Who Pays for a Rental Car After an Accident in the State of Oregon?

Renting a car might be a requirement after damaging or totaling yours in a car accident in Oregon. You still need to drive to work, the grocery store, and to pick up your kids from school. You may wonder, however, who is responsible for covering the costs of your rental car – especially if you will need it for an extended period of time. The answer will depend on your auto insurance coverage, your fault for the car accident, and the amount of time you will need a rental vehicle.

Man Holding Head After Car Crash

Oregon Auto Insurance Laws

The party that will pay for your rental vehicle depends largely on your auto insurance coverage. Your policy may or may not include rental car coverage. The Oregon Vehicle Code Section 806.010 makes it illegal to operate a vehicle without at least a minimum amount of coverage. Oregon’s coverage requirements are more extensive than those in most other states.

  • $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person
  • $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $20,000 in property damage liability coverage
  • $15,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) per person
  • $25,000 in uninsured motorist insurance for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 in uninsured motorist insurance for bodily injury per accident

Most insurance companies offer a separate, optional type of insurance that will cover the costs of a rental vehicle. Comprehensive coverage, for example, often includes rental car reimbursement. It may be a separate coverage category. Check your policy or reach out to your insurance agent to see if you have rental car coverage. This will help you know how to communicate with the rental car accompany.

If your insurance does have rental car reimbursement, you may or may not have to handle the payment yourself. Some insurance companies have contracts with certain rental car companies. In these cases, you can typically pick up your rental vehicle at no upfront costs. The rental car company will bill your insurer directly. Under other policies, you may need to pay for the costs of your rental out of pocket at first, and then wait for reimbursement from an insurance settlement.

Oregon Fault Laws

If you get into a car accident, lose your vehicle temporarily, and find out you do not have rental car reimbursement on your insurance policy, you may have other options available. Oregon is a fault-based insurance state. The at-fault driver or party will be financially responsible for victims’ damages. If you did not cause your recent accident, the other driver may be liable for paying for your rental vehicle. It will be the at-fault driver’s insurance company that reimburses your rental vehicle expenses, if you can prove fault.

A Portland personal injury lawyer can help you with the burden of proof in an Oregon car accident case. A lawyer can gather evidence, re-create the wreck, and help you prove to a judge or jury that the other driver was negligent, and that this negligence caused your accident. Examples of driver negligence include drunk driving, texting and driving, and speeding. If your attorney can prove that the at-fault driver is why your vehicle is in the shop, the other driver will ultimately have to pay for the costs of a rental vehicle, as well as other accident-related damages.

If the at-fault driver does not have car insurance, the costs may fall back to your own insurance company. The required uninsured motorist coverage on your policy should cover your damages in lieu of the at-fault driver’s insurance. Your insurance company may reimburse you for the costs of a rental vehicle, as well as the price of vehicle repairs or replacement. Contact an attorney for a case evaluation if you are not sure how to get the coverage you need to pay for a rental car.