As personal injury attorneys, we occasionally come into contact with clients that were offered money by the at-fault party at the scene of a car wreck. For drivers that have been in a car wreck before, taking the money can be tempting to avoid the stress and hassle of dropping your car off at a body shop, requesting a rental car, and dealing with two insurance companies. Maybe you do not want to call the police and report the wreck because you are driving an uninsured vehicle yourself. There are three main reasons why you should not let your impatience and/or fear get the best of you in this situation.
Confirming Identity of At-Fault Driver
If you and the at-fault party are both in a rush to leave the scene of the wreck, the at-fault party may provide you with incorrect contact information. Maybe he has a horrible driving record. He could be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These are both factors that a personal injury attorney could use to help increase the value of your case if you choose to hire one.
Not confirming the identity of the at-fault driver could cause an issue later on if you realize that you are actually injured and that your car sustained damages that were not visible. You cannot file a third-party claim against the at-fault party’s liability carrier if you do not have his contact information and the name of his insurance carrier. If the at-fault driver does not have insurance or insufficient insurance, you may be covered by your own insurance if you have coverage.
Delayed Injury Symptoms
Let’s forget about the damage to your vehicle for a second. How do you know that you have not suffered any injuries? Your adrenaline usually starts pumping after being involved in a car wreck. Do you know how your body is going to feel the day after the wreck? What about a week after the wreck? You may find yourself in a position where you have suffered a muscle strain, and now you have to seek medical treatment. You should not be alarmed if you somehow have to pay for your own medical treatment as a result of not getting the necessary information from the at-fault party.
Property Damage Not Visible
Unless you are an experienced mechanic, you are unable to estimate the amount of property damage that has occurred to your vehicle just by looking at it. After a rear-end collision, there can be damage to the undercarriage of your vehicle. There can also be damage underneath the bumper and to the exhaust pipe. These damages are not visible if you are standing beside your car and looking from the wrong angle. A rear-end collision can also affect your alignment. You may not notice this until you are on your way home after the collision.
For drivers that may be operating an uninsured vehicle or who have experienced a lapse in insurance coverage, you should always contact the police, even if you will receive a citation.
Do You Need Legal Help?
You should not have to deal with the insurance companies alone. At the Solomon Law Group, we will represent you and fight for you. We want you to be able to focus all of your attention on your recovery and well-being.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in South Carolina, call the Solomon Law Group today at (803) 391-3120. You can speak with a lawyer about your options for free.