December 22, 2022
Why Shouldn’t You Resolve a Car Accident Privately?
By Jonathan Damashek
When you are involved in a seemingly minor car accident, you might want to resolve the matter discreetly. However, this may not be in your best interest.
If you hope to recover maximum compensation for your damages and see the liable party held accountable, you must file an insurance claim or pursue a civil lawsuit.
Why Would Someone Try to Resolve an Accident Privately?
Many reasons might compel you to resolve a car accident privately. Sometimes, the liable party does not have sufficient insurance coverage and asks to pay you the money out-of-pocket.
You may also hope to avoid filing a claim with your own insurance company, which could skyrocket your auto insurance premiums. In either case, you should never resolve a car accident privately.
You risk being taken advantage of by the liable party, missing your opportunity to file the claim before the statute of limitations expires, and losing your chance to recover time-sensitive evidence that could prove fault in your case. Filing an insurance claim or civil lawsuit ensures you recover max compensation.
Why is Handling an Accident in Private a Bad Idea?
You may not think of many issues at first, including the potential for hidden car damage, underlying injuries, and the risk of failing to uphold your legal obligations.
Even seemingly minor car accidents get expensive quickly, and given all your medical expenses and vehicle damage, you may not afford these bills out-of-pocket.
Hidden Car Damage
Minor car accidents cause considerable hidden car damage you do not notice initially after the accident. Until an auto repair professional looks at your vehicle, you may not understand the extent of the damage.
Settling your accident privately outside of court could leave you to deal with the costs of your vehicle repairs or, worse, the cost of purchasing a new one.
Injuries That Worsen
Car accident victims often suffer invisible injuries. While you may initially seem fine after the accident, your back, neck, or other soft tissue injuries may worsen after a few days or weeks.
If you take time to wait for your injury to resolve, and it doesn’t, your opportunity to recover compensation for your medical expenses could be limited. If you did not notify the insurance company of the crash, they might not cover your costs.
You might have a legal obligation to report your accident to the insurance company. If you attempt to resolve the matter privately or accept cash under the table for your damages, you may violate your auto insurance policy.
If this happens, your insurance company may refuse to cover your costs, increase the amount of your auto insurance coverage, or drop you from your insurance policy altogether, depending on the circumstances of your case.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer to Handle Your Claim
If you want maximum compensation for your suffering, resolving the matter privately is rarely in your best interests. Reach out to a New York car accident lawyer at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. for a free consultation today.