Does the insurance company of the person responsible for a car accident in which I was involved have to provide me with a rental car until payment is issued for totaled car?

Asked on October 6, 2015 under Accident Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

First, they don't "need" to do anything unless you sue their driver, win, and get a court judgment requiring them to pay certain costs or amounts; otherwise, anything they offer you (e.g. a settlement) is voluntary, so they can offer only what they want to offer. If you feel their offer is inadequate--e.g. that they should pay for your rental--you can reject the offer and sue instead. If you should sue and win, you could likely get them to cover a car rental for the reasonable amount of time it would take you to find and buy (or lease) a new car, *without* regard to when you get payment for the totalled car; that is, you inability to finance a new car without the settlement is not their concern or obligation, because you could potentially arrange to pay for or buy a car in some other way, such as with a loan, or from your savings, etc.--they are not responsible for your overall financial condition. So a typical rental period would be the 1 - 2 weeks  it would usually take to get a new car, if your current car is beyond repair.

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