Car accidents are always a hassle. If you’re fortunate, you escape with little to no injury and maybe even minimal damage to your vehicle. Most people, however, aren’t lucky enough to experience the latter–nearly all accidents result in some sort of property damage. The more significant accidents obviously lead to more serious damage… enough so that getting a rental vehicle is a must.
The problem is, for some people, that means more money being spent out of pocket, right? Not anymore for those people living in Maryland!
Renting a Car After an Accident
People need to get around, even if their vehicle is damaged in an accident. The solution for many is to rent a car while their vehicle is being repaired. Most auto insurance companies offer rental car coverage as an option in their policies, where they’ll cover most, if not all, of the daily costs of renting a car (be sure to check your policy for specifics).
But what happens if your rental car is damaged by an uninsured driver? This certainly sounds like it has the potential for an even bigger headache. And until recently, it did have a frustrating result.
What Happens If Your Rental Car Is Damaged by an Uninsured Driver?
Fortunately, a recent Maryland Court of Appeals case has helped settle that issue. Consider the recent case of Desiree Berry and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. Andrae Queen. It was determined by the Maryland Court of Appeals—Maryland State’s Supreme Court — that the phrase “damage to property,” as incorporated by Maryland’s Uninsured Motorist Statute, includes loss of damages such as rental costs.
Put simply: say you’re driving a rental car, and an uninsured motorist damages it, the insurance company traditionally pays for the property damage; however, the insurance industry determined that rentals were not covered under the Maryland Uninsured Motorist Statute. The Court of Appeals reversed that practice in this case, stating that “damage to property” includes “rental,” a win for innocent victims whose rental cars are damaged by uninsured drivers.
If You’re Involved in an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist…
Your well-being comes first. If you feel you’re injured, be sure to seek medical attention immediately. Then call the car accident attorneys at The Lapidus Law Firm. We have four decades of experience dealing with accidents, those involving uninsured drivers and yes, rental vehicles as well. We know the laws and we know how to communicate with insurance companies who, despite the fact that you’re paying them, do not truly represent you and are not interested in making fair settlement offers.
That’s why you need an experienced attorney who knows how to negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and if need be, how to fight them in court.
Vehicle Rental Costs Are Now Covered by the Uninsured Motorist Provision
Thanks to the Maryland Court of Appeals, your rental car expenses are covered by your own company up to the amount you purchased in your policy. But if you are also physically injured, you should still consider hiring an experienced attorney who will fight on your behalf for a fair and reasonable settlement. Call The Lapidus Law Firm today at (202) 785-5111 or (301) 952-7500 to set up a free, no-obligation Zoom consultation so we can discuss your case.
Written by Larry Lapidus