Rental Cars and Vehicle Damage
Often, the clients of Howell & Thornhill, P.A., have questions about the damage to their vehicle in a motor vehicle crash in Florida. Below are some of the questions we have heard from our clients in the past. For a complete explanation of your rights, please consult a lawyer with Howell & Thornhill, P.A., as each situation is different.
Why does the insurance company refuse to talk to me about my car until they know the cause of the crash?
When the other driver causes the crash, the other driver’s insurance is responsible for the damage to your vehicle. However, they often stall until they have a complete copy of the crash report or until they talk to their insured to verify how the crash happened. They may refuse to deal on the damage to the vehicle because they question whether their driver caused the crash or they merely want to sit on their money to make interest. In either event, our firm tries to obtain a copy of the crash report to speed up the process. One option is to use any available coverage you have with your insurance company to cover the damage to your vehicle. The drawback is you may have a deductible.
Do I have to give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company on how the crash happened to have them deal with me on the damage to my vehicle?
Often, insurance companies try to force you into a statement about how the crash happened by stating they will not talk to you about fixing or totaling out the vehicle until they have a statement. Howell & Thornhill, P.A., believes that this is a trick to have you give a statement without knowing your rights that they will later use to justify paying little or nothing for the damage to your vehicle. Our firm suggests you consult a lawyer before giving any statements to determine whether they are actually necessary and helpful.
Does the other driver’s insurance have a responsibility to pay for a rental vehicle?
Howell & Thornhill, P.A., believes that the insurance for the driver that caused the crash has a duty to pay for a rental vehicle until they pay for the totaling out of your vehicle or until the repairs are complete. Insurance companies often refuse initially to pay for rental vehicles in the hopes they can avoid this expense.
If I do not actually rent a vehicle, does the other driver’s insurance have a responsibility to pay anything?
Yes. Howell & Thornhill, P.A., believes that the insurance company for the driver that caused the crash has a duty to pay for loss of use. So, if you lose the ability to use your vehicle for two weeks following the crash until the repairs are complete, the other driver’s insurance company should pay an amount for each day of the two weeks.