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Who Is Responsible for Paying for Car Rental After a Car Accident?

Nov 29, 2023

Car accidents can be physically, emotionally and financially devastating. In the aftermath of a collision, one of the common concerns is the need for a replacement vehicle while the damaged one is being repaired. The question of who is responsible for paying for a car rental after a car accident in Arizona is vital and depends on various factors, including insurance coverage, fault determination, and local laws.

Photo of a Car Crash

Insurance Coverage

One of the primary factors influencing the responsibility for car rental expenses is the insurance coverage of the parties involved. If you are not at fault and the other driver is insured, their insurance should cover the cost of your rental car. In contrast, if you are at fault, your own insurance coverage may come into play.

At-Fault Driver’s Insurance

If you are the at-fault driver, your insurance policy’s property damage liability coverage may include the cost of a rental car for a specified period. However, the coverage limit and duration can vary, and you should check your policy or consult your insurance agent.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

Your own insurance in Arizona may also cover rental expenses if you have comprehensive and collision coverage. These coverages typically help pay for repairs to your vehicle or replacement with a similar one, including rental costs.

Fault Determination

The determination of fault in a car accident plays a significant role in deciding who is responsible for the associated expenses. If the other driver is clearly at fault, their insurance should cover your rental costs. However, if fault is disputed or shared, it might impact the ease of obtaining reimbursement.

Third-Party Claims

In some cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may not be willing to pay for your rental directly. You may need to pay for the rental upfront and then seek reimbursement through a third-party claim. Keep detailed records of expenses, such as rental agreements and receipts, to facilitate this process.

Duration of Coverage

Insurance coverage for rental cars is typically limited to a specific period, often related to the estimated time needed for repairs. Ensure you are aware of the duration your insurance provider will cover and make arrangements accordingly.

Fault or No-Fault System

State laws can impact the responsibility for car rental expenses. Some states have no-fault insurance systems, where each party’s insurance covers their expenses regardless of fault. In contrast, other states such as Arizona, California, and Washington follow a traditional fault-based system, where the at-fault party is responsible for the damages.

Frequently Asked Questions about Car Rental After an Accident in Arizona

What Happens If the At-Fault Driver is Uninsured?

If the at-fault driver is uninsured, obtaining coverage for a rental car becomes more challenging. In such cases, your own insurance policy’s uninsured motorist coverage might come into play.

Can I Choose Any Rental Car or Does it Have to Be Similar to My Damaged Vehicle?

The type of rental car you can get often depends on your insurance policy. While some policies specify a similar replacement vehicle, others may provide more flexibility. It’s essential to understand the terms of your coverage and discuss your preferences with the insurance company.

How Long Will the Insurance Cover the Cost of the Rental Car?

The duration of rental coverage varies among insurance policies. It is typically linked to the estimated repair time for your damaged vehicle. Some policies may have a daily limit or a total cost limit for rental coverage.

What If I Need a Rental Car for an Extended Period?

If the repairs to your vehicle take longer than initially estimated, you may face challenges with extended rental coverage. Communicate proactively with your insurance provider and the repair facility, keeping them informed about any delays.

How Does Rental Coverage Affect My Premium?

Generally, using your insurance coverage for a rental car after an accident should not directly impact your premium. However, if the accident is deemed your fault, and your policy covers the rental expenses, you should clarify with your insurance provider to ensure there are no unexpected changes to your premium.

Why Choose Wattel & York as Your Personal Injury Lawyers in Arizona?

Here are some of the reasons why clients trust the top-rated legal team at Wattel & York for personal injury and property damage claims in Arizona:

  • Comprehensive Legal Support: Addressing every legal need for personal injury and property damage cases.
  • Stellar Record: Over 25,000 satisfied clients.
  • Aggressive Negotiation: Dedicated to dictating case value, not letting insurance companies decide.
  • High Settlement Rates: More than 95% of clients receive better offers than initially presented.
  • Trial Capabilities: Willing to invest maximum resources and fight for fair compensation in court.

To schedule your free consultation with an Arizona personal injury attorney at Wattel & York, call us today at 877-572-4143 or contact us online.

Online Reviews

“Amazing people, they had my claim for about a week before they were able to get my truck totaled out. Otherwise I would have been stuck with a truck that had heavy front end damage if they hadn’t stepped in to help me. I tried to deal with my insurance company myself for over a month and that got me nowhere, all I got was a massive headache and a messed up truck. They are very professional and act quickly on your claim. I highly recommend them to anyone who is looking for help.”

Candy J.

2/9/2020

“I was in an accident and decided to call Wattel and York. After months of going to a Chiropractor, I finally felt better. When it came time for settlement, the insurance company was making an offer I wanted to accept, Mr. Wattel advised against it and felt the insurance company was shortchanging me. He recommended I file a lawsuit and that will get them to cave. Well, Dave filed suit, and sure enough, the insurance company increased their offer by $4,000! I am very satisfied with how my case was handled.”

Nardeasha S.

20/20/2020

“Wattel & York were flat out outstanding with my personal injury case. They made the process painless and kept in constant communication throughout the entire time. Any questions I might’ve had were promptly answered and detail oriented. They gave me crucial advice that I would’ve otherwise not been aware of. I couldn’t have asked for more from them. Put your trust in these guys, you won’t be disappointed. Thanks Wattel & York.”

Mattew P.

13/9/2020

“Thank you so much for all your hard work on our behalf! Thinking I could handle it on my own, I was originally reluctant to take my accident claim to an attorney. But I am SO glad I called you instead. Your people were always helpful, pleasant and responsive at every step along the way. You represented us with honesty and integrity and made a traumatic experience as painless as it could be. And best of all, you helped us get a settlement that was fair and far more than I could ever have negotiated on my own! I highly recommend Wattel &York to anyone who has suffered a personal injury.”

Cathy M.

“I was the passenger in a vehicle that was 'T- Boned' at an intersection in 2014. The issues of responsibility and recovery became a difficult and convoluted confusion. I really needed help. This Team at Wattel and York walked me patiently and encouragingly through difficult months, sorting through issues and finally arriving at a satisfactory conclusion. I especially want to name two great and encouraging "warriors" of Wattel and York who directed me along the way..Brian Torba and Melissa Patterson..to them and the whole team I say "Thank You" with heart felt gratitude. Sincerely, God Bless You.”

Robert G.

“Honesty. Integrity. Transparency. Partnership. Wattel & York brought all of these qualities and more to my accident case. I'd love to thank all of the team members who helped me with the process: David Guzman, who conducted the initial interview in my home, Aly Shomar-Esparza, who seamlessly guided me through paperwork and filings, Debbie Harrach, who conducted final review, paperwork revisions and scheduling, and Thomas Grisoni, who counseled me before and attended my deposition. I never felt alone during the arduous process and always knew there was a professional team looking out for my best interest. I highly recommend Wattel & York if you are unfortunately involved in an accident that was not your fault.”

Russ W.

“I was a passenger in a car that got t-boned a few years ago and got a huge gash. I didn't know a lot about lawyers, so I basically just picked one on the flip of a coin. I called Wattel and York and they explained everything, I went into the office and filled out paperwork. Got treatment on my gash over the time I worked with them, glad I did as it opened back up a couple times and bled. They did really good, got me the maximum amount of money, and made sure I was well taken care of. I was updated from time to time so that was good. The only thing I might change is I never got to thank or talk to my lawyer. I think it was because I was already used to dealing with the lady at their Glendale office so they just kept her as my point of contact. So it's okay, I'll thank them with a good review. The last thing I could say about them is months after I thought my case was over they called me and said they had another check for me for a few hundred dollars. Apparently, they negotiated with the hospital I went to after the accident. It was a nice surprise and shows they really had my interests in mind.”

Trent B.

“Wattel & York has been great for me in the past few years. I was involved in a really bad accident while I was on Active Duty in Yuma, Arizona and they have been patient with me every step of the way through a very long process. I would recommend them to anyone thank you for all your help.”

Levy G.

“Appreciate David taking the time to speak with me. He was most kind. From the front line with the receptionist, to him, the firm was a class act all the way around.”

Claire B.

“Dave Wattel represented me and my son on a Personal Injury case from a motor vehicle accident back in 2009. Jake P. handled my deposition and Dave did the Quarterbacking. The insurance company hired NFL referee Ed Hochuli's firm to try and deny our claim. But Wattel & York made it look as easy as Tom Brady on the football field. The result was more than acceptable and my son and I were compensated for our injuries and rehabilitation. Dave Wattel cares about his clients. If I ever find myself in a situation like this again, Wattel & York will be on speed dial!!”

Vince C.

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