Do I Have the Right to a Comparable Rental Car After a Car Accident in Texas?

Under Texas law, you have the right to rent a vehicle that is similar in size and brand to the one you are replacing. The insurance company must compensate you based on the “fair market value” of the total vehicle. However, if you are leasing your car or canceling an auto loan when it's full, the full reimbursement of the loss will go to the vehicle's mortgagee. When an insurance company pays for a rental car, the length of time you can have the rental vehicle depends on whether your own car is repairable.

If it is being repaired, the insurance company may approve a short-term car rental, which may be less time than you actually need. To get a rental vehicle from your insurance company after an accident, you'll need rental reimbursement coverage. This coverage can be purchased and added to your policy at any time, so if you bought the initial policy without it, you can always add it later. Unfortunately, rental is only available if the accident occurred after adding coverage; you can't add rental coverage after an accident and get a rental car that way. Even though the negligent driver or his insurance company will pay for your car rental, the rental company may require you to have a credit card on file before delivering the car to you.

The insurance company will likely require you to return the rented vehicle quickly once your car is declared to be full. However, like a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, a property damage claim after a car accident will involve seeking compensation through available insurance coverages, both from the at-fault driver's insurance and, perhaps, from your own. If you have trouble getting a rental car after a car accident, contact a legal professional as soon as possible. Even if your car is wrecked and can't be repaired, the insurance company will try to limit how long you can get a rental vehicle. Assuming that the other driver has insurance and the insurance company accepts responsibility for the accident, then they should pay for the car rental fairly quickly. When you're involved in a car accident that you didn't cause, you can file a claim for a rental car with the responsible party's insurance provider. If you choose not to pay for rental car coverage in your insurance policy, then this includes not getting a rental car. If your car is declared full and cannot be repaired, then you can keep it simply by allowing the insurer to deduct its “residual value” from what they pay you.

This could be a sports car or luxury model that you've been saving for years to buy or it could be a less luxurious model that you simply appreciate because of its reliability or because it was inherited by a loved one. As an expert in Texas law and auto accidents, I'm here to tell you that if you've been involved in an auto accident in Texas, then yes - you do have the right to rent a comparable vehicle while yours is being repaired or replaced. The insurance company must provide compensation based on fair market value of your total vehicle and they must provide reimbursement for any short-term rentals needed while repairs are being made. If your vehicle is declared full and cannot be repaired, then there are still options available for keeping it.

You can allow the insurer to deduct its residual value from what they pay out and keep it as is. Or if you don't want to keep it as is, then they will reimburse you for its fair market value. It's important to note that if you don't have rental reimbursement coverage on your policy prior to an accident occurring, then unfortunately this means that no rental will be provided by your insurer. However, if this is something that interests you then it's always possible to add this coverage at any time.

Finally, if at any point during this process of filing claims and seeking compensation for damages caused by an auto accident in Texas, then don't hesitate to contact an experienced legal professional who can help guide you through this process.

Blanche Stavrou
Blanche Stavrou

Incurable internet aficionado. Infuriatingly humble internet evangelist. Evil tv buff. Typical tv advocate. Freelance music lover.

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