7 Things To Do If You Are Involved In A Car Accident
This week’s post features Yit Leng from Chee Hoe & Associates. She is a practicing lawyer with 4 years of experience and mainly practices civil litigation and employment law. She likes butterflies, coffee and living the healthy lifestyle.
1. SAFETY FIRST
Safety should be top priority when an accident happens. Alight from the vehicle and stay away from the flow of traffic or relocate to the road shoulder right away. If you notice someone who is hurt, call 999 immediately.
2. TO MOVE or NOT TO MOVE THE VEHICLE
It depends on the damage of the car and if the accident appeared to be straightforward, you may move your car alongside to the road unless there are any injuries involved, serious dispute of facts and/or doubt of the safety of driving the car. Whether or not you choose to move your car, turn on your hazard lights and do whatever is necessary to create more visibility of the scene to the other road users.
3. TO CALL or NOT TO CALL THE POLICE?
In Malaysia, all motor vehicular accidents regardless of amount of the vehicles SHALL be reported to the police respectively. The law further requires the driver of any motor vehicle involved in an accident to lodge a report as soon as reasonably practicable and in any case within 24 hours of such occurrence. This is a compulsory obligation as against the public myth in cases like minor fender benders, no party will want to contact the police. The rationale of undue delay is to prevent concoction of the content of the police report.
It is imperative to get the name & address from the driver or the owner of the vehicle as required by law.  If possible, get additional information such as phone number, vehicle brand and model, registration plate no., insurance policy number and other pertinent details. It is not an obligatory gesture to hand out your national registration identity card (NRIC) unless it is for the police or relevant authorities.
5. NEVER ADMIT GUILT OR APOLOGIZE
Never admit that the accident was your fault as you are not the authority to determine the same. Keep the job for the court of law to determine the liability. Admitting guilt will draw unnecessary inferences and make things difficult down the line. You may feel guilty or sorry to the other party but it can’t be helped when your insurance premiums increase or NCD (No Claims Discount) is no longer applicable.
6. TAKE PHOTOS / RECORD THE SCENE
When in doubt, take more pictures. The Sketch Plan and Key is a vital piece of evidence for the court in establishing the liability. If neither the Plaintiff nor the Defendant provides a clear account as to how the accident happened, the Court is justified in relying on the Sketch Plan and Key and may draw inferences in establishing the liability. As such, the details as to how the collision occurred, the photographs, plan and measurements of the scene, and the nature of damage to each vehicle must be recorded at the very first instance when the accident happens.
7. CONSULT A DOCTOR
Last but not least, a lot of injuries can be internal or go unnoticeable. If you are not entirely sure, do pay a visit to a doctor.