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Risks to taking private payments after a traffic accident | Nourmand Legal | Accident Attorneys

Risks to taking private payments after a traffic accident

After a traffic accident, it is common for parties involved to consider settling the matter privately without involving insurance companies or authorities. Private payments may seem quick and convenient to avoid potential hikes in insurance premiums or complicated legal procedures.

However, this seemingly easy way out can present significant risks and drawbacks that individuals should consider carefully before making decisions.


Risks to taking private payments after a traffic accident

1. Lack of Documentation and Accountability

One of the primary risks of accepting private payments is the lack of proper documentation and accountability. Without official reports or paperwork, there is no legal record of the accident or any agreed-upon compensation. This can lead to disputes later if either party fails to fulfill their part of the bargain, leaving victims without recourse for additional compensation if their injuries worsen over time.


2. Underestimation of Costs

Private settlements often overlook potential hidden costs that might arise from the accident. Injuries sustained in traffic accidents may have delayed symptoms that require extensive medical treatment or rehabilitation. When accepting private payments, victims may not fully comprehend the long-term consequences of their injuries, leading to underestimation of costs and insufficient compensation.


3. Loss of Legal Protections

Victims might inadvertently waive their rights to pursue further legal action by accepting private payments. In the event of unforeseen complications or prolonged injuries, they may no longer have the option to claim additional damages or receive necessary compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, or pain and suffering.


4. Fraudulent Intentions

In some cases, the at-fault party may offer a private payment with dishonest intentions. They may try to downplay the severity of the accident or their role in causing it. Victims who accept such payments may find it challenging to prove liability and pursue rightful compensation later if the responsible party’s statements contradict the agreed-upon settlement.


5. Insurance Policy Violations

Accepting private payments without notifying insurance companies may violate the terms of an individual’s insurance policy. Insurance providers require prompt reporting of accidents to assess the situation, investigate claims, and determine the appropriate coverage. Failing to do so could lead to potential policy cancellations or denial of future coverage when needed.


6. Impact on Personal Finances

Receiving private payments may initially seem appealing as it avoids involving insurance companies and potential premium increases. However, it can have significant implications on a person’s finances in the long run. If the private payment is inadequate to cover medical expenses and property damage, the victim may bear the financial burden themselves.