Motor vehicles can affect the lives of those involved in more ways than one. Undoubtedly, the most devastating consequence is personal injury, but property damage can also significantly reduce a driver's overall quality of life.
In the wake of a tragic car accident, drivers often wonder what their options are as they wait for their vehicles to be repaired. Does the at-fault driver pay for the rental car in New York?
This article will provide a comprehensive answer to this pressing question and offer more information about the options victims have in the wake of a tragic accident.
Who Will Pay for the Rental Car Following a Car Accident?
The person responsible for footing the bill will vary depending on who was at fault.
When Someone Else Is at Fault
When a car crash occurs as the result of the negligence or carelessness of another motorist, the victim will file a claim with that driver's insurance provider. The at-fault driver's insurance company will cover the cost of the victim's property damage and provide compensation for their injuries. The insurer will also pay for the car rental cost, so it's important to notify them that additional rental car coverage is required.
In most cases, the insurer will direct the driver to a car rental company with which they have formed a partnership. It's important for victims to keep in mind that there are certain limitations placed on this kind of coverage and that insurance companies will not pay for luxury rental vehicles. Generally, the rental vehicle will be comparable to the victim's own car.
When the Motorist Who Requires the Rental Car Was Partially or Fully to Blame
If the driver caused the collision, their insurance provider will be liable for compensating the other motorist for any injuries or property damage they may have caused. In the event of a crash with another vehicle, the at-fault driver's collision insurance will pay for the restoration of their car. On the other hand, liability insurance (basic auto insurance) covers the other motorist and not the actual policyholder.
Even though they were at fault, the driver will need a rented car if the collision causes serious damage to their vehicle. Motorists may receive coverage from their own insurance, depending on the type of insurance policy they chose. This is why it's important for drivers to ask pertinent questions when applying for insurance coverage so that they know what to expect when a crash occurs.
It's also important to take note of the restrictions and limitations that exist. Many insurers offer coverage for a certain number of days, after which the driver will have to cover the cost of the rental car themselves.
When There Is Dispute Over Who Was At-fault
Motorists can find themselves in a difficult situation if they and the other driver cannot agree on who was at fault for the collision. Both parties can file a claim with their respective insurance companies and request rental vehicles.
Their insurer may contest whether their client was at fault for the collision and rejects the request for a rental car. This can leave drivers without a vehicle, as resolving disputes over who was at fault can take a long time.
In such a case, either motorist can choose to ask their own insurance company to cover the car rental fees, or they can pay for their own rental vehicle. If it is found that the other driver was at-fault, the relevant insurance company will provide a rental car reimbursement to the party that paid the fees.
Can a Driver File a Claim for Rental Car Coverage with Their Own Insurance Company?
New York law requires that all motorists purchase liability coverage to register a car in the state. This type of coverage is designed to cover the policyholder's expenses following a motor vehicle accident. In most cases, claims made with one's own insurance company are often processed a lot faster. However, going this route does present a number of limitations.
Here are some of the reasons why it may be best to file a claim with the other driver's insurance company instead:
The amount that is covered will depend largely on the type of plan that was purchased. It may not be sufficient to cover the rental car fees in its entirety.
When the other driver's insurance company covers the cost of a rental vehicle, the coverage typically lasts until the car has been repaired, whereas a motorist's own insurer may restrict the number of days that it will pay for a rental vehicle.
Rental car coverage is often low, which may not be sufficient to rent a car that's similar to the one that was damaged.
Victims Can Turn to a Trusted Car Accident Lawyer to Ensure That Their Legal Rights Are Protected
The aftermath of a car accident can be messy, and when insurance companies are involved, it's easy for drivers to be taken advantage of. Victims often receive low settlement offers and are blamed for causing the crash when it was the other driver who was at fault.
When this happens, it's important to turn to an experienced car accident attorney for expert advice. If there were injuries involved, victims must pursue fair compensation, which in many cases is often only possible with the right legal representation.
The seasoned attorneys at The Law Office of Carl Maltese are ready to go the extra mile for car crash victims, ensuring that they receive the compensation they are rightfully due. They can help with questions like, "Can you go to jail for a car accident in New York?"
Drivers are encouraged to call the firm at (631) 857-3703 for expert legal advice.
Frequently Asked Questions
The section below provides answers to some of the questions drivers often ask about car insurance, rental car accidents, and more.
How long will car rental insurance cover the cost of a rented vehicle?
Most insurers provide coverage for rental cars until the damaged vehicle is fully repaired. However, it's best to check with the company to learn more about coverage limitations.
What happens if there is a rental car accident?
In the event that the driver is involved in an accident with the rented vehicle, the first thing that he or she will need to do is check the details of the rental car insurance policy. Most rental car companies will offer insurance that can be purchased for a small amount. Furthermore, liability insurance will cover the expenses associated with rental car accidents.
When does the other driver's insurance company pay for a rental car?
The insurance provider will only cover the cost of a rental vehicle for the other driver when their client has been identified as the one at fault for the accident. If the other motorist was partially to blame or was the one to blame for the crash, then they will need to either pay for their own rental car or file a claim with their own insurance company.
How can a car accident attorney help me following a motor vehicle crash?
Although many view the services of a car accident law firm in Long Island as unnecessary in such cases and choose to handle the matter with the respective insurance companies on their own, many understand the benefits of having a legal representative on their side.
The reality is that insurance companies are businesses, and their main objective is to make a profit. This means that they will be working in their own best interest and not that of the driver. However, a car accident lawyer works to ensure that the legal rights of their client are protected. They will also ensure that victims receive a fair offer where settlements are concerned, as they take into account past and future expenses where injuries are involved.
Lawyers also help by investigating the claim to establish liability and will represent their clients in court should the matter be escalated.
Is it possible for drivers to get a car that is similar to their own car?
When a claim has been processed and approved, the insurer will often work with a partnered rental car company to ensure that drivers get a vehicle to use while theirs is being repaired. In most cases, the vehicle will be similar to the one that was damaged, especially if it's the other driver's insurance company that's footing the bill.
However, if motorists file a claim with their own insurance provider, the chances that they will get a car comparable to their own are lower, as the insurance company will do all it can to reduce costs and save money. There may also be limitations stipulated in the policy, so it's best for drivers to check this document or call their insurance provider to learn more.
Are there any costs that the driver will need to cover?
The rental company may insist on having a credit card on file before releasing the leased vehicle to the driver, even though an insurance company may be the one paying for it. It's important for the motorist to get in touch with the car rental business if they don't have a credit card to find out if they will accept another means.
There is also the question of additional rental car insurance, which covers damage to the vehicle. However, it's important for drivers to remember that any damage to the rental car would be covered by their collision insurance, so getting additional insurance may be unnecessary and expensive.