Who Pays For a Rental Car After an Accident in Georgia?
The car accident lawyers from our Atlanta law firm explain
Georgia is a “fault” state, so if you’ve been involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, the driver who caused your crash may be legally responsible for your damages.
While this means the driver and their insurance company may have to compensate you for medical expenses and property damage to your vehicle, it also means that they’ll have to pay for the cost of your rental car while your vehicle is being repaired.
If your car was totaled in the accident and is a complete loss, the at-fault driver will also be liable for the cost of your rental car for a reasonable period of time while you find another vehicle.
In either case, they must pay for a rental car that’s comparable to the vehicle you were driving. That means if you were driving an SUV or a four-door sedan, they can’t stick you in a compact car.
How to get your rental car paid for after an accident
While the at-fault driver is responsible for your rental car expenses, it can take time to have your claim approved by their insurance company. How are you supposed to get around until they authorize your claim? What if they deny your claim?
You still need a vehicle, and luckily you have a few options:
- If the at-fault driver’s insurance company accepts your claim, they’ll make arrangements with a rental car company to get you a vehicle. Make sure that what they give you is comparable to your damaged or totaled vehicle. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to take advantage of crash victims by sticking them in the most inexpensive vehicle a rental car company has to offer. You are entitled to get a rental car that is equivalent to or similar to your damaged or totaled vehicle.
- Rental car insurance isn’t required in Georgia, but some drivers carry it on their insurance policy anyway. Check with your insurance company or consult with a car accident lawyer to see if you’re covered under rental car reimbursement. If you are, your policy should cover the expense of a rental. Then it’ll be up to your insurance company to get compensated from the at-fault driver. Also check to see if you have uninsured driver insurance. If the at-fault driver doesn’t have any insurance at all and you have uninsured driver insurance included on your policy, you can file a claim with your own insurance company.
- In the event that you don’t have rental car coverage or uninsured driver insurance on your policy and the at-fault driver’s insurance company has not accepted your claim, things can get tricky. You’ll need to decide if you can pay for the cost of a rental out of pocket and hope to get reimbursed by the at-fault driver’s insurance company at a later time. Many times, however, insurance companies will delay or deny your claim. This is why so many people in Atlanta and throughout Georgia choose to hire an experienced car accident lawyer from Gary Martin Hays & Associates. Our attorneys can settle your claim quickly so you can get a rental car while your vehicle is in the repair shop.