Not all car accidents are catastrophic crashes that send you to the emergency room. In fact, most car crashes result in little or no injury at all. If someone hit you from behind or impacted the side of your car while you crossed an intersection, you might not feel any immediate pain or see any obvious signs of injury. Thus, you might feel the temptation to accept the cash the other driver offers you in settlement for any claim against them. There are a few things you should keep in mind before you decide to sign that waiver or accept that money, however.
Delayed injury symptoms
There are some medical conditions that aren’t immediately obvious, but that can manifest themselves days or even weeks after an accident. These delayed symptoms of damage can include muscle and nerve strain in your neck from whiplash, back injuries and even brain injury.
If you accepted cash and released the other driver of liability for your injuries, you will no longer have that recourse. You might end up having to face exorbitant medical costs with no one to recover compensation from.
Hidden vehicle damage
The same principle applies to your car. You may perform an inspection of your car after a crash and determine that the damage is light – such as a broken taillight or a dented fender. Thus, you might feel okay with accepting cash to cover the estimated cost of these repairs.
But sometimes crashes can result in internal damage to a car that isn’t visible from the outside. If you miss the evidence of internal damage, you might find yourself with a car that malfunctions on the road later, resulting in damage that is much more expensive than your initial estimate.
No one enjoys dealing with the aftermath of a crash. It could be tempting to accept a cash settlement and move on with your day. But consulting a medical professional, a mechanic and an attorney before you accept a settlement can save you considerable money and grief down the road.