Car Tips

What To Do In A Car Accident: A Step-by-Step Guide

10 Minutes

What You Should Do

Car accidents can be distressing and disorienting experiences, but it's crucial to stay calm and take appropriate actions in the aftermath of such an incident. 

Your safety and the well-being of others involved should be your top priority. To help you navigate the process, we've put together a step-by-step guide based on expert advice.

Here's what you should do if you find yourself in a car accident.

Step 1: Stop, Assess, and Ensure Safety

The first thing you should do in a car accident is to stop your vehicle, activate your hazard lights, and then assess the conditions of those around you – passengers in both your vehicle and others involved in the accident. Ensure everyone is safe and out of harm's way.

Step 2: Call For Ambulance If Someone Is Injured

Immediately check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If there are any serious injuries, call for an ambulance at 995 immediately. DO NOT move anyone injured at the scene of the accident unless their safety is in immediate danger.

If the injuries do not appear to be serious, call 1777 for a non-emergency ambulance.

You will also have to call the police at 999 if the accident involves:

  • Fatalities
  • Pedestrians/cyclists
  • Hit-and-run cases
  • Injuries where the victim had to be taken to the hospital
  • Damage to government property
  • Foreign vehicles

Step 3: Do NOT move any of the vehicles involved

You should not move a vehicle if someone has been killed or seriously injured. 

If the accident has only caused property damage and your vehicle is blocking traffic, you should only move the vehicles involved in the accident after you’ve taken photographs of the scene

DO NOT move your car if you haven’t taken photos! (Even if it’s blocking traffic)

Step 4: Exchange Information with The Other Party

For minor car accidents where there are no serious injuries, all drivers must exchange details:

  • Full name
  • NRIC number/FIN
  • Phone number
  • Home address 
  • Details of insurer/insurance company

Step 5: Gather Evidence From the Accident Scene

It’s important to gather evidence for your insurance claims later on. You should capture the following:

  • Entire scene of the accident including the immediate area (from wide angle, if possible)
  • The surrounding area of the accident (including lane markings, tyre or skid marks, debris)
  • Damage to YOUR vehicle with images showing your license plate (if possible)
  • Damage to OTHER vehicles with images showing their license plate (if possible)
  • The license plates of all vehicles involved in the accident

Jot down accident details to be included in the Traffic Accident Report:

  • Exact location, date and time of accident
  • Weather and road conditions

If you have a dashcam, remove the memory cards and make copies of the footage as soon as possible.

Step 6: Move Your Car If Possible or Call Car Towing Service

Move your vehicle to a safe location away from traffic, such as the side of the road or a parking lot. Turn on your hazard lights to signal to other drivers that there's an issue.

If your car is unable to move or in bad shape, you will need to have it towed. You may call your insurer for further assistance (refer to next step).

Step 7: Decide Your Next Course of Action

Choice 1: Private Settlement

If the car accident resulted in minimal to no damage to your vehicle, and more importantly does not involve bodily harm to any party involved, you may consider a private settlement.

This preserves your No-Claims Discount (NCD), where if you do not make any claims under your car insurance policy for a year or more with the current insurer, you will be given a reduced amount for the premium you have to pay for the following year upon renewal.

Losing NCD increases the cost of subsequent car insurance premiums.

You cannot enter a private settlement if:

  • The accident involves death or bodily harm (include non-driving parties like pedestrians)
  • Significant damage to any property, especially government property was damaged
  • A case of hit and run

To get an accurate estimate of the costs of repairing damage to your vehicle, you should take your vehicle to one of your insurer’s authorised workshops to get a written estimate of the costs.

You must complete and sign a private settlement form or letter containing the following details:

  • Details of accident, location, date and time of accident
  • Particulars of parties involved, drivers’ full names, NRIC/FIN number, vehicle registration numbers
  • Terms of agreement, which may include:
  • A statement that no personal injury or death was involved
  • A statement both parties agree to settle amicably
  • The amount to be paid by one party to another, or if both parties agree to shoulder the cost of repair
  • A statement both parties will not make a police report of the accident
  • A statement that neither party will subsequently fil a claim for damages based on the accident
  • Acknowledgement of receipt of compensation
  • Signatures of parties entering into settlement

You can check if insurer has sample private settlement forms for you to use.

Choice 2: Call Your Car Insurance Provider

Contact your car insurance provider, provide the details of your accident. 

If you require towing services, you could ask him/her to recommend the closest authorised workshop that provides towing and repair services. 

Important! Report the accident to your insurance company within 24 hours, or by the next working day.

This should be done whether you intend to claim from the other driver’s insurance company or the other driver directly. It should also be done irrespective of whether there is visible damage to your vehicle. If you fail to do so:

  • You will not be covered under any insurance policies. Your insurer will have the right to reject your claim or claim any sums they had paid towards the other driver’s claim from you.
  • You may lose your No Claim Discount when renewing your policy; or
  • Your insurer may decline to renew your policy altogether

If the accident occurred on an expressway, you can call the Expressway Monitoring and Advisory System (EMAS) at 1800 225 5582. They will tow your vehicle to the nearest car park.

Step 8: Allow other party to inspect your vehicle damage (if needed)

If you would like to claim for property damage to your vehicle, you will need to allow the other party to inspect the damage prior to the repairs being done.

Defendant’s insurers will conduct a pre-repair inspection within 2 working days from the time of notification.

Unless the defendant’s insurer has waived the right to inspection, you may not begin repair work.

Step 9: Claim for personal injury/property damage during the accident

If you’re not the one at fault, you may submit a claim with your insurance provider to seek a claim against the other parties’ insurer. Your NCD remains intact.

If you’re at fault, you can submit a claim but your NCD will decrease and your insurance premiums will increase during your next renewal period.

Need further help or clarification? Don’t hesitate to join us as a Cult of Cars Telegram Group! Aside from getting to know new car friends, you have exclusive access to our Carello Concierge services, where we provide assistance to you in the event of a car accident.

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