated claims turn to us. Our law firm can help you every step of the way, whether that's reviewing your insurance policy or conducting an in-depth, independent investigation into your accident—we leave no stone unturned.
Our detailed approach consistently produces results. Since our law firm was founded in 1993, we have recovered more than $1 billion in settlements and verdicts for injury victims and their families throughout Georgia.
Learn more about how we can help you and contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer. We have six offices conveniently located throughout Georgia.