Should You Accept Cash Payment After An Accident?
If you get into an accident and the party at fault decides to pay you at the scene and move on, should you take it? Regardless of how good the offer sounds, don't take the offer. Here is why:
You Might Have Injuries
Due to the shock from the accident, you might not notice some injuries. If you have internal injuries, they might take longer to surface. The only surety is to visit a hospital, get examined for injuries. For example, if you have a neck injury, you might dismiss it as having a stiff neck. A few days later, you're incapacitated due to nerve damage. Such injuries are expensive to treat; if you agree to take payments before a medical examination, you'll bear these medical expenses out of pocket.
You'll Need Rental Expenses Coverage?
If you estimate the damages and the party at fault agrees to pay, you'll still need a rental car for several days. The payment you receive tends to cover damages only; thus, you'll cover rental costs. If you report this accident to the police and your insurance company, the latter will cater for rental costs.
You May Need to Pay for Additional Damage to You and Your Car
Since both parties are in a hurry, you'll look at the damages on a surface level. For example, if you're involved in a rear-end collision, you'll look at the damage standing next to your car. A mechanic will look at the undercarriage, underneath the bumper, exhaust pipe, and car alignment. All these issues will go unnoticed until you take your car to the repair shop. You'll soon realize that the rushed payment was a mistake.
There May Be Ulterior Motives
Why is the party at fault willing to pay cash? It could be that the car is stolen, money stolen, unauthorized to drive, drunk, or uninsured. The individual could be trying to avoid the paperwork, the back and forth between insurance companies. The safest option is to call the police, talk to your auto accident lawyer, and don't accept payment. You'll likely get an enticing offer but don't take it. This is why you need an auto accident lawyer to advise against such decisions. They'll help you determine how much you should earn for your circumstances.
The other party might later decide to report the accident to the police but with you as the party at fault. Always call the police before leaving the scene as they'll document everything, including the time and place of the accident. Also, contact an auto accident lawyer to help identify which party has legal liability for the damages.