Most people are unable to anticipate a motor vehicle accident before it occurs because accidents tend to unfold very quickly. Given how quickly they do occur and the fact that drivers usually are not expecting them, an accident can cause a person to experience a sense of shock. Even a minor auto accident can leave a person unsure as to how they should handle the situation. But, this is no time for a person to lose their wits and make a foolish decision.
A rear-end collision is one of the more common types of accidents that drivers in New Orleans might experience. These accidents can occur in places where vehicles are moving at lower rates of speed such as stop-and-go traffic, or at stop lights and stop signs. Thus, the vehicular damage and injuries might seem minimal at first glance. This can prompt the driver responsible for the accident to offer to give the other driver a cash payment, rather than calling authorities and reporting the accident.
While it may be tempting to accept the cash on the spot and move on, that can be a bad idea for a few reasons. First, even though the victim's car may look mostly intact, the damage could be more serious. Structural damage to the vehicle, for example, could cost thousands of dollars to fix, and the victim may never know about the damage just by looking at it.
Even more important than possible damage to a vehicle, the injuries that the victim may have suffered in the accident might not be immediately apparent. Just because a person feels fine soon after the accident doesn't necessarily mean that they won't start experiencing pain hours later. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, neck injuries alone account for about $9 billion worth of insurance claims each year. But, a victim of a rear-end accident may not be aware that they even have a neck injury until they start feeling soreness and get a proper medical evaluation.
When a person in the New Orleans area is a victim of even a seemingly minor auto accident, they should get the other driver's insurance information, take photos of the vehicles and call the police. That way, if the victim's injuries and property damage turn out to be worse than expected, they will be able to take any necessary legal action to get medical expenses and other damages.
Source: nerdwallet.com, "Why You Shouldn't Take Cash at the Scene of a Car Crash," Amy Danise, Accessed on Feb. 2, 2016