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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Does the At-fault Driver Pay for Rental Car in Ohio?

The aftermath of a car accident can be quite tragic - from personal injury to property damages and damage to the car. Quite often, one of the drivers' cars gets damaged beyond the point of being driven or repaired. In this case, the vehicle owner needs to get a new car, which isn't something that happens overnight. Most of the time, the solution is a rental car, but who pays for a rental car in Ohio? Car rental costs add up, especially when the car is used for a significant period of time.


It doesn't seem fair for someone to bear the costs of the rental vehicle if the accident wasn't their fault; however, there are a number of factors to consider in these sensitive cases. Let's take a look at what Ohio law says about this matter. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer questions like, "Is Ohio a no fault state for car accidents?"


Important Considerations After an Accident

Important Considerations After an Accident


After being involved in a car accident, there are a number of factors to consider, including:

  • If the other driver caused the accident, their auto insurance company needs to cover the cost of the rental car.

  • Individuals need a rental car when their current vehicle gets totaled or damaged.

  • It is common for the other insurance company to dispute the insurance claim as this causes a delay in rental car reimbursement.

  • Fault should not be difficult to determine if the accident was a rear-end collision.

  • If the victim's own insurance company refuses to cover the cost of the rental vehicle, they will have to rely on the at-fault driver's insurance company to pay for the rental car.

  • Legal action might be necessary if the at-fault driver's insurance company is being difficult and does not want to cover the rental car costs.

  • Anyone who was not at fault in the accident is entitled to a rental car reimbursement from the at-fault driver's insurance company.


Who Is Responsible for Paying the Rental Car Fees in Ohio?


In terms of Ohio law, the at-fault driver's insurance company is responsible for all reasonable rental expenses and storage costs. This means the other driver's insurance company will be responsible for the rental car expenses until the victim has been reimbursed for the fair market value of the vehicle or their current car has been repaired. Furthermore, the rental car received should be a comparable vehicle to the damaged car, which means that victims should not settle for a rental car worth much less than their damaged or totaled vehicle.


Dealing with a Difficult Insurance Company


The reimbursement process can be fairly challenging at times. This is because the at-fault driver's car insurance company might refuse to assume liability for the accident, meaning they'll refuse to cover the costs of the rental car. Unfortunately, this occurs quite often.


If this is the case, the other driver's insurance company generally argues that the victim was at fault for the collision. As a result, the claim will be disputed and reimbursement will not be received until after the claims process has been finalized.


Fortunately, victims can file a claim with their own insurer if their car insurance policy includes rental car coverage. After this, the victim's insurance company will reach out to the other driver's insurance company to recover the costs.


In this situation, it's vital to double-check the auto insurance policy to determine how long the insurer will cover the costs. If the car is needed for longer than this, the faultless driver will have to pay out-of-pocket to retain the rental car. Drivers must keep all receipts for out-of-pocket expenses to receive reimbursement from the other party's insurer.


However, drivers who do not have rental car coverage as a part of their car insurance policy will have to cover the rental car costs by themselves. This is always a risk as the amounts may not be reimbursed if the other driver is not found to be responsible for the collision. If the other driver is found at fault, the victim should not have any problems being reimbursed for the car rental costs.


Keep in mind that the claims process can be quite a time-consuming one. Therefore, it might take several months before the claim is resolved and the rental car reimbursement is received.


What Happens If the At-fault Driver's Car Insurance Company Refuses to Pay for the Rental Vehicle?


The best course of action is to contact an experienced car accident attorney. A professional lawyer can help victims recover damages for their losses and the accident. Attorneys generally have experience negotiating with insurance companies; therefore, they do not allow insurers to take advantage of claimants.


An experienced lawyer will demand compensation for the rental car as well as any bodily injuries or property damage caused as a result of the incident. Insurance companies usually send a settlement offer soon after they receive a demand letter from a law firm.


It's vital to read this settlement offer in detail or give it to an attorney to read before accepting the offer. Many times, an insurance company tries to give victims a much lower settlement than they're entitled to. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to explain the contents of the offer and ensure their client's rights are upheld and that they're receiving fair reimbursement for the rental car.


How to Speed Up the Claims Process

How to Speed Up the Claims Process


The best way to make the claims process as efficient as possible is to seek the help of a professional attorney. Car accident lawyers in Cincinnati OH will handle the entire process on behalf of their clients.


Insurance companies are usually deterred from delaying the process when they are negotiating with a lawyer. This is because of the looming threat of a lawsuit.


It's vital to keep all communications with the insurance company and ask them for any important communication in writing. This will be used as evidence in the event that a lawsuit needs to be filed.


What Happens If the Victim's Own Insurance Company Refuses to Cover a Car Accident?


An individual's own insurance company will generally refuse to cover the costs of injury or damage to the car if they only have the state's minimum required auto liability insurance. However, remember if the other driver was at fault, file a claim with their insurance company, as they will be responsible for compensation for losses.


If the at-fault driver does not have adequate insurance coverage or was uninsured and the victim has an uninsured or underinsured motorist policy, they can file a claim with their own insurance company.


In principle, this will cover the difference between the total damages incurred as a result of the collision and the at-fault driver's policy limits. This total will be limited to the victim's uninsured or underinsured motorist policy limit.


If the policyholder's insurance refuses to payout the claim, contact a reputable and skilled lawyer to help pursue compensation.


The Bottom Line


Dealing with the damage brought on by a motor vehicle accident can be overwhelming, which is why it's crucial to consult an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Rental car costs can be expensive, and it's not fair to cover these costs if the collision was caused by another individual. A knowledgeable lawyer will work tirelessly to ensure the at-fault driver's insurance company compensates the victim for the rental car costs. They can also answer questions such as, "Can you go to jail for a car accident in Ohio?"


However, as a form of further protection, it could be useful to take out rental car coverage. The dedicated lawyers at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have years of experience when it comes to car accidents and will go to war to ensure their clients get the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one has been in a similar situation, contact the professionals at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys in Cincinnati, Ohio for a free consultation.


FAQs


How Does an Insurance Company Determine the Number of Days the Rental Car Is Needed?

This depends on the extent of damage to the vehicle. Generally, the period will cover the time it took for the victim's car to get repaired.


Does the At-fault Driver Pay for Rental Car in Ohio?

Generally speaking, yes, they will cover the rental car costs. However, insurance companies are known for being notoriously difficult and will try to reduce the amount of money they have to pay. During this time, individuals might have to use their own car insurance to pay for the rental car or cover the costs out-of-pocket.


Can Victims Get a Rental Vehicle Comparable to Their Car?

Most car rental companies will negotiate with the relevant insurance company to discuss the car rental. It's important to note that the insurer will try to save as much money as possible, meaning they'll often opt for the cheapest and smallest available car.


In general, insurance companies are required to provide comparable vehicles; however, if an individual is obtaining the rental car from their own insurance company this will depend on the person's policy limits.

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