In Georgia, if you are the victim of a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you have a right to have your costs paid by the at-fault driver or their insurance. This includes the cost of a rental car if you cannot use your vehicle while it’s being repaired, or while you get a new vehicle if it was totaled. Not only that, you have a right to a rental car that is the equivalent of the one that was damaged—a sedan for a sedan, a pickup for a pickup, etc. If you are not at fault, you should not have to pay the costs of this rental car.
But that leaves a question—who is supposed to pay for your rental car, and how do you make sure they pay up?
The 3 Ways to Get Your Rental Car Paid While Your Car Is in the Shop
Since you shouldn’t have to pay personally, you’ll need to take steps to make sure you get your rental car paid by an insurance claim. Depending on the circumstances, this could happen one of three ways:
- The Best Case: The best case scenario is that the other driver is quickly found at fault. Specifically, their insurance company agrees with the assessment that they were the ones at fault, and quickly offers to pay your costs. If this happens, money for your rental car should be paid right away.
- The Backup Plan: In many cases the other insurance company will contest who’s at fault, or simply not make a decision yet. That leaves you in “limbo” where you need a way to drive around but no insurance offer has been made. In this case, the backup plan is potentially your own insurance policy. If you have “rental coverage,” that means your own insurer will go ahead and pay for your rental car right now. They can go and seek reimbursement from the at-fault party later. A similar thing happens if the other driver has no insurance at all, as long as you have uninsured driver insurance. (Obviously, not everyone has this kind of insurance. You can find out by checking your policy or asking your lawyer.)
- If All Else Fails: In some cases none of the options above are available. That doesn’t change your right—you should not have to pay the cost for an accident you didn’t cause, not even the rental car cost. But it does mean you’ll have to decide whether you can pay out of pocket for now, and get reimbursed later. Some people can afford this and others cannot. (If you want to avoid this route, a good lawyer can help you get the money from the insurer much faster.) Be aware that there’s some risk in paying yourself. You will only get reimbursed if the other driver really is found to be at fault. If that doesn’t happen, you won’t recover money for it.
We Can Help You Get the Money You Need
You should not have to pay for your own rental car while your car is in the shop—and you shouldn’t have to do weeks or months without a vehicle. We can help. Let us give you a FREE consultation and help you get paid. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.