Who Pays for Your Car Rental After an Accident in PA?
In the aftermath of a car accident, determining who is responsible for covering the costs of a rental car can be a complex process. Fortunately, you will usually have a few options to choose from to keep you from having to pay out of pocket.
After a car accident in Pennsylvania, one of the most pressing concerns you might have is who will pay for your car rental while your vehicle is being repaired or replaced. The answer to this question is not always straightforward and depends on a variety of factors, including the types of insurance coverage you and the other driver have. Thus, it is important to consider all potential sources of coverage and seek our legal advice. You should not be left to shoulder the burden of rental car costs alone and deserve to receive compensation for your damages and injuries.
For a free case assessment, speak with our Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm today at (215) 709-6940.
How is a Rental Car Paid for After an Accident in Pennsylvania?
The situation can be extraordinarily complicated if you are involved in an accident while driving a rental car. In this case, several entities could potentially be responsible for costs like medical expenses and property damage. However, responsibility will depend on the specific policies of these parties and the details of your accident. Our Philadelphia car accident attorneys can help you sort out this mess and determine the best way to obtain your compensation. The following methods could potentially be used to pay for a car rental after an accident:
At-Fault Insurance Coverage
In Pennsylvania, drivers have the option to choose between traditional car insurance coverage and no-fault coverage. If you opt for traditional coverage and are involved in an accident where the other driver is at fault, you have the option to file a claim with their insurance company for rental reimbursement. In such a scenario, the at-fault driver’s liability coverage should cover your rental car costs.
However, obtaining reimbursement for your rental car expenses could require negotiation with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, which might take some time. It is always recommended to check with your own insurance provider as well to see if your policy offers any additional rental car coverage options.
No-Fault Insurance Coverage
If you have opted for no-fault coverage while purchasing your insurance policy, it means that regardless of who was at fault for the accident, you would typically turn to your own insurance company for compensation. This coverage is designed to provide quick and efficient payment for damages, medical expenses, and any other losses without the need for litigation or determining who was at fault.
If you have rental coverage included in your policy, your insurer should cover your rental costs up to your policy’s daily limit and total maximum amount. Rental coverage is an optional add-on to your insurance policy that can help pay for the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired or replaced after an accident.
The rental coverage daily limit and total maximum amount might vary depending on the policy you have chosen. That is why it is important to review your policy document carefully to determine what is covered and what is not.
Car Rental Insurance Coverage
Car rental coverage, or rental reimbursement coverage, is an optional add-on to your auto insurance policy that can provide you with financial assistance if your car needs to be repaired after an accident. This type of coverage can help cover the cost of renting a replacement vehicle while your car is in the shop up to the limit specified in your policy.
This can help you avoid being without transportation during the repair process, which can be especially important if you rely on your vehicle for work or other daily activities. However, it is worth noting that if you do not have rental reimbursement coverage and your car is in the shop because of an accident, you might need to find alternative transportation options that are not covered by your insurance.
Credit Card Company
In certain situations, the credit card company that you used to pay for the rental might provide coverage for the damages. This is because many credit card companies offer rental car insurance as a benefit to their cardholders.
In such cases, this coverage can act as secondary insurance, supplementing the coverage that you already have under your primary insurance policy. This means that if your primary insurance coverage doesn’t pay for the full cost of the damages, your credit card’s rental car insurance might cover the remaining balance.
However, keep in mind that the specifics of this coverage can vary depending on the credit card company and the terms of your particular credit card agreement, so it is always a good idea to review your policy before renting a car.
The Defendant in a Lawsuit
When you get into a car accident, one of the biggest inconveniences you might face is not having a car to drive while your own vehicle is being repaired. However, if someone else’s negligence or recklessness caused the accident and you have to rent a car while yours is being repaired, you might be able to recover the rental car costs. This usually happens when you file a lawsuit against the person responsible for the accident, and the court finds them at fault.
In such cases, the defendant could be ordered to pay for your rental car expenses. This is typically done to compensate you for the inconvenience of renting a car while your car is being repaired. However, not all accidents lead to this outcome, and the amount of compensation you might receive can vary depending on the specifics of your case.
If the defendant’s actions were particularly reckless, or if their insurance coverage is insufficient to cover all the damages, you might be more likely to receive compensation for your rental car costs. Additionally, the amount you receive might be limited to a certain number of days or a certain amount of money per day.
How Contributory Negligence Could Impact Your Car Rental Case in Pennsylvania
Contributory negligence is a legal concept that comes into play when the injured party in an accident is partially at fault for their own injuries. In some jurisdictions, if you are found to be even slightly at fault for the accident, you might be barred from recovering any compensation. However, Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which allows you to recover damages as long as you are less than 51% at fault.
In a car rental case, contributory negligence could come into play in several ways. For instance, if you were driving the rental car and caused the accident because of your own negligence, this could reduce or eliminate your ability to recover damages from the other party or their insurance company. Similarly, if you failed to purchase insurance coverage for the rental car and this contributed to your losses, this could also be considered contributory negligence.
Our Pennsylvania Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
Contact The Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940 for your free case review with our Berks County, PA car accident attorneys.