What Should You Do After Getting Into a Car Accident?
- Stay CALM, so you will not make the wrong decision.
- Protect yourself by getting necessary information.
- Call your insurance company and make report at police station.
Have you ever experienced a car accident? In Malaysia, roadside collisions are a common occurrence. According to our Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, a total of 255,532 road accidents and 3,302 deaths due to road accidents were reported between January to September 2021 (source: TheStar).
The chance of being involved in a car accident is very high. There was an average of 12 road accident deaths per day during the earlier part of the pandemic (source: FMT). Therefore, safe driving is imperative!
However, nothing is perfect. No matter how much you want to avoid car accidents, you might still have the possibility of being involved in car accidents. Worry no more! We’re here to provide you with some tips so that the next time you’re involved in an accident, we can help ease any fears.
1. Remain CALM and DO NOT panic
Stay calm is the most important thing to do when you involve yourself in any car accident. It might be easier to say than to speak. In fact, people tend to make bad decisions making when they are anxious. Check here!
2. Ensure safety
Once you calm yourself down, check yourself and others for injuries. However, you need to be aware of the damage caused to your vehicle. If you suspect it isn’t safe to remain in case anything happens, you should get out immediately! You would not want to risk your life while your car leaks oil after an accident.
Be sure to check yourself and others for injuries. If you notice someone who needs medical attention, DO CALL 999 immediately so that you can get medical assistance as soon as possible!
3. Take notes of surroundings and record it
If you and your car are still available to move, make sure not to block the road if a car accident happens. You should move your car to the roadside and use hazard lights and a warning triangle. This can ensure ongoing vehicles notice you and lessen the chance of traffic jams. If involved with another driver, both need to move to the side of the road. Make sure to turn off the engine once you have repositioned it.
You will need to take notes on where and when you are involved in a car accident, and it will be easier when you file a police report later.
Also, you need to be aware of road bullying OR scammers. This might be a rare case, but it had the probability. Click here for the news. To prevent unnecessary troubles, getting a good quality dash cam is recommended to record videos as evidence for later use.
4. Take pictures and exchange necessary information
Make sure you have plenty of evidence to back up your claim. If the other driver files a dispute, you might get in trouble, even if it’s not your fault! To make sure your claim is more substantial, take pictures of both damaged cars, road situations, and anything relevant, as stated below:
- Car registration number
- Car model, model year, and colour
- Driver’s name, address, and phone number
- Driver’s IC and driving license number
- Witnesses’ name, address, and phone number
5. Call your insurance company
Once finished gathering all the evidence or information, you should call your insurance company immediately if your car cannot be driven and needs to be towed. They will ask you some simple questions, arrange a tow truck to your destination, and tow it to a nearby panel workshop. You can find the best suit car insurance for you here!
BEWARE OF TOW TRUCKS SCAM! You might see some people approaching you at the scene of accidents and offer to help fix your car for cheap at their workshop. They’ll often try offering towing services too. Still, it’s best not to entertain them since their prices are usually exorbitant, or they may overcharge on repairs!
Read this article to find out about road scams in Malaysia!
6. Make a police report within 24 hours
If your car is driveable, you should go to the nearest police station to file a report before visiting the panel workshop. However, if your car has been severely damaged, make sure to file a report within 24 hours after the report unless there is a valid reason.
The officer at the police station will ask you some questions about your involvement in this accident. You must answer truthfully and provide all gathered evidence. If necessary, you should ask for witnesses to offer their testimony.
Depending on who’s responsible for the accident, the police will issue a summon. Filing a police report is the first step to protecting yourself from any unexpected third-party motor claims or personal injury.
7. Register for insurance claim
There are two scenarios stated below:
- If not your fault:
You can either reach an agreement with the other driver OR file an insurance claim. You can refer here on how to file a car insurance claim. You could also claim from the third-party insurer OR by initiating an Own Damage Knock-for-Knock (OD KFK) claim. Click here for more information about OD KFK.
- If it’s your fault:
Most people will request a small amount of money and settle privately if the damage is minor. This is because you do not want to risk the chance of affecting NCD (Non-claim discount). Others could claim from the third-party insurer OR by initiating an Own Damage Knock-for-Knock (OD KFK) claim, which will affect your NCD.
Bonus: Should I have a private agreement?
Depending on the situation, if it is some minor scratches, this might be the best way to settle it, as both sides will not need to reduce their NCD.
However, even if you make a personal agreement with the other driver, it is good to notify your insurer regarding the minor accident. This can save you from future troubles, such as turning you around OR suing you for personal injury.
“Safety brings first aid to the uninjured.”
– F.S. Hughes
No matter how experienced you are, you should be cautious when you are driving. Sometimes, the slightest mistake made while driving causes the worst scenario of a car accident. It is the responsibility of all drivers to drive safely for the good of you and others.