What can I do if while on the highway a metal object fell off a bed truck and struck and damaged my car so I had to pay for a rental?

The insurance covered for the repairs but I had to pay for my own car rental (full price) since my car needed to be in the repair shop for few weeks. A police report was filed stating I had to stop and get a tow truck. I did not take car rental coverage from my insurance company ahead of time. Should I still have to pay for the rental?

Asked on February 21, 2015 under Accident Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you have to pay for the rental--you voluntarily rented a car, and therefore are obligated to pay. You have the right to sue the truck driver and the truck owner (if they are not one and the same anyway) for having damaged your car, such as under a "negligence" (carelessness; i.e. the object fell due to not taking proper care to secure it) theory, and if you win, you can recover any out-of-pocket costs, such as car rental, your deductible, etc. And if you threaten to sue, they may choose to pay you voluntarily. But the rental car company doesn't need to wait to see if and when you get money from the truck owner or driver--you have to pay them in the meantime, then seek reimbursement.


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