What Should You Do Immediately After A Car Accident?
Some car owners may not have experience in dealing with aftermath of an accident and they may be lost and not know what to do at the point of accident. This may lead to them losing a claim or not able to provide strong evidence on the actual accident that happens.
Let us share with you some pointers on the things you should take note to avoid losing KEY evidence to have a claim against the other wrong party.
1. STAY CALM
It is very important to be calm after the accident to let you have a clear mind what the next course of action and it may be life & matter as someone could need immediate attention after the course of the accident. So staying calm will allow you to proceed to do the necessary actions below.
2. Check For Any Physical Injury
Check the surrounding of the accident scene if there's anyone injured in the course of the accident. If there is, immediately call 995 for ambulance for assistance and render any help to the injured party. After that, call the police.
3. Collect Evidence (Picture / Video)
It is a crucial part that you may win a claim against the wrongful party or you may just lose out if you did not gather enough evidence. Evidence can be in the form of photos (taking down involved parties vehicle position, damages, surroundings, road signs) and also in car camera videos. It is important to gather as much evidence you have to submit up to your relevant insurance company for accident reporting. This will help you to have a strong claim against the other involved party and minimize your liability in the accident if the other party was at wrong. Look out for any witnesses if they have seen what has happened and it could be a help too. Lastly, you can also get the wrongful party to write a letter acknowledging he was a fault in the accident and endorse on the letter. This could also help provide up to insurance company as a proof too. After evidence taking, do shift you car to a save road shoulder to avoid jamming up the road traffic. *NOTE: It is important not to shift the car before you take the picture as it may affect the actual scenario that the accident happen and you may lose out in the claim.
4. Exchange Info With Involved Parties
Do remember to take down the involved party's particulars (IC , Driving licence) and contact number. Do verify if the Identity of the involved party is similar as the particulars provided(e.g IC - picture). The involved party's insurance company name too. Once done, you can drive the car away or call a tow truck to tow your car away if needed.
5. File Accident Report
It is mandatory to file an accident report with your insurer with 24HRS of the next working day. Please note that even if both parties agreed on PRIVATE SETTLEMENT, you will still need to file the accident report up with your insurer as "FOR REPORTING PURPOSES ONLY" Failing to do so, your No Claim Discount (NCD) entitlement will be jeopardize and insurer will reserve the right to repudiate any claim that was file against them.
(A) When do i need to file a police report?
- When there's injury involved (E.g Pedestrian / Cyclist etc)
- Damage to Government property (e.g Traffic lights / lamp post)
- Government Registered Vehicles ( E.g Vehicle Plate such as MID / QX / Embassy Car)
- Non Singapore Registered Car( Foreign Vehicle such as from Malaysia, Thailand etc)
(B) I have filed a police report, is it sufficient?
NO! This is the common mistake for vehicle owners especially they intend to private settle. The police report and an accident report to be file with your insurance company is TOTALLY DIFFERENT! You still need to go to your insurance's authorised reporting centre to file an accident report with the police report. Stop making this mistake!
(C) I have private settle with the other party, i don't need to file accident report with my insurance company?
No,you still have to. We have seen many cases whereby owner has paid out damages to the affected party and in the end they still receive letter from the insurance company stating that the affected party has filed a claim against them. This in turn at times will cause the owner NCD to be affected and also by not able to provide a private settlement form, this could mean a double whammy to the owner having paid the private settlement amount and in the end the other party claim against his insurance and his NCD will be affected. Do avoid this!
Remember to have print out 2 copies of similar PRIVATE SETTLEMENT FORM and fill up accordingly and state have both involved parties to sign on it and each having a copy to go file an accident report with their insurer respectively. Do highlight it's just for reporting purposes and having private settled the matter.
All these could save you lots of unforeseen claims that may come your way.
Do remember to have a copy of your motor insurance certificate and their authorised workshop list / contact in your car. This will help you when time of need!
In short, it is important to know what to do in the event of an accident and the aftermath of it. Stay vigilante and drive safely.