Part 1: What to do at the scene of the accident
We have talked about this in our earlier blog article, and have also watched the video (watch again below), on the steps that you should take if ever you are involved in an accident. Those that have no experienced being in one personally, these steps may seem simple enough. The truth of the matter is, it may not be as straight forward. Situations and circumstances vary from one incident to another, and even though you may think you know what to do now, when faced with a real life adversity, thing may be quite different.
It is therefore, critical that we fully comprehend the entire process, from what you should do at the scene of the accident, how to deal with the parties involved and the tow truck operators at the scene, to what are the procedures at the police station and how to file an insurance claim. To achieve this, we at iBanding will be breaking down the entire procedure into smaller processes so that we can better understand in detail each and every step that is involved.
1. Stay Calm
Usually after that “Bang“, the first reaction would be to panic. But you must remember to do the opposite. It is absolutely critical that you stay calm and courteous throughout the incident.
- Remain in the car if you find yourself starting to panic.
- Take a few deep, long breaths and tell yourself that everything is under control.
- When you are ready (don’t take too long), step out of your car and look around to understand what has happened.
- You may be approached and pressured by other parties involved. Stay composed.
- Do not admit fault even if it was yours.
- Don’t enter into any negotiation with other parties involved.
- Do not agree to accept or offer settlement, speak first to your insurance agent, insurance company or Accident Assist Call Center (AACC) for advice.
- Do not sign anything! Even if they say they are from your insurance company!
How to deal with the other party?
Dealing with people can be tricky. You never know what to expect. Some people are calm and rational. While others not so. Whatever the situation is, it is important to stay cool yourself. Be courteous. Try to not get into an argument, and don’t start the blaming game. You don’t have be the judge and decide who’s wrong and who’s right. If you know for certain the accident was your fault, apologize for it, and calmly inform the other party that you will be making a police report and that it is best that he/ she does the same
Police report has to be made within 24 hours of the incident!
What if the other party disagrees and flees the scene?
Call your insurance agent and/ or your insurance company right away and get their advice on what to do next. Usually people would not flee an accident scene unless it was clearly their fault. If you managed to take down the car registration number, you will be able to claim from their insurance, except the process now becomes a little more tedious as they are not willing to cooperate. So in any case, make sure that the first thing you do is to note the car registration number, with this you can file a police report. Your insurance company will be able to handle the case and a helpful agent should be able to assist you.
2. Assess the situation
Observe the scene to understand the following:
- What actually happened?
- Who were involved?
- How many cars?
- Who crashed into who?
Try also to see if anyone had committed any traffic offence which could have resulted in the accident. Such as overtaking at a double-line, or making an illegal U-turn.
3. Take down information and evidence
Gather as much information you can, but some of the critical ones are as follows:
- Date and time of incident
- Names of parties involved
- IC numbers
- Phone numbers
- Each parties’ car registration number
- Driver’s license numbers
With almost everyone owning a mobile phone these days, it is easy to take pictures as evidence. Take necessary pictures and then move your car to the side of the road as soon as you can if it was obstructing traffic.
You may want to take pictures of the scene, the location, the position of the cars and other useful information. This information may be used as evidence to determine who was at fault, so you should take your time to look around calmly. Do not be hasty!
Is a witness necessary?
Yes definitely! Malaysia has not reached the level of fairness and justice as other countries like the UK or US. However we should start now to make things more fair and certain. If you do not have any witness, it will be your word against the word of the other party, when faced the investigating officer or in court. In many cases, if the other party says it was your fault although it isn’t, but cannot convince the police officer then you will lose your NCD or get less damages paid out. Therefore, try to find a witness, take down their name and phone number. Even better record their statement and play it to the police officer. This may be able to help in the investigation.
4. Call your insurance agent or insurance company helpline
There are a few reasons why you might want to call your insurance agent or insurance company:
- You may still be in the state of shock, talking to someone who is on your side can be a great help to calm you down.
- Explain what had happened and get advice on what to do next.
- Ask your insurance agent/ company to advise on panel tow truck to use and nearest workshop. Usually your insurance helpline would be able to send a tow truck over to the scene to help you tow your car to a panel workshop.
5. Engaging a tow truck and taking your car to the workshop
By now you would have noticed the tow trucks at the scene, trying to convince everyone involved, you included, that they need their cars to be towed to a “wonderful” workshop nearby. Again, stay calm. In Malaysia, tow truck companies can be very pushy and in cities like KL, they will arrive at the accident scene very quickly.
There have been car accidents in Malaysia where accident victims were scammed by tow truck operators who took advantage of them. They not only scammed them thousands of ringgit but also threatened their lives. You need to exercise caution when dealing with these tow truck operators. Make sure you don’t become their next victim. Please read our next article on how to deal with the tow truck operators and what are the next steps that you must take after an accident.
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