If you were involved in an auto accident, the question, “Should I settle my car accident case without insurance?” might have crossed your mind immediately after the collision. In other words, what are the risks if you handle your accident without getting insurance companies involved?
While you can handle your car accident case without insurance, it does not matter that you should do it. If you were injured in a reportable crash but failed to report the accident to the police and/or your insurance company, the consequences can be severe.
Why do you want to handle your car crash without insurance?
Drivers who decide to settle their auto accident case privately to avoid the insurance company may not need to worry about premium rate increases. This is the main reason why people want to handle their car accident without insurance.
On average, drivers who are at fault for causing bodily injuries and property damage in car accidents face an increase of 34% in their auto insurance rates, according to Coverage.com. However, handling a car accident without getting your insurance companies involved can be a risky endeavor or even illegal.
Risks of settling a car accident case privately
If you and the other motorist involved in the crash agree to settle your accident without insurance, but then you realize that your damages or losses are worth much more than you initially anticipated, you would find yourself in a challenging situation.
It might be too late to file an insurance claim if you did not report the accident right away. The biggest risk of agreeing to settle a car accident case privately is that there are no guarantees that the other driver will keep their side of the bargain once they leave the scene.
Under Section 316.065, Florida Statutes, drivers are required to report a car accident to law enforcement if the crash involves property damage of at least $500, bodily injuries, or deaths.
What you need to know about handling car accidents without insurance
Many drivers who choose to handle a car accident case without insurance decide to settle privately because they think the crash is minor. However, what looks like “minor” at first sight may be more severe than it appears.
That’s why avoiding insurance after a car accident is a risky decision. In fact, most insurance companies allow their policyholders to report accidents without filing a claim.
Failure to report your crash can make the situation even more complicated if your insurance company eventually finds out about the collision (e.g., after the other driver decides to file a claim even though you agreed to handle your case privately).
This could negatively affect your premium rate. You do not want to get in trouble with the law by not reporting a car accident when you are legally required to do so. If you are considering handling a car accident case without insurance, consult with a lawyer to help you consider the pros and cons of settling a claim privately.
Schedule a consultation with our Orlando auto accident attorney at The Turnbull Firm to discuss your options. Call 863-324-3500.