Who Is Responsible for Providing Me With a Rental Car After an Accident?
After a disastrous collision, your car may be inoperable for days or even weeks. While your vehicle is in the shop, how will you get to work, drive kids to school, or get food? Most drivers rely on rental vehicles after crashes to get around while their cars are at the mechanic’s. If someone else caused your collision, however, you shouldn’t have to pay for your rental vehicle. Find out who may be responsible for furnishing you with a rental after a car accident in Arizona.
Arizona Car Insurance Laws
Driving a rental car for days or weeks can amount to hundreds of dollars in costs. Since Arizona is a fault-based car insurance state, the person who caused your collision will be responsible for paying these expenses. More specifically, that person’s auto insurance company will be responsible. It is up to you, the police, an insurance company, and/or an attorney to investigate the car accident and assign fault. Do not admit fault for an accident, even if you think you were responsible. Wait for investigators to assign fault.
Once authorities determine the at-fault party, you (the victim) will call that person’s auto insurance company to file a claim. During your conversation with the insurance agent, stick to the facts and don’t speculate about fault. Answer questions honestly, but be brief in your answers. The other driver’s auto insurance company is not on your side. The claims adjuster is looking for a reason to deny the claim or reduce your compensation award. Be careful what you say, and don’t agree to give a recorded statement. The insurer can use what you say against you later.
How to Request Payment for a Rental Vehicle
During your conversation with the liable party’s insurance company, explain to the agent that you had your vehicle towed from the scene and that it’s currently at an auto repair shop. Request a rental vehicle from the insurance company. The at-fault driver’s insurance company is the party responsible for providing you with a rental car after a collision. The insurance agent should walk you through the steps of how to obtain the rental car while you wait for your vehicle to come back from the shop.
The other driver’s insurance company should fully cover the costs of your rental vehicle. However, if the other driver doesn’t have adequate insurance coverage, your insurance policy may step in to fill the gap. Normally, the task of requesting reimbursement for a rental vehicle goes smoothly. The insurance company will pay the rental car bill for a vehicle that’s comparable to the one you were driving at the time of the wreck. Don’t expect the insurance company to pay for a sports car, for example, if you normally drive a four-door sedan.
In most cases, the insurance company will direct you to a rental car company with which it has a partnership. Once you arrive, you will receive the rental vehicle free of charge, as the car company will bill the insurer directly for the cost. Otherwise, you’ll be able to choose your rental car provider, but you may have to pay for the vehicle out-of-pocket before you receive a reimbursement check from the insurance company. Discuss your options with the insurer for more information.
What If You Caused the Accident?
If you were the one who caused the crash, it will be your own insurance company that provides you with a rental car during vehicle repairs. However, this is only the case if your auto insurance policy includes rental coverage. Ask your agent if you have this coverage. If not, your only option may be to pay for the rental yourself. Therefore, it is important not to claim fault until an investigation proves you caused the wreck. Contacting an attorney is a wise decision if you don’t know who caused your crash. A car accident lawyer can represent your best interests during insurance claim negotiations and help you pay for a rental vehicle.
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