The first few minutes after a car accident can be extremely stressful. Making sure you are in a safe place, that you and others are not injured, and ensuring you don’t do anything to negate an insurance claim are all important and happen quickly.
If the accident is a minor fender bender, you may be dreading the inconvenience of having to work through the insurance claims process and maybe having to pay your insurance deductible, let alone the hassle of having your car in the shop and finding other ways to get around while it is.
And, the other driver may be feeling all of these same things and more. Some drivers think that it is much easier just to settle on the spot for any damages by handing over some cash. If it looks like you just have a nick in your bumper, the other driver may offer to pay on the spot, in exchange for avoiding the insurance claims process.
While it may be tempting, here are a few reasons why you should never take cash at the scene of an accident.
There may be hidden or structural damage
- There is no way for you to know, even if you are a mechanic, if there is hidden or structural damage to your vehicle after you have been in a collision. So, if you take a hundred dollars to cover the nick to your paint, and then discover that the frame is bent or the whole bumper needs to be replaced, you can expect to have to pay for all of the repairs yourself.
Your injuries may be worse than you thought
- With car accident injuries, especially those related to whiplash, you may not feel the effects of the collision for several hours or days after the accident. You may think you are fine at the scene, only to discover that you have a neck or back injury that is severe enough to require medical attention. And, perhaps ongoing medical attention, or time out of work. These are costs you will then have to cover yourself.
The other driver might be hiding something
- There are plenty of uninsured drivers on the road. According to the Insurance Research Council, about 12.6% of drivers on the road don’t have auto insurance. This is despite the fact that nearly every state has requirements for state minimum insurance. These drivers will want to avoid any consequences should they be involved in an accident by not giving out their information and perhaps trying to settle on the spot.
- Even drivers who are insured, may want to avoid filing a claim or having one filed against them. They may not be able to afford their deductible, so offering cash at the scene of the accident seems like a better alternative to them.
The best approach is to not take a cash after an accident and to make sure you are fully covered. The InsuranceWins form can help you compare quotes from several carriers, so that no matter what, you can protect yourself from having to pay out-of-pocket for a car accident.