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What You Need to Know About Towing & Rental Car Charges After a Crash

Gama Law Firm LLC Jan. 5, 2024

We know the shock and bewilderment that hits you after being involved in a car crash. It's a whirlwind of emotions and logistical nightmares - dealing with your wrecked vehicle, navigating towing charges, and grappling with rental car costs can feel like an uphill battle. We're here to tell you that you're not alone. 

Navigating Towing and Rental Car Costs After an Accident: Who Foots the Bill? 

When you're involved in a crash, the aftermath can be quite the quest. Your car is likely to be severely damaged, often requiring it to be towed to a salvage yard.

This move alone typically costs around $100, and that's just the beginning. The salvage yard or impound lot may charge anywhere from $20 to $30 per day, sometimes more, just for storing your vehicle. Then there's the burden of securing a rental car while yours is out of commission. 

Now, if the accident wasn't your fault, it seems logical that the other driver's insurance should cover these costs promptly and without dispute. But let's set the record straight — it's rarely that simple. 

Insurance companies aren't in a rush to make this process quick or easy. They might deny liability despite what seems like clear-cut evidence to you, your lawyer, and even the police officer investigating the crash. If they refuse to admit fault, it could be a long journey before they're compelled to do so. And even if they eventually accept responsibility for the accident, they might take weeks, or longer, to inspect your vehicle, finalize their evaluation, and determine a fair value for your car. 

All this time, your car's storage fees are mounting, and so are your rental car charges. It's a stressful situation, but that's where legal help comes in.

Dealing With Towing and Rental Car Costs After a Crash 

When you're caught up in the aftermath of a car accident, it can feel like you're stuck in a maze of choices, each one more confusing than the last. At Gama Law Firm, we're here to guide you through this challenging time and take away the stress of not knowing what to do. 

If your car is still drivable after the crash, you might consider paying the tow yard fees to reclaim it and halt the daily charges. However, if the damage is so extensive that your car can't be driven, this isn't a viable option. Regardless of your car's condition, remember not to move or touch it until the other driver's insurance has inspected the damage and taken photographs. This way, they can't dispute the origin of the damage. 

Your best course of action at this stage? Let your car stay put in the tow yard. Inform the other driver's insurance company that you're waiting for them to complete their investigation. 

Once the insurance company has assessed the damage and if your car is drivable, you should consider settling the balance and retrieving your car from the storage yard. Rest assured, you can seek reimbursement from the insurance company following their evaluation. But if your car isn't fit to drive, you'll have to wait for the insurance company to wrap up their assessment. You'll likely end up taking the title of your car in exchange for a settlement check. 

As for rental car costs, if you rely on a vehicle to get to work, you may have no choice but to pay for a rental car upfront. You can then seek reimbursement from either the other driver's insurance, your own, or both. 

Leveraging Your Own Insurance: A Timely Solution? 

When you're covered by a comprehensive collision policy, your own insurance can be a lifesaver, especially when the other driver's insurance is dragging their feet with reimbursements or payments. In such instances, you have the option to pay the deductible and let your own insurance handle the rest - from car repairs to towing, storage, and even rental fees, provided these expenses are included in your policy. 

The advantage here is time. Generally, your own insurance will reimburse you (or fix your car) faster than the other driver's insurance. But don't fret about fairness. Your insurance company will pursue the other driver's insurance to recoup their expenses and your deductible, usually without requiring any action on your part. 

So, while it may seem counterintuitive to lean on your insurance after an accident that wasn't your fault, remember that you pay for insurance for a reason. At Gama Law Firm, we'll lay out all your options so that you can make the choices that are best for your situation.  

Partial Reimbursement from Insurance: What's Your Next Move?

So, the other driver's insurance has finally admitted fault. That's a step in the right direction. However, they're likely only to cover what they deem as 'reasonable' towing, storage, and rental car charges. It's essential to note that their definition of 'reasonable' often hinges on the specific adjuster handling your case, not necessarily what you believe is fair. 

There are several scenarios where you might find yourself not fully reimbursed for your actual costs. For instance: 

  • If your salvage yard's fees are double compared to others in your area, 

  • If the adjuster permits you to move your vehicle out of storage, but you don't act for several weeks, 

  • Or if you've hit the maximum reimbursement limit as outlined in the other driver's insurance policy. 

In such cases, you might be left with out-of-pocket expenses even after the dust has settled. But here's some good news - if you sustained injuries in the crash, you could potentially claim these remaining costs as part of a personal injury claim. 

We understand this process can be complex and confusing. But remember, at Gama Law Firm, we're in your corner and our job is to help make this process less stressful.  

Legal Assistance for Complex Cases

At Gama Law Firm, we understand the hurdles you face after a car crash. Dealing with towing and rental car charges can be daunting, on top of dealing with medical bills and getting the right medical care. But our experienced team of attorneys is here to guide you every step of the way. Based in Aurora, Colorado, we've been serving clients throughout Denver, Parker, Centennial, and Castle Pines for years. Our deep understanding of local laws and regulations allows us to provide you with the best possible legal representation.

If you've been hurt in a car or trucking accident, reach out to us today for a free consultation and let us help you deal with the legalities of towing and rental car charges after the crash.