Can I rent a car if my car is damaged or totaled after an accident?

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Following a motor vehicle accident, your car or truck may be damaged or totaled. However, you still need access to a vehicle while your car or truck is being repaired or replaced. Renting a car may be your only option. Reimbursement for the rental cost depends on a number of factors.

You should ask the other driver’s insurance company if you are entitled to payment for a rental car or other substitute transportation. The insurance company does not have to commit to making any payments until it becomes reasonably clear that their policyholder was legally responsible for the accident. Simply stated, once the insurance company determines that their insured is going to be 50% or more at fault for the accident, they should pay for a rental car.

However, in New Jersey, the responsible driver’s insurance company only has to reimburse you for the cost of a rental vehicle in proportion to their insured’s liability. For example, if the insurance company allows $30 a day to rent a car and their insured was found to be 60% at fault, they would only reimburse you $18 a day to rent a car. If your damaged vehicle is a specific type of vehicle (for example a minivan or sport utility vehicle), rental reimbursement should be for a vehicle of comparable type.

An insurance company only has to reimburse you for a rental car for the time it normally takes to repair your vehicle or, if your vehicle is a total loss, until the insurance company makes you a settlement offer. If your vehicle can be safely driven from the scene of an accident, the insurance company only has to pay you to rent a car when your vehicle is in the repair shop.

It is important to hire an experienced law firm in order to assist you in negotiating with the insurance company. As part of your personal injury claim, the attorneys at RAM Law handle any property damage or insurance issues on your behalf.


About RAM Law

RAM Law represents all of Central Jersey in personal injury cases and is staffed by experienced accident and injury attorneys. We provide legal help for victims of slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, workplace injuries, truck and car accidents, and other personal injuries. Call (732) 247-3600 to discuss your case and set up a free consultation at our New Brunswick or Somerville law offices.

Contact Our Office

To schedule a confidential consultation, contact us online or call our offices, in New Brunswick at (732) 247-3600, in Somerville at (908) 448-2560, or in Freehold at (732) 828-2234.

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New Brunswick, NJ 08901


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Somerville, NJ 08876


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Freehold, NJ 07728

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