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Driving a rental car, whether it’s for a business trip, vacation, or any other reason, can quickly turn into a nightmare if you’re involved in an accident. Georgia, with its rich history and diverse landscapes, is a popular destination for many, and rental cars are often the go-to choice for travelers. But what should you do if you find yourself in a car accident while driving a rental in the Georgia? Let’s explore the steps to take and assess the effectiveness of The Peach State’s ‘laws in handling such situations and access the laws in handling such situations.

Immediate Steps After the Rental Car Accident

Your safety and the safety of others is paramount. If you’re involved in an accident:

  • Check for Injuries: Ensure that everyone involved is okay. Call 911 if there are any injuries.
  • Move to Safety: If possible, move the vehicles to a safe location, away from traffic.
  • Report the Accident: In Georgia, you’re required to report any accident that results in injury, death, or significant property damage. Contact the local police or the Georgia State Patrol.

Document the Scene Of The Accident

Collecting evidence is crucial, especially with a rental car:

  • Take Photos: Capture images of the accident scene, damages, license plates, and any injuries.
  • Gather Information: Collect details from all parties involved, including names, contact information, insurance details, and driver’s license numbers.
  • Witness Accounts: If there are any witnesses, take down their statements and contact information.

Contact the Rental Car Company

Informing the rental company is a must:

  • Report the Accident: Call the rental company’s emergency number, usually provided on your rental agreement, and inform them of the accident.
  • Follow Their Instructions: The rental company will guide you on the next steps, which may include getting the car towed, filling out an accident report, or directing you to a repair facility.

Contact Your Insurance Provider

Even if the rental car company has its insurance, it’s essential to inform your provider:

  • Report the Accident: Give them all the details of the incident.
  • Understand Your Coverage: Determine what your insurance covers. Some personal auto insurance policies might cover rental cars, but it’s essential to confirm.

Understanding Georgia’s Rental Car Insurance Laws

Georgia has specific laws and regulations concerning rental car insurance:

  • Primary vs. Secondary Insurance: Your personal auto insurance typically acts as the primary insurance, while the rental company’s insurance serves as secondary coverage. However, if you don’t have personal auto insurance, the rental company’s policy becomes the primary insurance.
  • Optional Insurance: Rental companies in Georgia offer various optional insurance coverages, such as Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Liability Insurance Supplement (LIS). It’s crucial to understand what these cover and decide if they’re necessary for you.

Dealing with Liability Issues

Determining fault is crucial, especially with a rental car:

  • Georgia’s “Fault” System: Georgia operates under a “fault” system, meaning the party responsible for causing the accident is liable for damages. If you’re found at fault, you may be responsible for any damages exceeding the insurance coverage.
  • Seek Legal Counsel: If there are disputes about liability or if you’re facing potential legal action, consider consulting with a Georgia-based attorney experienced in car accidents.

Returning the Rental Car

Once everything is settled:

  • Return the Car: If the car is drivable and safe, return it to the rental company. If not, ensure it’s towed to a location specified by the rental company.
  • Complete Paperwork: Fill out any necessary accident reports or forms provided by the rental company.

Are Georgia’s Rental Car Laws Effective?

To gauge the effectiveness of Georgia’s laws concerning rental car accidents:


  • Clear Guidelines: Georgia’s laws provide clear guidelines on handling rental car accidents, reducing confusion for drivers.
  • Protection for Renters: The mandatory insurance offered by rental companies ensures that renters have some level of protection.


  • Potential for Overlapping Coverage: With personal auto insurance, credit card insurance, and rental company insurance, there’s potential for confusion and overlapping coverage.
  • Cost Implications: If found at fault, renters might face significant out-of-pocket expenses if damages exceed insurance limits.


Accidents are stressful, more so when they involve a rental car. However, by understanding the steps to take and being aware of Georgia’s laws, you can navigate the aftermath with confidence. While Georgia’s regulations provide a solid framework to handle such incidents, it’s always a good idea to prepare just in case. If you are involved in a car accident in a rental car, its important to hire an expert attorney from Rebecca Kay Sapp Law Firm. Safe travels on Georgia’s beautiful roads!