If you have been involved in a car accident and someone else is at fault, there are several different categories of money damages you may be entitled to recover. In addition to medical expenses for any injuries you suffered, and repair expenses for your vehicle, you may be able to recover for “loss of use” of your car. As Fort Walton Car Accident Attorneys, we are experienced in helping our clients to maximize their recovery following an automobile accident. Loss of use claims come into play when you are unable to use your car after it was damaged in a car accident, and typically include the costs of a rental car or using public transportation while your car is being repaired.
How Do I Know if I Have a Loss of Use Claim?
You may be able to file a claim with your insurance company for loss of use if:
- You were in an automobile accident;
- You were not at fault for causing the automobile accident;
- You owned or leased the vehicle that you were driving at the time of the automobile accident;
- Your vehicle was damaged in the automobile accident;
- Your vehicle became unusable by you for a period of time; and
- You suffered financial damages as a result of losing the use of your vehicle.
How Much Can I Recover for Loss of Use?
The extent of your recovery will depend primarily on the specifics of your car insurance policy. Some insurance companies may limit the amount of money you can recover. In addition, your claim may be denied if it is not “reasonable.” For example, you may not be able to recover the amount for an expensive or luxury car rental if it is not similar to the type of car that you are having repaired.
Some insurance companies limit the length of time you can recover for loss of use. Generally, you will not be able to recover loss of use damages if you use a rental car for more than thirty days.
Why Would My Insurance Company Deny My Loss of Use Claim?
Your loss of use claim may be denied if:
- Your vehicle was totally destroyed in the accident;
- Your vehicle was never repaired;
- The repairs to your damaged vehicle were unreasonable (e., the repairs took an unusually long time to complete);
- The value of your vehicle before the accident was less than the total amount of your claim; or
- You did not rent a substitute vehicle.
How Do I Prove My Loss of Use Claim?
As with any insurance claim, the best way to maximize your recovery is with proper documentation. In most cases, your insurance company will request the following information from you:
- An police report that provides details about the accident;
- Proof of the value or condition of your car prior to the accident;
- A rental car contract or receipt listing the length of time you rented the car for and the amount of money you paid for the rental car; and
- One or more quotes from repair shops describing the amount of time it will take to repair the car and the estimated repair costs.
Let Our Fort Walton Car Accident Attorneys Help You
If you are unsure whether or not you have a loss of use claim, or you believe that your insurance company has wrongfully denied your loss of use claim, we welcome you to contact us, either by email or phone (850) 682-2757, for a free, no-obligation consultation.