Car accidents are traumatic, high stress events that can leave your body and mind shaken. There are a million thoughts running through your head every second, and then the other driver involved in the accident adds another confusing problem to the equation. He or she wants to settle without involving either party’s insurance company. Given that your life may have flashed before your eyes just seconds prior, you may not be in the right mindset to make an intelligent and thoughtful decision, which is why we want to lay out reasons for which settling without insurance may be logical, but can also be risky. This way you know what decision to make if you find yourself in a similar scenario.
Settling A Car Accident Without Involving Insurance
Settling without involving auto insurance happens often and sometimes for good reason — insurance premiums increase by an average of 41% for three years following the first accident claimed during the year. This means your costs will increase by $335 based on an annual auto insurance rate of $815, which is the national average. If you unfortunately have to make two insurance claims in one year, you can expect your insurance to increase by 93%, which is $758 added to your insurance costs for the next three years. Bear in mind that typically, if an accident is not your fault, your insurance rate should remain unaffected.
The other driver may want to settle without the insurance company because they don’t want their insurance rate to increase significantly, which is understandable as it can become a long-term financial burden. On the other hand, it’s important to keep in mind that if you do choose to settle without involving insurance companies, it may be difficult for you to hold the other driver accountable to pay you what you’re owed. Regardless of what decision you make regarding involving the insurance agencies, it is still important to gather the other driver’s contact information (name, phone number, address, driver’s license number), take photos of any damage related to the accident and exchange insurance information. It is also important to call the police and file a police report in case you need it in the future. There is always the possibility that the other party may deny a car accident took place, and this gathered information can serve as evidence if you must file a lawsuit against the other driver. Because you have this information, you can always change your mind and contact your insurance agency and file a claim.
A few final thoughts to remember: Settling a car accident without insurance company involvement puts you at risk for not getting paid what you are owed or could even require you to go to court to get what you are owed. If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident, it may be best to consult with a lawyer to handle the complex legalities of these types of cases. The Parrish Law Firm provides a free consultation to discuss your case and determine what you are owed. To schedule an appointment contact us at (571) 229 – 1800 or here.