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What Should I Do if a Driver Offers Me Cash After an Accident?

On behalf of Brad Wicker of BDIW Law posted on Monday May 16, 2022.

We all like quick cash, but is it a good idea to accept it after a car crash?

You get rear-ended by another driver. You try to give them your insurance information, but they refuse to give you theirs. Instead, they offer you a wad of cash. What should you do? Should you accept it?

No. Never accept cash at the accident scene. A person who offers you money is only serving themselves. Read on to learn what you should do and why.

Why You Should Not Accept Cash

There are several reasons why accepting cash after a car crash is never a good idea:

  • It will not fully compensate you. If the other driver offers you cash, how do you know it is enough? Most likely, it is not. There are many damages to consider in a car accident, including property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. These damages can exceed tens of thousands of dollars. It is highly unlikely someone has this much money on hand to compensate you.
  • Your car may be totaled. Cars are more expensive to fix than you may think. Even something seemingly minor may cost thousands of dollars to fix. Your car may even be totaled. Plus, there is the cost of a rental car to consider.
  • You might have serious injuries. Many people feel fine immediately following a car accident due to the adrenaline rush involved. Days later, though, you could start feeling pain. Injuries to the back, neck, and spinal cord can be very serious but might not appear right away. You may also experience abdominal pain later on, which can signal internal bleeding or organ damage. These injuries can be long-term and very costly. Cash will not pay for these ongoing expenses.
  • It is a final settlement. Once you take the cash, that is it. Good luck trying to get more money elsewhere. That will be your final offer. You probably will not have the other driver’s information, so once they leave the accident scene, you won’t see them again.

Use Your Auto Insurance Instead

You have car insurance to protect you from financial harm in the event of an accident. It typically covers property damage, medical bills, and liability if you are at fault. The minimum requirement varies from state to state, but in Oklahoma, it is 25/50/25: $25,000 of bodily injury protection per person, $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 of property damage coverage.

In Oklahoma, insurance is meant to cover the person who is not responsible for an accident, while the at-fault driver could see an increase in their insurance cost. This is the main reason why a driver would offer cash.

Contact Our Tulsa Car Accident Lawyers Today

You have car insurance for a reason. Make sure to use it after an accident. Do not accept another person’s cash instead—you are sure to regret it.

Avoid mistakes with help from the Tulsa motor vehicle accident lawyers at Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle & Wicker. We will assess your case and guide you through the next steps. Fill out the online form or call (580) 765-9660 to schedule a free consultation.