Who Pays for a Rental Car After an Accident?

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Reimbursement for a Rental Car

If your vehicle was damaged in a car accident in Michigan, you might need a rental car while it’s getting repaired or you’re shopping for a new one. Repairs or replacements take time, and you’ll still need a way to commute, get to doctor’s appointments, and get around in the meantime.

Rental car costs are not cheap, so you may be wondering who’s responsible for paying the bill. It depends on your coverage, but you may be able to obtain reimbursement. A car accident lawyer can help you navigate your car accident claim or lawsuit and figure out what your policy covers.

Who Pays for a Rental Car After an Accident in Michigan?

Michigan motorists must purchase no-fault auto insurance, including Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, property protection insurance, and residual liability insurance.

However, towing and rental car coverage is optional for Michigan drivers. If you purchased towing and rental car coverage as part of your auto insurance policy before the accident occurred, then your insurance policy should cover renting a car. If you don’t have rental car insurance, you might have to pay for the rental yourself.

If you have rental reimbursement coverage through your insurance carrier, you may get a daily amount to use towards your rental. You can adjust your daily amount when choosing your policy. However, there is usually a time limit for how long you will receive this coverage, and you may have to continue to pay out of pocket if your car is still being repaired.

Your car insurance policy may also cover you if you get into an accident while driving a rental vehicle. This also depends on the rental coverage offered by your insurance company, so it’s best to check the limits of your policy when signing up or trying to file a claim after a collision. You may also want to consider additional coverage from the rental car company if your policy does not offer sufficient coverage.

More About Michigan Auto Insurance Laws

Michigan is a “No-Fault” auto insurance state. This means that in the event of a car accident with another party, you and the other driver file insurance claims through your own policy providers regardless of fault. However, there is a serious injury threshold that allows accident victims to seek damages from the at-fault driver and their insurance provider if their injuries or loss are at this threshold.

If you are able to seek compensation from the other party, you may be able to request any rental car expenses as part of your settlement or verdict.

Obtaining Rental Car Reimbursement

If you were involved in an accident and your policy has rental car coverage, your insurance agent should help you acquire a rental vehicle. Many motorists don’t realize that towing and rental car coverage is affordable. You can never predict what will happen on the road, so it’s good to add this coverage to your policy.

If your insurance agent can’t obtain a replacement vehicle for you, you can rent a car on your own and pay out of pocket. You can then seek reimbursement from the insurance company later. Make sure your policy will cover the rental car first, or you might end up paying it yourself. You should also find out how long the insurance company will pay for a vehicle since most insurers restrict the time you can keep the rental on their dime.

Other Potential PIP Compensation Following a Car Accident

If you are going through your PIP policy, you can be compensated for:

  • Medical expenses, but those only considered “reasonably necessary.” There are some policy levels with monetary limits.
  • Lost income, but only up to 85 percent of your income. You can only seek these benefits for three years.
  • Expenses related to tasks you would have performed for your household but cannot due to your injuries. For example, if you need to hire someone to clean your home, you can be reimbursed for some of these expenses. however, there is a daily limit of $20.

You can also seek certain benefits after a loved one passes, which include some funeral expenses and other survivor benefits.

Damages Outside of PIP Benefits

When your injuries are serious and exceed the threshold for serious or catastrophic injuries, you can bring a tort liability claim and sue for damages. In this claim, you are seeking damages not covered by your PIP from the liable driver. This includes:

  • Non-economic damages like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, impairment, loss of consortium or companionship, and other intangible damages.
  • Economic damages like additional medical expenses and lost income, along with other financial expenses related to your harm.

Trying to determine what expenses are covered by your PIP and the full value of your losses is quite complicated, but a personal injury lawyer can help you by taking on these tasks for you.

How Can I Determine Fault and Liability in My Michigan Car Accident Case?

Another challenging aspect of a car accident claim or lawsuit is actually proving liability for your harm. You already have to try to prove that your injuries exceed the threshold for going outside your PIP insurance coverage, and this adds yet another complex task to your plate. Personal injury attorneys must determine liability by:

  • Demonstrating that the other party owed you a duty of care and then subsequently violated this duty of care. Perhaps the other driver was texting and driving, speeding, or otherwise disobeying the rules of the road. Anyone operating a vehicle owes their fellow drivers (and others on the road) a duty of care, and these actions demonstrate a breach in this duty.
  • Proving that the other driver’s actions directly caused your car crash and resulted in your various injuries and losses. Your lawyer will also show proof of your harm through medical records, police reports, expert opinions, and other forms of evidence.

Get Legal Help After Your Car Accident in Michigan

Christensen Law is a premier Michigan personal injury law firm with offices in Southfield, Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Grand Rapids. Our car accident attorneys can help you pursue maximum compensation for your losses if you’ve been injured in a car accident. Reach out today for a free case review.