In many instances, a driver who caused a car accident may offer cash to the victim at the scene to resolve the issue immediately. They may try to make the offer in exchange for the accident victim not calling law enforcement or not going through the more complicated insurance process.
Although accepting the offer may seem like the easiest way to get compensated for the damage caused and avoid all the hassle, this may not be a great idea. The reason is that the cash offer may not cover the damage and losses suffered by the victim, particularly if they sustained serious injuries. If you are a car accident victim and get an offer from the negligent driver, it is best to refuse it and contact a Stockton car accident attorney to know your legal options. An initial consultation with an attorney will help you understand your rights and the best way to approach your situation:
Reasons Negligent Drivers May Offer Cash to Settle the Incident
If you were involved in a minor accident, the driver responsible for it may want to offer you cash to resolve the matter immediately. They will do this to prevent the incident from being reported to the authorities because this will appear in their driving records. And if the accident occurred because of a traffic violation such as speeding or beating the red light, they could get a ticket when you call the police to the scene. The driver may want to make a cash offer to avoid a citation. In addition, the offer may be made, so you don’t report the accident since this will become a part of their insurance record, increasing their premiums. Lastly, the offer may be a way to avoid paying more when you file a legal claim.
Why You Should Not Accept the Offer
While a cash offer is not against the law, it won’t be in your best interest to accept it. At the accident scene, you may not know the injuries you suffered and their severity. You must get yourself checked by a doctor first to learn about these. And if you suffered serious injuries that lead to a longer recovery, you will have to shoulder all the financial burden if you resolved the accident before a lawyer can assess the extent of your losses. Additionally, accepting the offer is not a great idea since you still don’t know the extent of damage your car has sustained. It is best to let a lawyer assess your case, so you can get the full and fair compensation you are entitled to.