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  • Writer's pictureDerrick Soh Law Corporation

What to do after a motor accident

Updated: Feb 28, 2023


The General Insurance Association ("GIA") of Singapore represents the interests of the insurance companies in Singapore. On 1 June 2008, the GIA introduced the Motor Claims Framework, which aims to bring together a standardized framework for reporting of motor accidents.


Steps to take after a Car Accident


1. Stop your vehicle immediately and refrain from moving your vehicle unless absolutely necessary.


2. Call the police and/or the ambulance immediately if there are serious injuries or fatality, serious damages to the vehicle or damage to public property.

3. Exchange particulars with the involved parties. This include parties' name, NRIC number, contact details, insurer's details and vehicle registration number. If the other parties refuse to provide his particulars, do not engage in an argument in the middle of the road. Instead, take a photograph of the vehicle and the vehicle registration number.


4. Take photographs of the accident scene using your phone camera. The photographs should include damaged portions of all vehicles, positions of all vehicles after the collision, surrounding area (e.g. road lane markings, dividers, traffic light, zebra crossing). Additionally, ensure that the in-vehicle video recording of the accident is saved.


5. Inform your insurers about the accident as soon as possible. Insurers may have different procedures and timelines for accident reporting. In some cases, the insurers may repudiate your insurance policy if the accident is not reported in a timely manner.


6. Bring your vehicle to the insurers' authorized workshop or call your insurers' hotline for a tow truck if your vehicle is immobile.

7. Prepare your accident report. Your insurer may be entitled to repudiate liability on your motor policy if you fail to report promptly. In your accident report, be as detailed as possible about the accident. you should state the date, time, location of the accident, the road, light, weather condition, travelling speed, whether turn signal indicator was on, number of impacts, colour of traffic light, the number of lanes, visual indication of injury suffered by driver and passenger, description of vehicle damage and any offer made by the other driver. Submit the photographs and in-vehicle recordings of the accident scene if possible.


8. Lodge a Traffic Police Report as soon as possible. This may be done online.


After doing the above, you may consider these possible options to pursue for compensation: -

  • Claiming against your own motor insurance policy

  • Claiming against the other party's insurance policy

  • Private settlement with the other party


Claiming against your own Policy

Claiming against your own policy is the most straightforward method in getting compensation for the accident. You will not need to incur direct costs and only need to submit documentation to your insurer within the stipulated time. However, the amount of compensation you will received is dependent on the terms of your motor policy. Sometimes, the amount stated in your motor policy might not be sufficient to cover your full loss.


Do note that in doing so may affect your policy's future premium or NCD.


Furthermore, after paying you compensation, your insurer may decide to claim against the other party to recoup their loss. In this event, you may be required to assist your insurer in court proceedings or to attend the office of the lawyers appointed by your insurer.


Claiming against the other Party's Policy


Claiming against the other party's policy means that your compensation amount is not subjected to your insurance policy wording and you are entitled to claim for your full loss, in accordance with the law. Moreover, if you have no fault in the accident, it is unlikely that your policy's future premium or NCD will be affected.


However, pursuing this option meant that you have to personally invest time and effort to pursue the claim against the other party's insurers, or engage a lawyer to assist you. This would involve issuing a letter of claim with the relevant information and documentation, several rounds of negotiation and navigation of the court processes.

Private Settlement


This is the fastest option in receiving compensation and to prevent your policy's future premium or NCD from being affected, without the need to engage lawyers. However, this is dependable on whether the other party is keen to settle.


The negative aspect to this is that you may not be aware of the true value of your claim that you are entitled to and you will have to expend time and effort to convince the other driver to accept your proposed settlement.


In the event that there is an agreed settlement between parties, it is advised that the settlement terms are stated clearly in writing to avoid dispute in the future.


Hit and Run Accidents

In the event that you are involved in a hit-and-run accident and you are unable to identify the party or if the other party is uninsured, you are still able to receive compensation for your loss. The compensation will be paid by the Motor Insurers' Bureau of Singapore.

However, do note that the compensation is limited to liability in respect of death or bodily injury but not for property damage.


Conclusion


Every motor accident is unique and the amount of compensation is ultimately dependent on the particular circumstances of the case. Therefore, it would be prudent to consult a lawyer for advice so that you are aware of all the options that are available to you. The General Insurance Association ("GIA") of Singapore represents the interests of the insurance companies in Singapore. On 1 June 2008, the GIA introduced the Motor Claims Framework, which aims to bring together a standardized framework for reporting of motor accidents.


Steps to take after a Car Accident


1. Stop your vehicle immediately and refrain from moving your vehicle unless absolutely necessary.


2. Call the police and/or the ambulance immediately if there are serious injuries or fatality, serious damages to the vehicle or damage to public property.

3. Exchange particulars with the involved parties. This include parties' name, NRIC number, contact details, insurer's details and vehicle registration number. If the other parties refuse to provide his particulars, do not engage in an argument in the middle of the road. Instead, take a photograph of the vehicle and the vehicle registration number.


4. Take photographs of the accident scene using your phone camera. The photographs should include damaged portions of all vehicles, positions of all vehicles after the collision, surrounding area (e.g. road lane markings, dividers, traffic light, zebra crossing). Additionally, ensure that the in-vehicle video recording of the accident is saved.


5. Inform your insurers about the accident as soon as possible. Insurers may have different procedures and timelines for accident reporting. In some cases, the insurers may repudiate your insurance policy if the accident is not reported in a timely manner.


6. Bring your vehicle to the insurers' authorized workshop or call your insurers' hotline for a tow truck if your vehicle is immobile.

7. Prepare your accident report. Your insurer may be entitled to repudiate liability on your motor policy if you fail to report promptly. In your accident report, be as detailed as possible about the accident. you should state the date, time, location of the accident, the road, light, weather condition, travelling speed, whether turn signal indicator was on, number of impacts, colour of traffic light, the number of lanes, visual indication of injury suffered by driver and passenger, description of vehicle damage and any offer made by the other driver. Submit the photographs and in-vehicle recordings of the accident scene if possible.


8. Lodge a Traffic Police Report as soon as possible. This may be done online.


After doing the above, you may consider these possible options to pursue for compensation: -

  • Claiming against your own motor insurance policy

  • Claiming against the other party's insurance policy

  • Private settlement with the other party

Claiming against your own Policy

Claiming against your own policy is the most straightforward method in getting compensation for the accident. You will not need to incur direct costs and only need to submit documentation to your insurer within the stipulated time. However, the amount of compensation you will received is dependent on the terms of your motor policy. Sometimes, the amount stated in your motor policy might not be sufficient to cover your full loss.


Do note that in doing so may affect your policy's future premium or NCD.


Furthermore, after paying you compensation, your insurer may decide to claim against the other party to recoup their loss. In this event, you may be required to assist your insurer in court proceedings or to attend the office of the lawyers appointed by your insurer.


Claiming against the other Party's Policy


Claiming against the other party's policy means that your compensation amount is not subjected to your insurance policy wording and you are entitled to claim for your full loss, in accordance with the law. Moreover, if you have no fault in the accident, it is unlikely that your policy's future premium or NCD will be affected.


However, pursuing this option meant that you have to personally invest time and effort to pursue the claim against the other party's insurers, or engage a lawyer to assist you. This would involve issuing a letter of claim with the relevant information and documentation, several rounds of negotiation and navigation of the court processes.

Private Settlement


This is the fastest option in receiving compensation and to prevent your policy's future premium or NCD from being affected, without the need to engage lawyers. However, this is dependable on whether the other party is keen to settle.


The negative aspect to this is that you may not be aware of the true value of your claim that you are entitled to and you will have to expend time and effort to convince the other driver to accept your proposed settlement.


In the event that there is an agreed settlement between parties, it is advised that the settlement terms are stated clearly in writing to avoid dispute in the future.


Hit and Run Accidents

In the event that you are involved in a hit-and-run accident and you are unable to identify the party or if the other party is uninsured, you are still able to receive compensation for your loss. The compensation will be paid by the Motor Insurers' Bureau of Singapore.

However, do note that the compensation is limited to liability in respect of death or bodily injury but not for property damage.


Conclusion


Every motor accident is unique and the amount of compensation is ultimately dependent on the particular circumstances of the case. Therefore, it would be prudent to consult a lawyer for advice so that you are aware of all the options that are available to you.


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