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AOW2011

Rear Ended in Auto Accident, Left with Rental Car Bill

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I was stopped, yielding to pedestrians in a crosswalk when I was struck from behind by a vehicle traveling at about 30-35 miles per hour. Both cars were towed from the scene with heavy damage. I called my insurance company that day and reported the claim, but they were unable to get an insurance adjuster out to look at my vehicle for a week or so after the accident because it "depended on that adjuster's schedule." After an adjuster came out to look at my car, and decided it was not totaled, I decided to have it repaired at a local auto body shop. The shop's owners went out of town for a week for some sort of auction right after my car was FINALLY towed to their shop. Once they returned, they began looking at my car and ended up finding more damage than they expected. My insurance company sent more money to the auto body shop for the difference.

               I needed to make immediate arrangements for transportantion because I have two jobs. My insurance company told me that my best bet was to go ahead and get a rental car, keep records of what it cost me and get reimbursed by the other driver's insurance. So that's what I did. I rented a car from Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and paid weekly by using my credit card, for which I planned on being reimbursed. After a week or so, arrangements were made to have the bill directly sent to the other insurance company, but I still received an invoice for $1,100 after all was said and done. I asked the other driver's insurance company about reimbursement for the rental car expenses since the accident was not my fault and I was informed that they had already paid Enterprise the maximum amount of money that they were willing to pay because the amount of damage to my car ($$) did not require them to pay more than that. I don't care what the damage to my car was worth. The fact is, I needed to rent a car because of a car accident that was not my fault. It's absurd that a person who was rear ended while yielding to pedestrians in a crosswalk would be left with a $1,100 rental car bill and told "sorry for any inconvenience." I have two jobs and public transportation is not an option where I live. Is this not an open and shut case? Or am I missing something?  Because a $1,100 rental car invoice charged  to my credit card is certainly inconvenient.

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9 hours ago, AOW2011 said:

Is this not an open and shut case?

 

No.

 

9 hours ago, AOW2011 said:

am I missing something?

 

Yes.

 

1 - You are entitled to substitute transportation (assuming your car was unusable) from the date of the accident to the day your car is repaired and returned to you, not counting the time it took for your company's adjuster to come out (the other company likely would have sent somebody sooner) and not counting the time that your body shop people were out of town for the auction.

 

2 - After the adjustments in item 1 are made you are then entitled to the pure cost of an adequate transportation car and not the optional features that car rental companies often scare you into buying.

 

That being said, I agree that it would be a good idea to sue the other driver in small claims court. MA allows lawyers in small claims court. It's possible that the other driver's insurance company might be reluctant to hire one just to defend against an $1100 lawsuit. No guarantees there, though.

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The insurer is liable to pay only up to the limit of the other driver's policy, and not a penny more.  Presumably, the damage to your vehicle was close to that limit such that there was not enough left to cover the entire rental car bill.

 

However, that the insurer's liability is limited doesn't mean the other driver's liability is limited; and, indeed, it is not.  You are free to sue the other driver for for any damages you suffered in excess of his policy limit.

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