If you were in a car accident that was not your fault, in theory, your rental car should be covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In reality though, nothing will be paid out until they’ve actually accepted liability.
In any accident where liability is disputed, the cost of a rental car will likely only be paid for up front if you have rental coverage through your own auto insurance policy. If you do not have rental coverage, your only option may be to pay out of pocket and seek reimbursement from the at-fault party once liability has been established.
In situations where the vehicle can be repaired, insurance companies may cover the cost of a rental car while it’s in the shop—but there are often caveats to this. In situations where your vehicle is declared a total loss, any rental coverage will usually end the moment they make this determination.