Although this offer may seem tempting up front, you should always decline this type of proposal. Whether you’ve been involved in a minor fender bender or a major accident, this is not something you should entertain; and if you seek the counsel of any attorney, they should give the same advice.
At the Scene
Automobile accidents can be one of the most traumatic experiences a person faces in their lifetime. Statistics show that around 2.35 million drivers or passengers are injured each year in auto accidents in the U.S. alone. While some drivers may never have an accident, statistics indicate it is likely you will.
When tons of metal, steel and glass unexpectedly collide, even a seemingly minor fender bender has the potential to cause significant damage and personal injury. Immediately following an automobile accident, victims tend to be very shaken up or disoriented, and often don’t realize they’ve been hurt until the initial adrenaline subsides. While some injuries like cuts and broken bones can often be readily identified, many soft tissue and disc injuries can take hours or days to manifest.
Likewise, even seemingly minor damage to your vehicle may just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to costly repairs. Structural damage is often camouflaged beneath minor dents, leading you to mistakenly believe that the damage is not really that bad.
Accepting Monetary Offers From the Other Driver
It is for these reasons that you should never accept any offers of settlement from the other driver at the scene of the accident, including any cash or checks they may want to give you. A vulnerable automobile accident victim needs time and distance from the accident to fully assess the extent of injuries and damages. You may need to seek medical treatment, and you certainly need your vehicle examined by a competent professional who can properly assess any damage.
In Colorado, if you accept money from the other driver at the scene of the accident, you may be precluded from filing a claim against him or her later on. To preserve all your rights to recovery in an automobile accident, you should steadfastly refuse all offers of settlement until a time in the future when all injuries and damages are fully known and assessed.
Reporting the incident properly should also be on the top of your list. Any time an accident takes place, you should contact the police in order to file a report. Depending on the magnitude of the accident, there are various repercussions for not reporting an accident to the authorities. A call to your insurance carrier is also in order. You should also consult with an experienced auto accident lawyer to fully identify your damages prior to considering an offer of settlement from anyone.
If you have been involved in an accident, seeking the expert advice of an attorney is the right thing to do. Contact McDivitt Law Firm now for a FREE consultation.