In some cases, it may be extremely obvious who is most at fault for a car crash. No one likes dealing with their insurance companies, and the other driver may present you with a decent amount of cash to make the incident go away. As much of a hassle as it might be to contact your insurance representative, you should avoid paying to fix damages out of pocket.
Many drivers worry their deductibles or rates will increase, but unless you are considered at fault for the crash or depending on the terms of your policy, this may not happen. In many instances, even if you are found 25 percent liable for the crash, your insurance rates will not go up. There are plenty of other reasons why taking cash after a car accident is a mistake.
Medical expenses can add up
If you feel any pain after a crash, then do not take money. You need to see a doctor immediately to determine the full extent of your injuries. Between MRI scans and possible medication costs, you could be looking at high medical bills. Chances are good the other person does not realize this nor do they have enough cash out of pocket to pay for all this. You will need to go through the insurance company to make sure you are able to adequately pay for everything.
Your car may be worse off than you think
Some fender benders only leave behind minor marks and scratches. However, repairing a one-inch dent can still cost more than $100 to fix. There may also be damage to parts you cannot readily see. If damage occurred to the suspension, for example, then you may have to pay several hundred dollars to fix it. In the event the suspension requires a total replacement, you will easily see a repair bill of several thousand dollars.
You cannot pay for a rental car
Insurance pays for more than fixing a vehicle. Under certain policies, it can also pay for a rental car while your vehicle is in the shop receiving repairs. This can cost quite a bit if you need a rental car for longer than a week, and chances are good the other driver will not think about this cost when offering you money.
Play it safe — get legal advice
While it might be tempting to accept a cash offer from another driver after an accident, chances are likely that it won’t be in your favor. Ultimately, you could end up jeopardizing your claim if you end up filing one later on. When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to talk to an attorney who understands the law and what’s at stake.