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Should you settle a car accident privately?

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2021 | Personal Injury |

After a car crash, you might feel fine initially. The other driver might be upset about the collision and even suggest that you can settle it then and there.

If you feel like you’re not hurt, then settling for the damage without getting insurance companies involved might seem like a good idea. However, it’s not the best choice.

Settling without an understanding of the legal implications is not in your best interests. If you settle without getting the insurance company involved, you’re still making it so that you cannot make further claims down the road. If you end up having delayed-onset injuries or the money doesn’t cover all of your costs, you’ll be out of luck.

At-fault drivers may suggest settling quickly

At-fault drivers might ask you if you can settle privately to avoid having their insurance costs increase. If they have many points or violations on their license, they may be trying to avoid a license suspension. Even worse, they could be trying to hide that they don’t have good insurance coverage.

Remember that it’s hard to know the severity of your injuries right away, and you may not have a full understanding of the damage to your vehicle, either. It’s usually best to get a quote on the damage your vehicle sustained as well as to get, at the very least, a medical exam for yourself. Then, you’ll be in a better position to know how much you’ll need if you plan to settle.

You have an obligation to report an accident with injuries

If you are injured in a crash, you should know that you are obligated to report that collision. If you don’t do this and want to make a claim later, you may not be able to. Getting the police to take a record of the collision is essential to protecting yourself and your ability to seek compensation if your injuries are worse than you thought.

Even in a minor car crash, there is a potential to suffer injuries. Don’t make the mistake of settling too soon or without reporting the crash. Going through the correct legal pathway to report the collision and make a claim will better protect you.