Car Rental Tips After An Accident: You’re Entitled to Dollars and/or An Equivalent Vehicle

Insurance companies oftentimes do their best to not treat you fairly or equitably.  One example of this is when the at-fault driver's insurance carrier provides you with a rental car with a "take it or leave it" attitude.

 

In California, you are entitled to be provided with a vehicle of equal value to the vehicle that was damaged as a result of another driver's negligence.  For example, let's say that you get rear-ended in your new Toyota Prius.  The other person's insurance company says "yep, our driver was at fault" and then allows you $20 a day for rental car.  Well, an equivalent Prius may rent for $50 a day.

You are entitled to rent a $50-a-day car and have the other party's insurance company pay for it (subject to, among other things, his or her property damage policy limits).  Period.

Now, let's change that scenario a bit: For whatever reason, you don't want to rent a car during the time that your car is in the shop.  You're entitled to make that choice.  Let's take it one step further: Your car is in the shop for six weeks (42 days).  You will be entitled to $2,100 in real dollars to compensate you for the time that your car is in the shop.  In other words, you do not have to actually rent the car in order to be compensated for your loss of use.

OR what if you rent a car for $25 a day?  You'll be entitled to the difference in cash (well, in check).  So, you rent a car for 42 days at $25 a day for $1,050 but you were entitled to a car renting for $50 a day. The insurance company should pay you the difference of $1,050 in the form of real dollars.

Here's the law (CACI 3903M): To recover damages for loss of use, [name of plaintiff] must prove the reasonable cost to rent a similar [item of personal property] for the amount of time reasonably necessary to repair or replace the [item of personal property].

 

13 comments

  1. This is really a great blog about car rental schemes for the persons who want to rent their cars and do not want to have loss for any of their personal deals. It is a nice way to make money if you own a car.

  2. I like the post which is quite interesting & informative..I Personally faced this problem,hope I got some good information from this post..

  3. Nice article! I'm also planning to rent a vintage car for my sister's wedding hope I could get some discount.

  4. A car hire is totally convenient during road trips or when you're touring around a new place. And with more car rental depots than you can count, you'll surely be able to get a car that you can afford to pay for and drive.

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  5. A lot of people are not very much aware of the law and their rights. And because of that, they sometimes easily sign a contract or a statement even without the presence of their lawyer. It's great that your client relied on you before taking any actions.

  6. Thank you so much for your great post and pictures to share with us. Transport is a very big issue specially in the traveling.

  7. The other person's insurance company says "yep, our driver was at fault" and then allows you $20 a day for rental car. Well, an equivalent Prius may rent for $50 a day.

  8. Thanks for this tips,most of the time many of people who use to do car rental is encountering some problem like this in Finland many of them are fixing it through their money which lead them to a big debt.In fact in part of Helsinki many debt collection is been rolling to collect money coming from it and other debt reason.

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