Who Pays for the Rental Car After an Accident in Atlanta

an Atlanta car accident lawyer will negotiate compensation for renting a car

Navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be stressful and confusing, as you try to assess your injuries and how long it will take to recover. But what happens when you also need a rental car to get around while your wrecked car is being fixed? An Atlanta car accident lawyer explains Georgia laws to answer the crucial question: who pays for the rental car after an accident?

The At-Fault Driver’s Responsibility

In Georgia, the at-fault driver in an accident is generally responsible for all damages incurred, including the cost of a rental car for the victim. This principle stems from the state’s “fault-based” insurance system, which holds the party responsible for the accident liable for compensating the other party.

Therefore, if you were not at fault in the accident, the other driver’s insurance company should cover the reasonable cost of your rental car while your car is being repaired. This coverage typically lasts until your car is fixed or deemed a total loss.

Claiming Your Rental Car Costs

So, how do you actually get your rental car costs covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance? Here are the steps:

Gather Evidence

Obtain a copy of the official police report filed at the accident scene. This document establishes the details of the collision and helps determine fault. If possible, take clear pictures of the damage to both vehicles involved, any visible injuries, and the surrounding area. These visuals can support your claim.

If anyone witnessed the accident, exchange contact information with them. Their statements can be valuable if there are discrepancies in the accounts of those involved.

Keep copies of all rental agreements, receipts, and invoices. These documents verify the type, duration, and cost of the rental car used.

Contact the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance

The at-fault driver’s insurance information should be included in the police report. You can also directly contact the driver for their insurance details. Describe the incident, explain your need for a rental car, and provide them with the collected evidence (police report, photos, etc.).

Inform the insurance company that you’d like them to cover the cost of your rental car while your vehicle is being repaired. Be prepared to explain the rental car’s class, daily rate, and estimated duration of usage.

the at-fault driver should pay for the cost to rent a car

Negotiate the Rate

The insurance company may attempt to negotiate the rental car rate. Ensure the proposed rate is reasonable and comparable to the car you were driving before the accident. Research average rental rates for similar vehicles in Atlanta to support your negotiation.

Discuss the coverage duration with the insurance company. Typically, coverage lasts until your car is repaired or deemed a total loss. However, some policies have specific time limits, so be sure to clarify this point.

Maintain Communication

Keep a record of your conversations with the insurance company, including dates, times, and contact information of the representatives you spoke with. Note down any promises or agreements made during the communication.

If the insurance company requires additional information or documentation, provide it promptly to avoid delays in processing your claim.

While most claims are settled fairly quickly, some may take longer due to complexities or disagreements. Be patient with the process but remain persistent in pursuing your rightful reimbursement.

Alternative Options if the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance is Uncooperative

If the other driver’s insurance denies your claim or delays payment, you may be able to use your own insurance coverage if you have purchased “rental car reimbursement” as an add-on. Your insurance will then pursue reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance.

Legal Action

If all other avenues are exhausted and you believe you are rightfully entitled to rental car coverage, you may need to consider legal action against the at-fault driver or their insurance company. Consulting with an experienced attorney specializing in car accident cases is recommended in such situations.

Talk to an Experienced Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer

While the at-fault driver is typically responsible for your rental car costs after an accident, navigating the claims process can be complex. An Atlanta car accident lawyer from The Weinstein Firm can provide guidance and support during this challenging time. Contact us at 770-HELP-NOW for experienced legal representation and advice.

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