Following a motor vehicle accident, you may find yourself in a situation where the other driver offers you cash to not get the police involved. It is a tempting offer, but you should never accept any money at the scene of a collision.
You should always contact the police and your insurance provider after a car accident. The insurance process can take a while to complete, which is why taking cash immediately may seem like a good deal. However, you need to protect yourself and your car by going through the proper channels to handle this.
1. You do not know the full extent of damage
It is hard to estimate damage by sight alone. While the only thing wrong on the surface may be a dinged bumper, some of the interior components could have sustained damage. Additionally, damage that seems easy to fix can actually cost quite a bit. For instance, fixing a single headlight could cost as much as $300. When the other driver only offers a couple hundred bucks, you may not be able to pay for everything. By taking the money, you ruin any chance you have of your insurance taking care of the costs.
2. You may be hurt
After a car accident, you may feel perfectly fine. Some injuries do not bring symptoms until weeks later. This is why you always need to see a doctor after a collision. A medical professional can locate hidden injuries and start treating them well before they become a problem.
3. The other driver may want to scam you
Having just met this driver, you have no idea what his or her ulterior motives are. It is possible this person offers cash due to a lack of auto insurance. Perhaps this driver wants to avoid more points on a record. Another possibility is that the driver offers you cash, and after you drive away, he or she calls the police. This person files a police report for a hit-and-run, and now you are the one on the line. Do things the right way to avoid hassle.