Do Not Agree to Anything at the Scene of a Car Accident
If you happen to be in a car accident and it doesn’t seem to be that bad in terms of injuries, and then the driver exits their car and offers a sum of money to pay for the damages and or your injuries, it can be tempting. Lets say, for example, you don’t feel injured and you don’t see much vehicle damage, why not pocket $500 to a $1000 and call it even?
YOU SHOULD NEVER DO THIS!
Of course the other driver doesn’t want to involve their insurance company so that his insurance rates don’t rocket sky high, but this is a terrible deal for you. Here’s why: There may be vehicle damage that isn’t obvious. You may have a number of mechanical issues that aren’t visible such as damage to the steering column. Similarly, you may have injuries that you do not know about yet. Did you know that after a car accident, your body produces “endorphins”? They are produced by the central nervous system and can mask pain. That’s why so many people after an accident feel worse days after.
Before you come to any decisions about your car accident, you should always wait a few days. Should you decide to make a claim for your injuries, you should always deal with an experienced auto accident attorney or your insurance company, never deal directly with the driver who caused the accident. There is too much of a risk if you deal directly with the driver. If there is additional damage to your car than you first thought, or if you are in fact injured when you previously thought you were not, then the driver that caused the accident probably could not afford to pay you out-of-pocket.
All drivers involved in a car accident should immediately report their accident to their insurance company. You wouldn’t ever want to take the chance of having your insurance company avoid paying you by them telling you that too much time “had passed”. While it isn’t common, it can happen. Don’t take the chance.
You may be asking if it is worth getting an auto accident attorney for such a minor “fender bender”. Well the good news is that an experienced auto accident attorney should offer a free consultation. They will let you know how the settlement process works and how they can help you. For a fender bender without injuries, you won’t get much help from an attorney – but you should see an injury lawyer if you have pain and discomfort after an accident where you previously thought you weren’t injured. Whether you agreed verbally to a cash arrangement with the driver after the accident or if you didn’t say a word to the driver – you should still ask the lawyer questions as to how you can get the best possible result. After all, the “free consultation” is free.