Car accidents are a confusing experience. In the swirl of chaos, people don’t always make the best choices. The other driver might offer you cash to compensate for your damage, and without thinking, you might take it.
It is not recommended that you take money from another driver in an accident. Their reasons for offering it are almost certainly selfish. This statement is not meant to be judgmental. Remember, they are in the midst of confusion and adrenaline as well. In a panic, they might not be thinking clearly. No matter how good their intentions are, however, they are probably not operating in your best interests.
Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t take cash at the scene of an accident.
Arizona Uses At-Fault Insurance
According to state law, the driver who caused an accident is responsible for the other driver’s damages. When you are hit, you speak to both your and the other driver’s insurance companies. Once it is clear that the other driver is at fault, their insurance company handles your bills. This will almost certainly result in raising the at-fault driver’s insurance premiums. Trying to settle with you directly is probably an attempt to keep their monthly bills low. Also, the other driver could be uninsured and, knowing the at-fault system, attempting to avoid legal repercussions.
The Money Could Be Far Less Than You Need
The results of a car accident are unpredictable. Damage can be undetected. Sometimes, your car runs fine immediately after the wreck, but it doesn’t start the next day. Your body could react the same way. You may feel okay at the moment, but the body releases endorphins and other hormones when it is injured. This keeps the pain from crippling you while you find safety. You could wake up to discover your neck cannot move.
Taking whatever sum you are offered could put you in a financial bind. You assumed at the time that the damage wasn’t extensive, only to discover that there are serious issues. This can be particularly troublesome for injuries. Often, they require regular doctor visits, follow-ups, prescriptions, and even surgeries. These are treatments you cannot predict at the time of the accident.
You Don’t Know if You Can Trust the Other Driver
They may be as charming and sincere as a movie star, but ultimately, you don’t know this person. Any information they gave you could be false. Maybe they are educated about cars and injuries, and they chose a dollar amount that intentionally undercut your need. Perhaps they are a great person with the best of intentions, but as time passes, panic sets in. They gave you accurate information at the time, but they ignore you when you reach out.
Taking an Offer Could Damage Your Claim
The insurance system is designed to be the primary means of covering the cost of a car accident. There is a process in place, and there are laws you should follow. By taking another offer, you could damage your ability to collect insurance. If you settled with the other driver, the insurance company can easily claim that action as your compensation. The company becomes completely unhelpful after that.
If you’re unable to collect insurance, this could affect all of the scenarios above.
- You cannot collect any more benefits, meaning you could be stuck paying for extra healthcare or repairs. You spend far more money than you should, while the other driver pays only the settlement they offered you.
- Once the other driver has vanished, you have no way of collecting more money from them if you need it.
Speak With an Attorney
If you’ve made a bad deal with an at-fault driver, you may not be completely stuck. Talk to an attorney about your issues, and they may have a solution. They might be able to negotiate with the insurance company, helping you receive benefits. If necessary, they could help track down the other driver to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you did take money after a car crash, your journey will be more complicated, but you still have options for compensation.
If you need help recovering benefits after a car accident, contact us today. With skill and experience, we may have a solution to your problem. Our number is (602) 483-6114, and you can reach us online here.