Rhode Island Personal Car Accident Law: New Law Helps Drivers Stay In Rental Car After A Total Loss

Rhode Island recently enacted important laws to help drivers after car accidents with their rental and car repair/total loss needs.  This is my third of four blogs on this notable car accident legal news!

Today, I’m featuring a new law that destroys greedy auto insurers’ tricks to prematurely kick you out of your rental car!  As you will see, this is great news for Rhode Island consumers!

We at Bottaro Injury Lawyers take it personally when our Rhode Island clients are victims of scary, life-changing car accidents. Part of protecting your legal rights includes making sure insurance companies do what they are required to.  In fact, as of June 26, 2023, car insurance companies are required to do more if your car is deemed a “total loss” after an accident.  Since Rhode Island legislators just enacted this law, I want to explain what this means for you.

If you are injured in a car accident, Bottaro Injury Lawyers has your back.  Over the years, my team and I have seen it all and we know how to fight for your rights.  Call or text us now at 401-777-7777 for a free case review.

How Long Can I Stay In A Rhode Island Rental Car When My Car Is A “Total Loss”? New Law Change Provides Clarity!

The short answer under the new law is: when an auto insurer accepts liability for you “total loss” vehicle, the insurance company must pay for your rental vehicle coverage for at least seven (7) days after you receive your total loss damage payment.

This is an important change to existing law.  For years in Rhode Island, some greedy auto insurance companies would “cut off” your rental car at various subjective times.  Because we did not have the above law, this was like the wild west.  On some days with certain car insurance companies, they would take the position they could kick you out of a rental car as soon as they “appraised the car,” even when you did not agree with the appraisal and were contesting it!  Other times, some insurance companies would cut you off once they agreed on a price, even though you did not have the check in hand and so could not easily buy a replacement car!  These tricks and others should now go away!

The exact law is section (c) to R.I. Gen. Laws § 27-7-6, the state rental vehicle coverage law.  According to this new section (c), once the at-fault driver’s insurance accepts liability for you “total loss” vehicle, the insurance company must pay for your rental vehicle coverage for at least seven (7) days receive you receive your total loss damage payment.

What does this mean for you?  This law forces insurance companies to give you at least a week to find a new vehicle.  If they fail to do so, then they may be fined.  Call us today to get your claim started – we’ll make sure insurance companies do what they’re supposed to.

How Do I Know If My Motor Vehicle is Considered a “Total Loss?”

While Rhode Island legislators have made strides to protect motor vehicles accident victims with laws like this one that protect your rental car access, issues surrounding total loss vehicles can be tricky and tons of work.  Leave it to us, to handle – it’s our job to be experts on your behalf.  Call us today to get started on your claim!

In Rhode Island, your vehicle is typically considered a “total loss” if the cost to repair it is more than 75% of your car’s actual value.  Once calculated, insurance companies will always take the cheaper option.  Sentimental, custom, or difficult to find vehicle?  Insurance companies don’t care — They will simply pay for your “totaled’ car (if it’s cheaper to do so) and keep the “salvaged” vehicle.

What Can Bottaro Injury Lawyers Do to Help Me?

First and foremost, if your car is deemed a “total loss,” Bottaro Injury Lawyers will make sure that the other person’s insurance company appraises your car fairly and gives you time to find a new vehicle.  However, since insurance companies are always looking out for their bottom line, getting them to accept fault may take some time.  If that is the case, we may be able to work with your insurance company to cover your rental car expenses.  Call us now to get you back on the road as soon as possible.

We can also dispute your total loss payout.  If you are unable to find a similar vehicle, you have what’s called a Right to Recourse.  This, by law, offers us a few options to help us get what you deserve.

It’s Good to Know Mike Bottaro – 24/7 Top-Rated Personal Injury Help

At Bottaro Injury Lawyers, we care for people.  Attorney Mike Bottaro and his award-winning legal team handle all types of personal injury cases throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  We can even help on cases in other states as well.  We pride ourselves on our honesty, integrity, and results.  Contact us 24/7 in any method you prefer for a fast, free, and confidential consultation about your case.  Feel free to text or call us at 401-777-7777 or fill out our free and confidential online form.  We are here to serve and help you!

Working with Bottaro Injury Lawyers, Legal Assistant Bianca