What is the insurance fully responsible for when paying for a car accident?

I was involved in an accident. It is clearly the other rivers fault and that is documented in the police report. My car was totaled and now their insurance is holding me partially responsible for the storage at the body shop since the accident. They won’t pay for personal property of mine that was stolen out my vehicle during transit from the accident site and only provided me with a rental for 11 days. Is this legal?

Asked on May 18, 2009 under Accident Law, Texas


L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Do you have your own auto insurance?  I always find that it is easier to deal with my own insurance company than the at-fault driver's.  If you have collision coverage, go through your own insurance and they will subrogate (get the money back from) the other insurance company.  I think you will find it easier.  In answer to your quesiton about whether or not it is "legal" for them to only give you a rental car for 11 days, and to hold you partially responsible for the storage fees, it is legal, but it is not fair if the reason it is still in storage is because they are dragging their feet with getting the matter settled.  If they decided that the car is a total loss, i.e., it would cost more to repair it than to replace it, then they should make you an offer to settle.  Although 11 days may seem long to you, these matters usually take a few weeks to a couple of months.  But they should be paying for the rental car for a "reasonable" amount of time as well as for storage.  If they insist you pay, I would contact the dept. of insurance and file a complaint and tell them you are doing that.

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