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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.


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