Being involved in a car accident is at worst, catastrophic, and at best, an inconvenience. Ideally, if you are involved in a collision involving another vehicle, no one is hurt. You still have to worry about fixing or replacing your vehicle and settling with the other driver. Dealing with the other driver’s insurance provider can be tedious and time-consuming. The good news is that you can actually settle the accident without involving insurance companies. The question becomes whether or not you should settle without them.
If you were involved in an accident and are not sure what to do about it, consult a professional. The attorneys at Burger Law are well-versed in a variety of different car accident scenarios and can help you make the best decision for your case. Contact or call us at 314-542-2222 or 618-272-2222today; we will review your case for free.
Can I Settle a Car Accident Without Insurance?
If you are involved in a car accident with another party, the at-fault party (or parties) are responsible for paying for the resulting damange. In Missouri and well as in Illinois, drivers are required to get and maintain liability insurance. This type of auto insurance provides coverage for injuries and property damange caused by the subscriber. In most cases, after an accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company negotiates a settlement amount to pay to the victim, who may or may not choose to obtain attorney representation to assist in negotiations.
While drivers are required by law to have auto insurance, you do not necessarily have to use that insurance to cover your accident. You can settle the accident without using insurance. Consider the following when making the decision of whether or not to involve insurance companies:
- Severity of the accident – It only makes sense to exclude insurance companies if the accident is minor. An accident with severe damage to either car or bodily injuries is expensive. The purpose of having insurance is to cover such events. However, if the only damage is a small scrape or dent, you may prefer not to file a claim with your insurance provider. In these cases, filing could end up costing more in rate increases. To determine if the accident is minor enough, get the necessary repair estimates from a mechanic.
- Complexity of the accident – If there is any dispute as to who is responsible for the accident, you likely will not be able to come to an amicable agreement on your own. This is when insurance companies and attorneys need to step in. Straightforward and simple accidents settled privately, though, can save both parties time and money.
- Behavior of the other party – To successfully settle a car accident privately, all parties involved must agree not to pursue coverage from the insurance companies. Consider red flags, such as a driver who is suspiciously eager to settle without insurance (for example, if she offers you cash on the spot) or insists that you use a specific mechanic for repairs. If this happens to you, elect to go the traditional route through your insurance companies. On the other hand, if the other driver decides to file a claim with their insurance company, you need to file a report with yours, as their company will contact your company regarding the accident. Failing to report the accident to your insurance company could prevent you from getting coverage from them later.
Ultimately, use your best judgment in making the decision of how to settle your accident. There are some scenarios, like if you were the only party involved or if the other party is a relative or someone else you know well, that are clearly best settled privately. As in any auto accident, be sure to exchange information with the other party and take photos of the damage. If you choose to settle without using insurance, it’s even more important to keep documents, quotes, receipts, and other records. To determine the payment amount, obtain repair quotes from multiple mechanics. Most importantly, draft a legally binding agreement defining the amount and terms of payment. It must be signed by both parties and notarized in order for it to be valid.
St Louis Car Accident Lawyers | Burger Law
After a car accident, you will have questions about what to expect and how to proceed. If the damage is minor and all parties agree, you might be inclined to settle without using insurance. A free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney will help you make sense of your situation and make the best decision. If your case is more complicated than you first believed, Burger Law’s team will take on your case and make sure the outcome is just and fair. Call 314-542-2222 or 618-272-2222 or contact us to schedule your free review.