If you accept the cash, you could waive your right to file a claim with their insurance company. You should not accept any settlement until you retain an experienced truck accident lawyer. Here is what you should do if you find yourself in this situation to protect your rights.
Why the Truck Driver Could Be Offering You Cash
Understanding the trucker’s motivations for offering you cash can help you see why accepting the offer is such a bad idea. Possible reasons the driver may offer you money include the following:
- Have a bad driving record and do not want another traffic citation added to their record.
- Do not want to report the accident to the trucking company or their insurance company because it could jeopardize their job and cause insurance rates to increase.
- May be trying to pay you substantially less money to settle your claim.
- May not want to contact the police if a warrant is out for their arrest or other criminal cases are pending.
- Could be intoxicated due to drug or alcohol use and are afraid they will be arrested for DUI. They could lose their commercial license and ability to work if this happens.
What to Do if the Trucker Tries to Pay You at the Crash Scene
You need to take several steps to protect your rights if the truck driver pressures you to accept their offer of money. Important steps to take immediately include:
- Say no. Politely refuse to accept the cash.
- Call the police. Contact the police at the collision scene and obtain a copy of the police report. It could contain helpful information that will assist you in proving the trucker’s negligence caused your wreck.
- Get prompt medical care. Obtain medical care within 72 hours—even if you do not think you were hurt. This protects your health and avoids disputes with the insurance company.
- Obtain contact information. Get the contact information for the trucker, trucking company, insurance company, and any witnesses to the collision.
- Take photos. Use your cellphone camera to take pictures of the damage to the truck and your auto, the crash scene, your injuries, and anything else helpful to your case.
- Retain a lawyer. You should hire a knowledgeable truck accident attorney immediately. They can collect the evidence you need to win your case and go up against the insurance company for all the compensation you deserve.