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Who Is Responsible For Paying For A Rental Car After An Accident In Northern California?

By  Dan McCrary | May 9, 2024

The cost of repairing a damaged car can easily break the bank, especially if it’s a rental car. Drivers usually buy insurance for their car but not always for the rental car. So, who is responsible for paying for a rental car in North California after an accident?

Rest assured! We have answers for you. In simple words, whoever is at fault for the accident, whether you or the other driver, will pay for the damages. If both parties share the blame, then the cost of damage will be divided among both parties.

Below, we’ll discuss this topic in more detail and provide answers about how much rental reimbursement coverage costs and whether you need to add it to your insurance. So, let’s find out the answers!

What Happens If You’re At Fault In The Rental Car Accident?

The short answer is that you’ll be responsible for paying for the rental car damage caused by the accident. Since it was your fault, the other driver isn’t bound to share any of the car repair costs and you’ll have to pay for the damage.

But how you’ll pay entirely depends on your situation. If you have insurance coverage, your insurance company will pay for the repair, including rental reimbursement. However, you’ll have to pay out of pocket if this isn’t the case.

What If Other Driver Is At Fault In The Rental Car Accident?

If the other driver is at fault in the rental car accident, they’ll have to bear the expenses of car damage. In most cases, they can involve their insurance company, which will provide them with the compensation amount.

If they do not have an insurance policy, they must pay the cost themselves. If someone fails to cover the damage they’ve caused, the no-fault driver can sue the at-fault driver and take the case to court.

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What If Both Drivers Are At Fault In The Rental Car Accident?

Typically, when both drivers are at fault in an accident, the insurance company assigns liability to each driver based on their fault. For example, one driver might be found 60% at fault while the other driver is 40% at fault.

According to the evidence, the driver who is 60% at fault will compensate for 60% of the damages compared to the other driver’s 40% fault. However, it’s important to note that this example may not be applicable in some states, like Florida.

Florida operates as a modified comparative negligence state. This means that a driver who is 51% liable for a car accident cannot seek compensation from other parties, even if they share the remaining 49% of the fault in the accident.

Hence, it’s best to research whether your state follows pure comparative negligence laws or modified comparative negligence laws. For instance, California operates as a pure comparative negligence state, allowing drivers to collect damages even if they are 70% at fault.

Do You Need Rental Car Insurance In North California?

Insurance coverage for rental cars isn’t required in Northern California, but it’s highly recommended for a safe future. All drivers are only required to have liability car insurance, which covers:

  • $15,000 for injury/death to one person.
  • $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person.
  • $5,000 for property damage.

Liability insurance does not cover the cost of car repairs. However, if you use a credit card to rent the car, you may have coverage—though it’s best to check with your credit card company to confirm.

Personal car insurance policies often cover car damages but do not cover costs if the rental car is used for business purposes. Therefore, adding rental reimbursement coverage to your insurance policy protects you.

Rental Reimbursement Coverage Cost

On average, you may have to pay $25 to $100 yearly for the Rental reimbursement coverage. With this coverage, the insurance company will pay for car damage if you’re at fault, ensuring peace of mind.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, the at-fault party, whether you or the other driver, will pay for a rental car in North California after an accident. The at-fault party driver will contact their insurance company, and they'll cover the damage cost if the rental reimbursement is included in the coverage.

If the insurance company or the driver isn't agreeable to paying for the rental car expenses, you can take legal action by taking the issue to court. You can contact McCrary Law Firm for expert guidance and representation during this challenging time.

Call or Text Us Now (855) 752-6326

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    McCrary Accident Injury Law Firm specializes in personal injury litigation. Its founder, Dan McCrary, Esq., spent 14 years working for the insurance companies before switching sides to represent personal injury victims in Rocklin as an attorney.

    Dan McCrary’s years of experience on the defense side taught him exactly how to obtain maximum recovery for his injured clients. If you have been injured in an accident you should contact the Accident & Injury Lawyers, Personal injury Attorney, Car accident lawyers at McCrary Accident Injury Law Firm in Rocklin, folsom, Sacramento to get the money you deserve, and overcome the tactics routinely employed by the insurance companies.