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At-Fault Driver Offers Me Money at the Accident Scene: What Do I Do?

When someone crashes into your car and it’s obviously their fault, you expect them to pay for the damage that they did. Very often, the at-fault driver does not want to get the authorities involved. As a result, they offer you cash to cover the expenses instead.

But should you take that cash? Or should you talk with your attorney and the insurance company first? Well, there are several good reasons why you shouldn’t take the money at the scene, and we will go over them shortly.

Is It Illegal to Give Cash After an Accident?

Technically speaking, it is not illegal to give and accept cash at the site of an accident. After all, the person that hit you is responsible for covering the costs of the damage. Cash is considered an acceptable compensation form if both parties agree on it.

Still, this may not exactly be in your best interest. At the scene, you will only be able to assess the visible damage. There may be more to the eye – or possible physical injuries you didn’t feel then. If you take the money, you have to pay for the rest of the expenses yourself.

Why Would the At-Fault Driver Offer Cash?

There are several reasons why the at-fault driver may offer cash, including:

  • They want to avoid the hassle of dealing with their insurance company
  • They fear this may raise their insurance premium
  • They may lack insurance and don’t want to be caught without it
  • They are in a hurry and don’t want to deal with lengthy insurance processes
  • They may be driving without a license or have problems with the law
  • They feel they might get a better deal if they offer you the money directly

You should always be wary when the at-fault driver tries to give you cash at the scene. It rarely works out in your favor, and you may need to pay more than they give you. If they are insistent on the matter, you should contact the authorities.

Verdict: Should You Take the Money?

It is always in your best interest not to take money from the one that hit you. This offer is their attempt to get out of it as lightly as possible. If you discover more damage or potential injuries along the way, there’s nothing you can do about it. Simply gather the evidence you need and talk to your attorney.