What to Do In a Car Accident
Got into a car accident? Don’t panic and take these steps to ensure the process doesn’t have to be more painful than necessary.
1. Check if there are any injured or unconscious party if it is safe for you to do so. If someone is injured or there are fatalities, do not attempt to move the injured person or vehicle(s). Call an ambulance (995) for any injured parties that require immediate medical attention and don't move the vehicles involved in the accident unless someone needs an emergency evacuation. Call the police (999) if necessary, for example in a hit and run.
2. After ensuring safety, take detailed photos of the scene of the accident (include lane markings, any property damage, position of cars, license plate numbers of all involved vehicles must be visible) and the damages to all vehicles from multiple angles (close up and wide angle shots). Capture the weather and road conditions of the scene (wet road etc). Your photos should be able to show how the accident may have happened and the extent of damage). Take photos before moving your vehicle away from the accident scene. If the vehicle(s) is obstructing traffic, quickly take the photos and then move the vehicle to the side of the road. Place the orange hazard triangle (usually found in the car boot). Wherever possible, contact your car rental company for further instruction if you are renting a car.
3. Exchange Particulars of Parties Involved in the Accident and take note of the vehicle numbers. When doing so, you are strongly encouraged not to discuss the accident or admit liability whether written or verbally as this will allow the other party to use this admission against you, and your insurer will have the right reject your claim or claim from you. Take down the other parties: Picture of NRIC (front and back) or Full Name, NRIC no., Contact Number, Address and Insurer name. By law (Road Traffic Act), the other party is required to disclose their personal information if they are involved in the accident.
4. Call Your Insurer's 24h Hotline for a Tow-Truck or further advice on the accident. They may advise you to go to an approved reporting centre by the next working day. Do not deal with persons from unauthorised tow-truck operators or car workshops who “coincidentally” appear at the scene of accident. There have been many such car insurance scams involving such workshops. If you do not have a preferred workshop you may contact your insurance for an authorised workshop.
5. Report the accident to your Insurer within 24 Hours or by the next working day. If you are not at fault, provide your insurer with the other parties’ information so that your insurer can claim against the other insurer. If the incident was your fault, you may claim your own damages against your insurer but will result in loss of your No-Claims Discount (NCD). Even if the accident was not serious and you made a private settlement with the other party, there is no guarantee that the other party will not claim against you and you should inform your insurer just in case. If you do not report an accident, your insurer may have the right to reject your claim or to claim from you if any third party subsequently claims against you, and NCD may be docked upon the renewal of your policy. Filing a Traffic Police report is not equivalent to making a report to your insurer - you should still report to your insurer within 24 working hours or by the next working day.
6. Note that you should make a police report when the accident involves a government vehicle, damage to government property, a foreign vehicle, a pedestrian or cyclist, a hit-and-run case, or an injury requiring hospitalisation or medical leave of 3 days or more.