One of the first challenges you must deal with after a car accident is how to get around when your car is not drive-able. If your car is either in the shop or totaled, you still need to have transportation to get to work or your doctor.
If you have rental car coverage with your own insurance company, it will pay for you to have a rental car for a limited period of time. Typically, you only get a car until your vehicle is released from the body shop or up until the time you settle your property damage claim because your car was totaled. You may have to pay a deductible. Your rental car coverage will only get you into a car. It will usually not pay for XM radio or other subscription services you might have enjoyed.
If you do not have rental car coverage with your own insurance company, you may have to look to the negligent driver’s insurance to pay for your rental car. Unfortunately, they will usually not pay for the rental car up front. Instead, they will issue one check to cover the property damage claim and reimbursement for your rental car for a limited period of time. This could be serious problem for people who do not have the financial resources to pay for a rental car up front and be reimbursed later.
The good news is that even if you do not rent a car while your car is being repaired or evaluated to be totaled, you are still entitled to money for loss of use. Many of my clients borrow a car from friends or family and can still recover a reasonable amount for their loss of use from the negligent driver’s insurer.
If your car is totaled, you will get a check from your insurer (depending upon your coverage and minus any deductible) or the other driver’s insurer, for the value of your vehicle, sales tax and loss of use. Once you receive your check, your right to a rental car ends. You must replace your vehicle at that time. Sadly, the value of the car is often not enough to buy a suitable replacement. This is one of the tragic results of car accidents. Through no fault of your own, you lose the benefit of your automobile and cannot replace it because your perfectly good car has lost its value. Sadly, some people still owe money on car loans that cannot be fully paid off from the property damage settlement. Since this happens so often, we have suggestions for clients on the best way to deal with this unfortunate predicament.
At Ludin Law, we work with our clients to make sure that they receive the full value of their property damage claim and help guide our clients through this challenging and stressful time. Typically, we do not charge a fee to assist with the property damage claim and loss of use claim.
If you have had an accident, call the Personal Injury Lawyers at Ludin Law to learn about your rights.