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What if the other driver wants to pay cash after an accident?

You are in an accident. You get out of the car to look at the damage. The other driver is in a panic, explaining that they can't have this on their insurance. They don't want you to call the police. The other driver then makes you an offer: he or she will pay you in cash to fix the damage to your car.

Should you take the money? Do you need to call the police? Does it need to be reported on your insurance?

In most situations, you should report it to protect yourself

In some limited situations with only very minor damage to a car, you may want to take a cash instead of going through insurance. However, in the majority of cases, you will want to report the accident. In fact, if you are unsure whether to report it, you should err on the side of caution and report the accident.

If you do not report it, you could put yourself at risk. There are many issues that could come up later that you can't plan for when exchange of cash today:

  • Were there any injuries? With the high cost of medical bills, it does not take much of an injury to have costly medical expenses. A minor injury at the scene may also become more serious as time passes. As a result, it is important that you get medical attention as soon as possible, and report your accident so that these expenses are covered through insurance.
  • Are you required to report the accident? In New York, you are required to report an accident if there were injuries, fatalities or more than $1,001 in damages. If you do not report the accident in these circumstances, you could lose your driver's license.
  • What if the person doesn't pay? If the other driver promises to pay later, you may have a hard time getting the money. Additionally, even if you get money up front, you may underestimate the cost of your accident. This could leave you having to pay the bills down the road.

For these reasons, you should call the police after an accident and report it to the insurance companies after an accident. In order to protect your right to compensation, you may also consider a personal injury lawsuit if the accident was the result of another driver's negligence. By taking these steps, you can ensure you receive the compensation and coverage you need.

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