In some cases of car accidents, the at-fault party may try to ask if they can handle the issue privately instead of filing the claim with their insurance. This is most often the case with “fender benders” or minor collisions, and they may offer to pay you personally for medical bills and vehicle repair. Should you take them up or is handling a Maryland car accident claim privately not in your best interest?
A Private Settlement Protects the At-Fault Party
If you were asked to settle a car accident that wasn’t your fault privately, there’s a reason. A private settlement protects the at-fault party from having a car accident on their record and from having their insurance premiums go up, but it does nothing to protect the victim(s) of the collision.
The Costs of the Collison May Be More Than the At-Fault Party Agrees to Pay
It may be difficult to assess the true costs of a car accident until several weeks or even months later. For example, if you suffered whiplash, the symptoms may not be present right away. You may sign the private settlement now and then begin to experience neck pain, headaches, and other medical problems that you need treatment for. Unfortunately, the treatment would not be paid for by the at-fault party, because you each already agreed to the amount they would pay before you realized you were hurt.
Alternatively, the cost of repairs may increase as the mechanic continues working on your vehicle. Extensive damage may not be apparent until the vehicle has been serviced.
The At-Fault Driver May Be Dishonest or Unreliable
Although you may have signed an agreement that the at-fault driver will pay you a certain amount for the damages they caused, there’s not much that holds them to that agreement. You don’t know if they are reliable, honest, or trustworthy. You don’t know for sure if they will actually pay you, or if they will stop answering your calls, texts, or emails. If the driver doesn’t pay and you do file with your insurance company, they may refuse the claim if too much time has passed.
Contact a Maryland Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you were involved in a car accident caused by another driver, protect yourself, your legal rights, and your ability to pursue the full and fair damages you are owed by reaching out to a Maryland personal injury lawyer. Call the Avid Law Firm, LLC today for a consultation at (240) 561-7433.