6 things to do if you get into a Traffic Accident in Singapore
According to the Singapore Traffic Police Statistics, there were 7,690 accidents resulting in injuries in 2018 in Singapore. That’s an average of about 21 accidents a day !
With that many accidents happening annually, we hope you know what you should do if you get into an accident.
1. Check for injuries
Check yourself first, to find any cuts or bruises. Also, look around for others involved in the accident, and ask them if they are ok.
If someone is injured or requires medical attention, call 995. Sometimes, it’s not easy to tell if someone is injured (e.g spinal injury) as the injury is internal. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so call for an ambulance if you have doubts.
A tip from a lawyer with vast experience in traffic accident cases is to look at the surroundings and take note of the colour of the traffic lights at the time of the accident. This can potentially help you in legal proceedings.
Which direction was traffic in favor of? On which side were vehicles supposed to stop?
Check to see if the pedestrian crossing light was green or red, time left on the counter, and whether there were any green arrows illuminated on the traffic light to indicate cars could make right/left turns.
This would be of tremendous help, especially in situations where pedestrians were involved. Nowadays, this may not be so important since many cars are fitted with dash cams - but in the event that there were no other cars or witnesses around, this can help you.
2. Take pictures of damage to vehicles, THEN move your vehicle
Take pictures of the scene, both from a distance and up close to get more detailed pictures.
This is because in the event that you have to draw a sketch of the accident in your reports, you have pictures to refer to. You may also be asked for a sketch of the accident some time after the accident has happened, at which point you may have forgotten the details.
For the close up shots, you’d want to focus more on the areas where the vehicles made contact or suffered damages. Once you’ve taken enough pictures of the accident scene, move your vehicle if it is obstructing traffic.
3. Exchange Particulars
Get the NRIC and driving License of the other party or parties involved in the accident. We suggest getting their IC as it contains their residential address. Take a few shots of each side just in case pictures turn out blurry. If possible, ask the other driver for their insurance papers as well just in case you need them.
4. Look around for witnesses
Once you identify a few potential witnesses, ask for their particulars like their name and phone number. This will come in handy when you need them to assist during insurance claims or traffic police reports.
5. Video Footage
If you or the other party have a dash cam installed in the car that was able to record the footage of the accident, be sure to transfer it to another device, or make a copy of it as soon as possible.
Video footage of the accident will help immensely when writing your reports, during investigations and when it comes to insurance claims. It can also help to prove who was right and wrong, especially if the other party’s recollection of the accident is different from yours.
If there was no video footage of the accident, you can start a voice recording on your phone to record yourself telling the story and details of the accident. However, you have to do this quickly as we tend to forget more details as time passes.
Say out the events leading up to the accident (your estimated driving speed at the time of accident, which lane you were in, was the traffic light in your favour.) , how the accident occurred (where the other party came from, was he/she driving recklessly), any injuries, etc. Try to be as detailed as possible and mention everything that comes to mind, because you’ll never know when the information might be useful in reports.
Tip : If unsure, use the 4 Ws and 1 H – who, what, when, where and how.
6. Notify your insurance company
For most insurers, you have to notify them of the accident within 24 hours from the time the accident occured for the claim to be valid. No matter what happened, you have to inform them.
Failing to inform your insurance company can invoke the breach of policy clause for non-reporting and repudiate liability, and you have to bear all the damages personally.
That does sound serious.
Once you’ve informed them, an appointed lawyer from the insurance company will get in touch with you. Whatever forms of communication that happens between you and the Lawyer has to be reported to your insurance company as well.
Update your insurer with any news or updates so they are kept in the loop.
At the end of all this, you should have :
Video footage or a voice recording of your account of the accident
Statements and contact details of witnesses and parties involved
Pictures of the accident scene and damages to vehicles/property
As you can see, these are vital pieces of information.
Traffic Accident Infographic by LawyerSearch.
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