When involved in an accident, you are probably shaken up and stressed. In addition, you are likely trying to get medical care and figure out how to move your vehicle. In the midst of these issues, the other driver may approach you and tell you he does not want to go through insurance to settle. Instead, he promises to pay to you directly. Unfortunately, that situation occurs more often than you may think.
Why Not Submit an Insurance Claim?
Most likely there is a reason the other driver does not want to file an insurance claim. Maybe the driver has had previous accidents and does not want his premiums to go up. There could be other, more alarming reasons behind the request. For example, the driver may not be properly insured or may not carry enough insurance and does not want to file a claim.
It is always best to obtain insurance information from the other driver at the scene of the accident. According to state law, you must obtain information from the other driver and file a Driver’s Crash Report through the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) if there were any injuries or deaths because of the crash or if the damages are more than $1,000.
Remember that you do not know the other driver and cannot be sure that you trust him or her. Most injuries and damages will cost thousands of dollars. Someone likely has not many funds available to pay you out of pocket for your damages. It is much more likely that the person intends to avoid paying you and later may deny the accident altogether.
Protect Your Rights
There are important steps you can take to ensure that your rights are protected immediately following an accident. Get information from the other driver. Today’s cell phones make it easy to take photos of the other driver’s license, registration and insurance, and the license plate. Always contact the police at the scene of the accident. If the other driver does not want to call the police, simply state you must contact the police and remain in your vehicle and call 911. If the other driver leaves the scene of the accident, it is a criminal offense.
Remember that the other driver cannot prevent you from filing an insurance claim. Report the accident to the negligent driver’s insurance company using the information provided to you at the scene of the accident.
If you were injured you may need to seek legal help to resolve your situation, especially if the driver is trying to avoid taking responsibility for the crash. Do not negotiate with the insurance company and talk to your attorney before taking any further action.
Contact our experienced personal injury legal team at Baumgartner Law Firm to get the strong legal representation you need.