Can the at-fault driver or their insurance pay for my car rental for the days my insurance does not cover it?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can the at-fault driver or their insurance pay for my car rental for the days my insurance does not cover it?

My car insurance paid 2 days for my car rental after sending the total loss

reimbursement check. After which I have to pay the rest of my car rental after

those 2 days. I have returned the rental car and cannot move around because I am without a car. No transportation where I live and I have to go to work. It has been concluded that the other individual was at fault and was ticketed at the site of the accident. In other words, does the at-fault insurance owe me for the cost to rent a car for the days not covered by my insurance?

Asked on September 19, 2016 under Accident Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The at-fault driver's insurer does not directly owe you anything: they are the other driver's insurer, not yours, and owe no duty or obligation, contractual or otherwise, to you.
However, an at-fault driver is responsible for all foreseeable and reasonable costs resulting from his careless driving. You could sue him for the cost to rent a car for a "reasonable" period of time after your accident. Reasonable is not judged by your particular circumstances, but by the average person's situation. The average person could lease or buy a new or used car within 2 - 3 weeks of an accident; therefore, it would be reasonable to sue for, and you'd have a reasonable chance of winnning, the cost for around 2 - 3 weeks of rental (less the 2 days you were already paid). Only if you sue and win is he forced to pay; if you win, either he  or his insurer should pay you. (You sue him, the one who damaged your car, not his insurer; his insurer has to pay for him if he loses, subject to the terms and limits of its policy.)
For amounts under the limit for small claims court, a good option is suing in small claims "pro se," or as your own attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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