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What Is Loss of Use and When Is It Recoverable in a Car Accident?


Loss of use is when your car is damaged and can’t be driven until the necessary repairs are made.

St. Louis Missouri car accident scene

When you are in a car accident and your car is damaged, it is a real inconvenience to take time away from your regular schedule to have your vehicle repaired. Just a day or two can put a real kink in your schedule.

When your car is severely damaged and not drivable, that can put an even bigger hardship on your finances and your life. There are times when suffering the loss of the use of your car is recoverable and other times when it is not.

What Is a Loss of Use?

Loss of use is when your car is damaged and can’t be driven until the necessary repairs are made. In most instances, if your car is damaged in a car accident, you are entitled to economic and non economic damages. The loss of use is a cost that would be considered an economic damage. If you have to pay for a rental car in order live your daily life as you normally would, then that shouldn’t come at your own expense because someone else was driving irresponsibly.

Under What Circumstances Can You Collect Loss of Use Reimbursement?

  • If you were in a car accident
  • You weren’t found at fault or partially at fault
  • Your automobile is unusable for an extended period of time that would create an economic hardship
  • Your car is reasonably damaged

Some policies have a limited amount of liability when it comes to loss of use. Before you assume that you will be reimbursed for a rental car, it is a good idea to contact your own insurance company or the other party’s insurance company to see if there are limits to the insurance coverage.

How Much Are You Entitled to Be Reimbursed For?

The amount that you are likely entitled to, if you have a loss of use claim, is the amount of money that you have to pay to have a reasonable alternative mode of transportation while your car is not available. If you choose not to rent a car, then you have to prove that you had to pay money and that you actually suffered an economic loss in order to collect from the claim.

What Are the Defenses Against Loss of Use?

  • The car was not for business use
  • You didn’t have the car properly repaired/maintained
  • The repairs took longer than they should have
  • The car was unrepairable
  • You rented a car that was way more expensive than the value of the automobile that was damaged

If any of the above situations apply to you, you will need to let your lawyer know right away. The occurrence of these situations might make it impossible for you to collect loss of use benefits.

Why Should You Speak With a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer?

If you are in a car accident and looking to get all that you are entitled to, it is a good idea to have a St. Louis car accident attorney to represent you during the negotiation phase and beyond, if necessary. All of those little expenses that you might not be thinking of can really add up. A St. Louis car accident lawyer will fight in your behalf for all that you have lost.

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Updated: May 10, 2018