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Atlanta Rental Car Accident Guide: Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid

Donald Singleton
March 11, 2024

A recent study from 2022 revealed that an average of one in ten drivers have caused a car accident and been at fault in the past. That same study revealed that Georgia is particularly dangerous, with about 14.37% of drivers being at fault for a crash.

If you’ve recently been involved in an accident here in Georgia, then you need to know how to handle the situation moving forward to protect your rights and legal options. This is especially true if a rental vehicle was involved in the crash.

Thankfully, we’ve compiled this Atlanta rental car accident guide to help you identify and avoid the top ten mistakes made in Atlanta accidents. Knowing what not to do can help you avoid costly errors that could derail your claim. Learn more about how to navigate your accident claim and how our law firm can help below.

Car crash site

1. Not Seeking Immediate Medical Assistance

Our Atlanta rental car accident guide wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the number one mistake that you could make after experiencing a crash. Not seeking out immediate medical care is a claim’s killer. If you make this costly mistake, then you might not be able to pursue any compensation at all, and the reasoning makes sense. If you wait to get medical care, then it will be difficult to prove whether your injuries were made worse due to the delay. It will also be more difficult to prove that your injuries even came from the accident if you wait for days or weeks to get the care you need.

That said, your best move is to get medical treatment at the scene or go to the hospital the same day to get a full physical checkup. This ensures your rights to compensation aren’t compromised.

2. Not Reporting the Accident Immediately

Another common mistake you could make after a crash is not reporting the incident right away. In Georgia, car accidents should be reported anytime the accident results in an injury or property damage that’s likely to exceed $500. The reason this traffic code is in place is to protect your rights in the event of an accident with losses. Without an official police report that documents exactly what happened and who was involved, you might not have enough evidence to leverage your rights and file a claim later.

You can report the accident by calling your local police department when the incident happens.

3. Failing to Document the Accident Thoroughly

If you are seriously hurt during your accident, then this step doesn’t apply to you. You’ll need to focus on your physical injuries and getting the help you need.

Otherwise, though, you should start to document your accident thoroughly at the scene of the crash. If possible, get the contact information from any witnesses who saw what happened after the accident. Get photographs of the crash scene, and look for nearby surveillance cameras or dash cams to see if anyone caught the accident on film.

Once you get the immediate medical care you need, you can start to document your losses thoroughly, too. Keep records of any medical diagnosis, bill, or receipt you receive. You’ll also want to keep copies of any repair estimates for property damage or notes from your employer stating how much work you’re missing out on.

4. Admitting Fault at the Scene

In the immediate aftermath of a crash, you likely won’t be thinking clearly. Depending on the severity of the situation, your body could be pumped full of adrenaline or other life-saving chemicals. That said, you’ll need to be very careful about what you say and do after the accident, especially when the other driver or the police question you.

It’s natural to want to minimize the situation by saying, “I’m okay,” or even help alleviate the tension by apologizing and accepting blame temporarily for what happened. You’ll need to avoid doing this, though, because if you admit fault at the scene, you could not only derail your own claim but possibly assume liability for the other driver’s losses.

The Risks of Premature Admissions

If you make a premature admission of fault without thinking it through, then the consequences could be a lot worse than you think. Your statement will likely be noted by the police in their official report, which could be used as evidence against you later if you or the other party decide to file a claim.

5. Ignoring the Terms of Your Insurance Coverage

Another common problem you might run into is ignoring the terms of your insurance coverage. Unfortunately, if you don’t fully understand your insurance coverage going into an accident, then you might not be aware of when you’re liable and when your policy might kick in. If you’re driving a rental car, then you need to understand exactly whether your car insurance policy will cover you in that vehicle and to what extent.

Understanding Your Insurance Policy’s Scope

Are you unclear about the scope of your insurance coverage? If so, then it’s never too late to call your insurance provider and ask for a full overview of your policy, your limits, and what exactly would be covered in various situations.

6. Not Utilizing All Available Insurance Options

After your accident, you’ll want to know all of your available insurance options, especially if your situation is complex. For instance, a hit-and-run accident could leave you scrambling to identify who caused your crash, but you might have some relief by filing a claim under an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance provider.

If you’re not sure exactly what options are available to you, then it’s time to reach out to an attorney. The right lawyer will make sure you’re fully informed regarding your options so that you’re empowered to make a good decision.

7. Mishandling the Claims Process

The claims process can be complex and time-consuming. There are plenty of opportunities along the way for a claim to be mishandled, so in general, it’s best to hire a lawyer to help you through the process.

Errors in Filing Insurance Claims

One big blunder you could make is undervaluing your claim when you initially file. This can be very problematic, especially if your insurer agrees to the claim and pays out the settlement. At that point, you won’t be able to collect further compensation in another claim.

Another error you could make when filing is not fully documenting your losses with the right evidence. If you hire an attorney, they can help you avoid these common errors.

8. Underestimating the Impact on Future Insurance Premiums

Sadly, if you cause an accident, then you’ll have no choice but to consider the collision’s impact on your future insurance premiums. In almost every case, you’ll have to pay more for car insurance because you’ll be considered riskier to insurers.

Some insurance providers offer ways to redeem yourself, like taking a defensive driving course or utilizing one-time accident forgiveness policies.

9. Forgetting to Review and Understand the Rental Agreement

Did you take the time to read out all the fine print on the terms and conditions of the rental agreement you signed? Most of us don’t, but it is important to at least inquire and understand your agreement, especially when it comes to potential accident situations.

The Importance of Knowing Your Rental Agreement

It’s important to know what your rental agreement says about accidents in case you get involved in one. You might mistakenly believe that the rental car company will assume liability for an accident, but it might state in the contract that you’ll need to maintain proper insurance coverage and take on liability for an accident. If you need help reviewing your agreement, then have a lawyer review it and relay the details to you before you sign it and rent the vehicle.

10. Not Consulting an Atlanta Rental Car Accident Lawyer When Necessary

This Atlanta rental car accident guide wouldn’t be comprehensive without making sure to mention another common mistake made by those injured in collisions – not consulting with a reputable Atlanta Rental Car Accident Attorney when necessary.

In general, you should get in touch with a rental car accident attorney if you got into a recent accident, the crash led to significant losses, and you believe the other party is at fault. An attorney will help you go over your options, consider the value of your claim, and work towards getting you the settlement award you’re entitled to. If you don’t consult with an attorney when

Are You Ready to Get in Touch With Our Accident Firm?

After reading through our Atlanta rental car accident guide, you should have a better idea of how to handle the initial moments and days after your crash. As you can see, fumbling your claim can be as simple as making a mindless claim apologizing for causing the accident in the aftermath of a crash.

In general, the best thing you can do to ensure that you don’t make a mistake and mishandle your claim to hire a car accident attorney as soon as you know you’ll need one.

Here at Singleton Law Firm, our team is prepared to help you navigate your Atlanta rental car accident claim from start to finish.

Donald Singleton

Donald Singleton


A Georgia native, Don founded Singleton Law Firm in 1999 as a continuation of his lifetime commitment to serving his state and community. He has concentrated his trial practice to representing victims of serious injury and wrongful death arising out of trucking, car, bus and motorcycle accidents, premises liability and a wide variety of other causes.

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