Whose Insurance Covers Rental Car Costs After a Car Crash?

male hand on door handleFor most of us, going just a few hours without reliable transportation can make our lives very difficult. That is why crash victims often need to rent a car to get to and from work, to pick up their kids from school or make it to doctor appointments for their injuries. They may drive the rental for several days or longer while their car is either repaired, or while they wait for the check from the insurance company so they can start shopping for a new vehicle.

Renting a car for just a couple days can be quite expensive. Fortunately, these costs are likely to be covered by insurance, particularly after a crash. Below, learn more about how rental car costs may be covered after a crash.

Rental Car Coverage

If your car insurance policy has rental car coverage, it should cover the cost of renting a car after a crash. If your policy does not have this coverage, you may be able to obtain coverage from the at-fault driver’s policy.

Rental car coverage may only apply for a specified time, such as until your car is repaired or you have time to replace your totaled car. There may also be caps on amount per day or total amount allowed for the rental car duration of use. That is why it is important to get your car repaired as fast as possible or get a new car as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may need to pay out of pocket to continue renting a car.

While insurance is likely to cover the cost of renting a car, you may not get the exact rental car you want. You will be limited by the terms of the coverage or what the insurance company will allow. In other words, you may not be able to rent a car that is as big as your own car.

Talk to the insurance company so you are clear on how long they will cover the rental car. You want to make sure you will not receive an unexpected bill a few weeks or months later.

Coverage for Damage to the Rental Car

Fortunately, state law requires all insurance policies to cover damage to a rental vehicle and loss of use of a rental vehicle. Minnesota insurance policies must also extend basic economic loss benefits, liability insurance and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

Minnesota prohibits rental car companies from selling collision damage waivers or other insurance products unless you acknowledge in writing that your personal auto insurance must cover the cost of damage to the rental car.

Optional Rental Car Coverages

You can choose to purchase additional coverage from the rental car company. For example, you can buy a collision damage waiver that eliminates your liability for damage to the car. Another optional coverage is supplemental liability protection that covers you if you cause a crash. However, this coverage does not kick in until you exhaust your other auto insurance coverage. These extra coverages are also not paid for by the insurance company. You will owe the added costs.

Tips on Avoiding Extra Costs

It is important to remember the rental car company will expect the car to be returned in the same condition as it left the lot, aside from normal wear and tear. Other than that, they will hold you financially liable for any damage to the vehicle, even if it is not your fault.

That is why it is important to carefully inspect the vehicle and tell the rental car company about any damage. Make sure the damage is documented. You may also want to take pictures of the vehicle before you leave the lot, so you have photographic proof of how the vehicle was before you drove it.

TSR Injury Law is Here to Help. Call to Schedule a Free Consultation.

For more than two decades, TSR Injury Law has been helping injury victims in Minnesota recover compensation to help them move forward with their lives. Our Bloomington-based car accident attorneys have obtained tens of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients, including many car crash victims.

We are prepared to thoroughly investigate your crash, build a strong case and aggressively pursue maximum compensation.

There are no upfront fees for our services, which means there is no risk to you in contacting us.

Give us a call today. We are here to help. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

Holding a Third Party Responsible for an Alcohol-Related Accident

key fob by gavelAlcohol-related accidents happen all too often, resulting in serious injuries and deaths. When an at-fault driver is found intoxicated after an accident, the injured victim may be able to file a claim against him or her. But what about the third party who served the alcohol to the driver?

In Minnesota, a vendor (such as a bar or restaurant) or social host (such as at a house party) generally cannot be held liable if they served alcohol to an adult who then causes an accident. However, a bar could be jointly responsible if they served alcohol to a minor who then caused an injury or death. This also holds true if the bar serves an obviously intoxicated person who later causes a crash.

If you have been harmed or lost a loved one due to an intoxicated driver, TSR Injury Law is here to help. Our firm offers free initial consultations with no risks or obligations. We are well-versed in dram shop laws and social host liability. Our firm has a proven track record of recovering millions in compensation on behalf of our clients.

Understanding Minnesota’s Dram Shop Law

Minnesota’s dram shop law says a third party could potentially be held liable for the actions of a drunk driver if:

  • Alcohol was served illegally.
  • The sale of alcohol played a role in the driver getting drunk.
  • Drunkenness caused your injury.
  • You suffered damages – such as medical costs or lost wages.

Generally, the third party cannot be held liable unless alcohol was served to a minor or served to an obviously intoxicated customer.  Investigation is vitally important to prove a dram shop.  How can we prove a person was overserved?  What witnesses were at the bar?  What employees were on the clock and what was their training to make sure they do not overserve customers?  What drinks were served and can we find credit card receipts to prove it?  Is there video of a customer falling down or acting drunk, yet kept getting served?  Necessary evidence often disappears over time.  Memories fade or receipts get lost.  Videos get erased or recorded over.   The blood alcohol of the driver is often not enough evidence by itself to prove over serving.

In addition to evidence being tough to gather, bars aggressively defend these claims.  If accused of serving a minor, they may claim a fake I.D. was used.  If accused of overserving, they may argue there is no video, that a friend came to their bar and took the alcohol back to a table so the bar tender never saw the obvious intoxication, or they may argue the driver left their bar and went to another bar before causing the crash.  The claimant has the burden to prove the claim.  The bar simply has to poke holes in the evidence.

Social Host Liability for Underage Drinking

A social host is an adult who hosts parties where alcohol is served on a property he or she owns, leases or otherwise controls. For instance, parents may allow their underage children and underage friends to consume alcohol in their home.

However, this is illegal. If a social host served alcohol to a minor who then drives while intoxicated and injures someone else in an accident, he or she could be sued for negligence.

Taking Legal Action Against a Third Party

Anyone injured or killed in an alcohol-related accident by an underage driver may be eligible to bring a claim for damages against any third party who knowingly provided alcohol to the minor.

Vendors or social hosts cannot be held responsible unless your attorney can prove negligence played a role in the accident and your injuries. In other words, your lawyer must establish a third party had a legal duty to act as another reasonable entity would have by refusing to serve alcohol to someone not of legal drinking age.

Having legal representation on your side would be beneficial in these cases. Our experienced Bloomington car accident attorneys are prepared to conduct a thorough investigation and gather evidence to help build a strong case for compensation on your behalf.

Damages Available for Alcohol-Related Accidents

The amount and types of damages injured victims of alcohol-related accident could recover will vary. However, some damages that may be available include:

  • Medical bills to help treat the injury
  • Lost wages and benefits if unable to work
  • Property damage caused by the accident
  • Pain and suffering, both mental and physical

No Upfront Fees for Our Legal Services

TSR Injury Law is ready to hold those responsible for your injuries accountable. We have decades of experience pursuing compensation for car crash victims. To date, our firm has recovered millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of Minnesota residents.

Call us today to discuss your potential case in a free initial consultation. We do not charge upfront fees to represent you and no costs unless we are successful in recovering damages for you.

Trusted. Local. Lawyers. Ph: (612) TSR-TIME.

Study Shows Stop Lines Not as Effective as Intended for Driver Safety

car crossing intersection in front of stop lineTraffic safety officials take certain precautions to keep drivers and pedestrians safe. Often, those measures are taken by analyzing driving patterns and traffic density.

One of the measures taken by traffic safety officials in Minnesota is the use of white safety lines called “stop lines” to designate the spot where drivers are meant to stop at an intersection. However, a recent study shows these lines were ineffective in keeping driver’s safe by getting them to stop sooner.

What Are Stop Lines?

Stop lines, also called stop bars, are white lines drawn on the road at intersections where there is a stop sign or traffic light. They are meant to show drivers where they should come to a full stop at the intersection.

These lines are often put in because of vision obstructions for other drivers on the road. Say the stop sign at a particular intersection is right at the intersection, this could potentially be troublesome for drivers who are making a turn that crosses the path of the vehicle stopped at the intersection – if the car at the stop sign is pulled all the way up to the sign, the car making the turn could scrape the front of the other car by not making a wide enough turn.

What Does the Study Show?

The study, which was conducted by the Minnesota Local Road Research Board, was carried out for over 14 years observing the metropolitan intersections where the stop lines are painted. The study found that the lines were ineffective at getting drivers to stop where they are meant to stop.

The Star Tribune reports that the study’s lead investigator, John Hourdos of the University of Minnesota, says that the stop lines are effective in slowing drivers down.

Hourdos tells the Tribune “stop lines do affect the driver’s approach behavior, so if they are used, they need to be used appropriately. Since they are not globally beneficial, they can be used on locations where vehicles are approaching at high speeds to slow down the unavoidable roll-and-stoppers.”

What was the Purpose of the Study?

Stop lines, or bars, are used almost everywhere in the United States. And although drivers are legally required to stop at stop signs and traffic lights, there is no law that says they must stop on or before the stop lines. That is why researchers wanted to review the effectiveness of the stop bars in reducing crashes and promoting driver safety.

Have Questions? Call Us Today

If you have been involved in a crash with a driver who did not stop at the designated stop lines of an intersection, you may be wondering what legal options are available to you.

The Bloomington-based car accident attorneys at TSR Injury Law are prepared to review your claim and see if you are eligible for compensation.

We do not charge you anything up front and only get paid if you do.

Call today to schedule a free consultation at (612) TSR-TIME

Do I Get to Decide Where to Take My Car for Repairs After a Crash?

helpful assistant by cars at repair shopCrash victims may experience confusion after a car crash. Insurance companies love to take advantage of this uncertainty to deny or lower the value of a claim. It also comes into play for simply trying to fix your car damage.

That is why it is so important for crash victims to meet with a licensed attorney. Our Bloomington-based auto accident attorneys expect these types of tactics from insurance companies, and we are prepared to deal with them on your behalf.

Below, learn more about handling damages to your vehicle, including whether you get to choose the shop that does your car repairs.

At TSR Injury Law, we charge nothing for an initial consultation or while working on your claim. Meeting with one of our lawyers is risk-free. We have obtained millions on behalf of crash victims.

Choosing a Repair Shop After a Car Crash

You have the right to decide where to get your vehicle fixed after it gets damaged in a crash, just like you have the right to decide where to get treated for your injuries. The insurance company cannot require you to take your car to one shop or interfere with your decision to take it somewhere else.

Your insurance should cover the reasonable costs of repairing your vehicle back to its pre-crash condition. Using your car insurance to repair your vehicle is not like using your health insurance for medical treatment. There is no network of repair shops that limits your choices. Your car insurance company cannot decide to cover less of the cost because you chose the mechanic, and they did not.

You should take your car to a repair shop you feel will do quality work and charge a fair price for parts and labor. You need reliable transportation to get back and forth between your home and your workplace. You may find a reputable shop simply by asking friends and family members for recommendations and doing your own research, including looking at customer reviews.

It is also a good idea to check whether a repair shop carries the appropriate industry qualifications, such as certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and/or Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair. These certifications help to ensure mechanics meet the appropriate standards when working on your car.

There are also things you may notice about a shop when you walk in. For example, are they busy? If not, that may be a bad sign. Is the place dirty? Does it seem chaotic? If so, you may want to take your car somewhere else.

Am I Required to Get a Few Estimates?

There is no law requiring you to get multiple estimates for repairs after a crash. That said, your insurance policy may require getting multiple estimates for repairs. That is why it is important to carefully review an insurance policy before purchasing it.

Are There Benefits to Working with a Shop Approved by the Insurer?

There is nothing wrong with using a repair shop recommended by the insurance company. In fact, because the insurance company is used to working with the repair shops they recommend, it could speed up the claims process. They will likely handle all the paperwork and do so more efficiently than if you had to deal with it yourself. That may result in you getting your car back sooner. Repair shops may prioritize work done on vehicles insured by a company they regularly work with.

Another potential benefit is related to the warranty for the work done on your car. A repair shop usually issues a warranty of about one to two years on its work. However, the insurance company may extend the warranty for as long as you own the car if you use their approved shop.

Contact TSR Injury Law Today for Legal Help

Give us a call today to learn more about the importance of experienced legal help after a crash. Our lawyers have helped many crash victims over more than 20 years serving Bloomington, Minneapolis, and the surrounding areas.

Learn more by calling to set up a free consultation. Call: (612) TSR-TIME.

TSR Injury Law Recovers $3 Million for Nurse Who Suffered Brain Injury in Semi-Truck Crash

suv after wreck with smashed hoodCommercial truck crashes often result in serious and long-lasting injuries. Unfortunately, that is what happened to a 53-year-old nurse who was rear-ended by a semi-truck on highway 94. She suffered a mild traumatic brain injury, PTSD, anxiety, fatigue, and neck and back injuries.

TSR Injury Law is proud to announce we were able to recover significant compensation on her behalf – $3,041,784.10 in total compensation was awarded by a panel of arbitrators. You can learn more on our case results page. Click the “Truck Accident” tab – it will be the first result you see.

The victim was represented by partner Rich Ruohonen from the start of the case until it concluded four years later.

The victim was injured when a semi-truck crashed into the back of her vehicle. The force of impact pushed her vehicle into a truck in front her. The truck was also pushed into another car. This resulted in all three vehicles being totaled.

rear of SUV totaled after car accidentThe victim has experienced significant challenges since the collision, including not being able to work for 10 months and being unable to work in the same capacity as before.

Unfortunately, the trucking company did not agree the victim’s injuries were as severe as her doctors claimed they were. Eventually, both parties agreed to enter binding arbitration with a three-lawyer panel.

The victim was able to recover all of her lost wages and future damages, which will be a great help to her as she looks to move forward after this life-changing incident.

If you were injured in a truck crash, give us a call to learn more about how we may be able to assist you. There are no upfront fees, and we are not paid unless you receive compensation.

TSR Injury Law. Local. Licensed. Lawyers. Call (612) TSR-TIME.

My Tag was Expired at the Time of the Crash. Can I Still File a Claim?

fake minnesota license plateWhen policyholders file a claim after a crash, car insurance companies will look for any reason to accuse them of negligence. They may even refer to things that have nothing to do with the cause of the crash, such as your driver’s license status, a front headlight being out on a rear end crash or an expired tag.

Insurance companies are hoping crash victims will take their word for it about their role in the crash and accept whatever lowball offer of compensation they make. Crash victims are often desperate for compensation and unsure of the value of their claim.

Below, learn more about what effect, if any, an expired tag may have on a car crash claim. We also discuss Minnesota regulations on renewing vehicle tags and penalties for failing to do so.

If you have questions after suffering an injury in a car crash, give us a call to schedule a free initial consultation. We have helped many crash victims recover compensation to help them move forward with their lives.

Expired Tags and Car Crashes

An expired tag has nothing to do with what caused a crash to happen. Most crashes are caused by one driver’s negligent actions, such as speeding, tailgating, distracted driving or drunk driving. While it is careless to forget to renew your tag, it does not mean you are to blame for the crash.

You are likely to be cited by police when they arrive at the scene. However, citations or tickets for things that had no bearing on the crash should not affect your claim for compensation. If you were cited for reckless driving or violating the rules of the road, that may affect your claim.

It is important to note Minnesota is a no-fault state, which means fault plays no role in pursuing a claim against the personal injury protection coverage for medical bills and wage loss. That is not to say fault plays no role in a claim – if you are injured and want to pursue a bodily injury claim, you will pursue compensation from the other driver’s insurance coverage and fault does factor into that.

You should take anything the insurance company says with a grain of salt and strongly consider discussing things with a licensed attorney. You do not need to say much to the insurance company, and if you are not cautious, you could say something that hurts your claim.

Minnesota Regulations on Tag Renewal

In Minnesota, you have until the last day of the month your tag expires to pay to renew it. You must display the new sticker within the 10th day of the next month.

Penalties for Failing to Renew Your Vehicle Registration

The fee for failing to renew your vehicle registration in time is four or five times the fee to renew. That means you could end up paying a fine of somewhere between $125 and $225. If you do not pay the fine, a warrant could be put out for your arrest. If you get stopped because of an expired tag and the police discover such a warrant, you could be placed under arrest and your vehicle could be impounded.

The last thing you want to have to deal with after a crash is your vehicle being impounded and you being placed under arrest.

Have You Been Injured in a Crash? TSR Injury Law may be able to Help

There are many benefits to meeting with an experienced Minneapolis-based auto accident lawyer after a crash. Learn more by calling TSR Injury Law to set up a free, no-obligation legal consultation. This is an opportunity to learn how we may be able to assist you during this difficult time.

No upfront fees or obligations. Call TSR today: (612) TSR-TIME.