At the Bottaro Law Firm, LLC, we help our clients throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts after car accidents with personal injuries. This is personal injury lawyer Mike Bottaro. Today, I give you 5 Tips on the topic of a common question that I get: How do I get a rental car after a car accident?
Start with this understanding: All car insurance companies dislike paying for you to drive a rental car and will do all they can to avoid it or minimize the days they must pay.
1. Speak To A Personal Injury Law Firm And/Or Independent Auto Body Shop Before You Speak To Any Car Insurance Company – Even Your Own!
To get a rental car after a car accident, you could simply go to a rental car company and pay for a rental car. But why do that if you have legal rights to a free or reduced rate rental car? You may mistakenly believe that you have a “right” to a free rental car no matter what, but this is simply not true.
Moreover, the rental car companies and the other driver’s car insurance company have no obligation to tell you all your rights or provide you with a free rental car.
And your own insurance company may play games with you such as stalling or trying to partially blame you (these are just a couple of common tricks we see) to minimize the amount of money they may have to outlay for your rental car.
The bottom line is that you should not trust any car insurance company, not even your own. The best advice I have is to immediately contact our law firm and/or an independent local, reputable auto body shop after a crash. Avoid speaking to anyone else until you fully understand your rights, which are dependent on the facts of your case!
2. Only Hire An Independent Auto Body Shop That Is Helpful!
Did you know that car insurance companies make agreements with many auto body shops? The agreement essentially provides that the car insurance company will give the auto body shop work (customers) in exchange for that auto body shop doing the work on your car cheaper. Is that the body shop you want to hire? Heck no!
You have the legal right to choose any auto body shop to fix your car or act as your authorized representative.
You need to ask around and make sure that you are only dealing with a reputable, local auto body shop that is not in bed with the car insurance companies.
Next, you should demand to receive great customer service from that body shop. They should answer the phone, answer your questions, help communicate with the property department at the car insurance companies, and complete paperwork for you.
If not, call me and we will provide some great names!
3. Know Your Own Auto Insurance Coverage!
An experienced auto body shop and personal injury law firm can both review your car insurance coverage with you. Your right to a rental car from your own car insurance company depends on the coverage that you bought before the crash. You need to know this fact and understand how it applies to your situation.
4. Try to Avoid Putting Down A Credit Card – If You Do – Be Clear Who Is Taking Your Credit Card And What The Terms Are.
During the process of having a rental car and either waiting for your car to be repaired or totaled out (so you receive a check for the fair market value of your car), mistakes and delays can occur. In the event that a dispute arises, you do not want to give free reign of your credit card being charged by anyone.
5. Try To Minimize The Need For A Rental Car And Return It On Time.
Remember what I wrote at the top of the blog and therefore, if you can avoid taking a rental car, then that is super. It is many times not worth the hassle.
For example, if your car is considered “driveable,” then you may not legally be able to have another company pay for a rental. A better option is to continue to drive your car until your auto body shop is actually repairing your car (at which time you will have the use of a rental).
Personal Injury Experience Matters in Rhode Island / Massachusetts Car Accident Lawyers!
At the Bottaro Law Firm, LLC, we are proudly local to Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. We only work for the injured, never the big car insurance companies! When you contact us, we can give you advice on your specific situation regarding rental cars after a car accident.
It’s Good To Know Mike Bottaro – 24/7 Personal Injury Help
At the Bottaro Law Firm, LLC, we handle all types of car accident cases every day. Honesty. Integrity. Results. Our experienced legal team is here to fight for your rights. Contact us in any method you prefer 24/7 for a fast, free, and confidential consultation about your case. Text or call: 401-777-7777 or fill out our free and confidential online form.