What To Do When You Get Into A Car Accident

Accidents on the road happen rather frequently than expected. It could just be a light knock from the car behind or you couldn't brake in time. Sometimes these things become even worse when someone decides to beat the red light. Occurrences such as these are unexpected, and it would immediately throw both or multiple parties off guard. But what do you do when it happens? This comprehensive guide should help you to overcome that moment of panic after an accident.


1. Stop your vehicle

Stop your vehicle immediately at the scene of the accident.


2. Remain calm and call for assistance if needed

Depending on the situation, if the accident is a major one and involves injury to either party, the first thing to do is to call for an ambulance. Unless you are trained in first aid, or the victim is at risk of burning inside the vehicle, do not move the injured person. Doing so might aggravate the injuries. Call the police about the accident, and do not move the vehicles until instructed by the police to do so.

Credit: CEphoto, Uwe Aranas


3. Warn oncoming motorists

If you have the emergency triangle reflectors, lights or signs, set them up a considerable distance away from the accident scene to divert traffic. As per previous, do not move the vehicles until instructed by police to do so.


4. Record information

When possible, exchange personal particulars and information with the other driver, passengers, pedestrians and witnesses involved in the accident. Important information includes your name, identity number, home address, contact number, car registration number and name of the insurance company. 
Take note of all the details of the accident, including car position and direction, injuries and car number plate. Take a picture with a camera or draw a sketch, as this information can be useful when assessing who is at fault.


5. Reporting

Regardless of whether the accident was a minor one, or injuries that require hospitalisation, medical leave, death, pedestrian, cyclist, government, foreign vehicles or government property, make a police report as soon as possible. This will serve as an official record of the accident.

Also, all accidents should be reported to the insurance company soonest possible, latest by the next working day. Insurance companies have their own 24-hour hotlines that can provide advice. They could advise you to call a tow truck if necessary, or to bring your vehicle to an approved reporting centre or workshop.

Do take note that should you decide to settle the accident with the other party without informing your insurance company, they have the right to reject your claim, or to claim from you if there are other third-party claims against you.


6. Claims

Different car insurance companies have their respective work procedures. Do follow your insurance company's instructions on where the damage can be assessed and repaired. You will then be needed to complete a Motor Accident Report form. After the repairs to your vehicle have been completed, you should check it through before signing a satistaction voucher and taking delivery of the car.

  • Third party claims
    Should you require to claim the other person's insurance company, contact them and get them to assess the damage before sending in your car for repairs. The third party insurer has up to two days from the point of contact to inspect the damage. Do note that they have to compensate you for the inability to use your car over the pre-inspection period.

    After investigations, the insurance company will make an offer to settle the claim if it is legitimate. You will then have to sign a claims discharge form that indicates your acceptance of the settlement. If your claims is less than S$3,000, it will be directed to the FIDReC-NIMA Scheme.


  • Hit-and-run accident claims
    Should you be involved in a hit-and-run accident, you can make claims from the Motor Insurance Bureau.


  • Additional information
    If you couldn't get the other person's insurance particulars at the time of the accident, you can still request for it from the Land Transport Authority (LTA). A fee of S$5.35 (including GST) will be charged. The LTA can be contacted at their hotline: 1800-553-5229.

    The good news is that when you are making claims, you can also buy a third-party motor accident report from the General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA). The GIA is an association of insurance companies that also share a database of accident reports. Do note however that this is only useful if the other party has made a report.


So as we end, we hope that the information above will be useful for friends, family and associates in any unfortunate event should you be involved in an accident. We at Carsome always believe in following traffic rules with proper use of signals. Remember that beating the red light isn't worth it.


Are you seated in the right position when you drive? Click here to read on what is the optimal driving position.

Click here to also read why you need car insurance.


This article was first published on GoBear Singapore. GoBear is an easy to use comparison site for all types of insurance.

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