Does the At-fault Driver Pay for Rental Car in Indiana? What to Know
Whenever a negligent driver causes an accident, one of the victim's immediate concerns is to seek medical treatment. Then, they have to focus on getting the vehicle replaced if it's considered a total loss or repaired if possible.
Most people rely on their vehicles to take them to work and run errands. They can't afford to be without it for a day or longer. However, they don't want the burden of getting a rental car themselves and feel entitled to reimbursement from the other driver. Is this normal, and is it possible? Yes.
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help victims get rental cars through the other driver and their insurance company. Whether the vehicle was totaled or in the repair shop for a while, it's possible to seek compensation for property damage. They can also answer questions like, "How long can you sue after a car accident in Indiana?"
Does One File a Claim for the Car Rental with Their Own Insurance Company?
There's more than one way to get a car rental while waiting for the vehicle to get repaired or while negotiating for a settlement with the insurance company. Here are the options available for car rental:
The Negligent Driver's Insurance Company - The victim has the right to file a claim for compensation, and the negligent driver is responsible for paying it out. This includes rental costs while the vehicle is replaced or repaired. The other driver and their insurance policy would pay that as part of the settlement offer.
One's Own Insurance Company - The victim isn't required to buy car rental insurance in Indiana. However, if one gets that insurance, they can file claims for the car rental costs, even if the other party had insurance that would end up paying out.
Pros and Cons of Filing the Car Rental Claim with the Insurance Company After a Car Accident
The victim must determine which insurance company to file the car rental claim with, which could be their own insurance company or the other driver's insurance company. There are pros and cons of each, and they include:
The claim with the victim's insurance company might get processed faster, so they will have the rental car much sooner.
Victims who have rental insurance get covered based on the coverage purchased. Often, there's a maximum amount that the insurance company pays per day for the car rental and possibly a maximum amount for coverage. That might require the victim to pay out-of-pocket expenses that must be recovered from the at-fault party.
The daily rental car rate for rental car coverage could be around $30, which might not be enough to rent the vehicle needed or preferred.
The other driver's insurance company should be held responsible for paying the car rental while the vehicle gets replaced or repaired. There's no fixed limit for coverage days like under the victim's own car insurance policy.
If the negligent driver had no insurance coverage, it might be difficult to get compensation. However, an Indianapolis vehicle accident lawyer at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can fight this. Still, if the victim had uninsured motorist coverage at the time of the accident, they could use that to cover expenses until they win the lawsuit.
The other party's insurance company must investigate the claim before authorizing car rentals. Therefore, the victim might not have a vehicle for weeks while the process occurs.
Can One Get a Comparable Vehicle to Their Current Car?
Once the claim for the rental car is approved, many insurance companies work with the rental company to get the rental quickly. However, the victim might have to pick it up, though it could be delivered directly to them. Overall, the insurance company wants to keep costs low whenever possible, so it generally offers the smallest and cheapest vehicle there.
Many people wonder if they have a right to choose something comparable to their own vehicle. This depends on the insurance company paying for it. If the claim was filed with the negligent driver's insurance company, it's responsible for giving the victim a vehicle similar to the one driven prior to the accident.
However, the victim's auto insurance policy must do the same, though it has limitations based on the coverage signed for initially. For example, if the policy requires the insurance company to pay only $30 a day, that might not be enough.
If the victim has a strong preference, it might be wise to go with the insurance company of the at-fault motorist for the rental car.
How Long Can One Rent a Vehicle?
Generally, one is entitled to keep a rental vehicle during the period when their car is getting fixed or replaced. If it can be repaired, the victim must pick it up and return the rental car as soon as possible. When using the victim's own insurance, collision coverage is generally required for this to happen.
However, if the negligent driver's insurance company is covering the rental car and the original vehicle was totaled, the adjuster won't authorize the rental car for a few days because they want to settle the claim for as little as possible.
The victim should have a replacement vehicle in mind so that they don't incur rental car fees while deciding what new vehicle to get.
Will the Car Accident Victim Have to Pay a Deposit?
While the negligent driver's or the victim's insurance company will pay for the rental car, the car rental company might require a credit card to be on file before it will release it to the victim. If they don't have a credit card, they'll have to call the car rental company to determine if it'll accept a deposit or work with them for other options.
The car rental company might try and convince victims to buy additional insurance. If the victim already has collision insurance that covers damages to the rental vehicle, so it's unnecessary.
Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Today!
If one needs to file insurance claims for property damage, they will generally find it difficult. The car insurance company will probably delay paying for the car accident. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help advise one topics like, "Who pays for medical bills in a car accident in Indiana?"
It's wise to contact a lawyer from Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys at (833) 692-5038 to schedule a consultation. This law firm has helped countless clients with insurance claims after car accidents. Call or use the online form to request a free consultation!