This is Part 3 of our Accident 101 Blog series. If you haven’t read the first two articles, you might want to check those out too.
Part 2 – Don’t fall victim to tow truck scam
Accident 101 – What to do at the Police Station
We have learned what to do at the scene of the accident and how to best deal with tow truck operators. Now let’s look at how to file a report at the police station.
When and where to report?
You have 24 hours (from the time of the accident) to make the report! The main stations are the one on Jalan Bandar (Petaling Street) for the accidents that take place in KL, and PJ State for accidents in Selangor. However, you can also go to the nearest station provided it falls under the same jurisdiction as the location of the accident. And please make sure it is a Traffic Police Station!
What happens to your car?
Your car will have to be taken to the same police station in order for the police inspector to investigate the case. If you have engaged a tow truck, inform him which station you are going to and he will do the same. Most of the time however, the tow truck driver knows better which is the right station that you need to go to to file your report.
On the way to the police station…
Before you get there, you might want to consult your agent or a friend who is knowledgeable on insurance matters and has experience dealing with car accidents in Malaysia. Explain what had happened and how it happened and get advice on how to face the officers at the police station. This will help you understand the important points that you need to highlight during your meeting with the officers. This could help you avoid making some common mistakes which could make it hard for the investigating officer to decide on the case.
Now that you are at the station…
- Take a number and wait for your turn.
- When your turn comes, you will meet the officer in charge and explain in detail the incident that had taken place.
- Give them your MyKad and driver’s license, and all other evidence that you have gathered so that the officer can produce a report that is as accurate as possible.
- Once the officer is done typing out your report, they will show it to you to verify it. Read it through careful to make sure every important detail is written down. Don’t hesitate to ask them to make corrections if needed.
- Once this is done, you will need to wait for your turn to meet with the investigating officer.
…meeting the inspector
- You will be directed to the inspector’s room for further investigation
- Be courteous! This man or lady will most probably be the one who will decide if you are innocent or guilty!
- He/ she will read your report and will be asking questions. Stay calm and answer truthfully. If you have to draw a sketch of the location and how the accident took place, do so.
- If it is no doubt that the accident was your fault, say so. No need to deny it, these cops are good at doing their jobs anyway, especially in obvious cases.
- If you are found to be guilty of the accident, you will have to pay a summon of RM 300.00. If not, the summon will be issued to the other party.
- While all this is happening, another officer will go outside to take pictures of your car. This will help the investigating officer in making his/ her decision.
- If the case was clear cut, the officer can decide right there and then the party at fault. Otherwise more days will be needed. Or in the worst case scenario, the case will have to be taken to court for a judge to decide.
…collecting your report
- Once the inspector is done interrogating you, you are allowed to leave. Proceed to the cash counter to pay for a copy the report, it will cost you a few Ringgit. This report is needed for you to file for a claim with your insurance company.
- The ‘result’ of the investigation usually will be issued within 1-2 weeks if not immediately, this means that you will need to come back again for it once it is ready.
What if the police inspector claims it was my fault but I know for sure it wasn’t!
You can then take the case to court. This may take time and the process can be tedious which is why many opted against it. Your insurance company is liable to spend up to RM 2,000 on legal fee for your defense. However, it may not always be worth it to do so. If you decide to go to court, contact the Claims Department of your insurance company. Get written consent that they agree to proceed. In most of cases, the insurance company will arrange for the lawyer form their panel of lawyers. Best way is to talk to an experienced agent who can assess the situation and provide insights if it is worth the time and money.
What happens when the other party does not make a report?
Usually the investigating officer will rule in favor of the one who makes a report, because the other party is most often at fault and trying to avoid the summon. As long as you have the car registration of the other party involved in the accident, it should not be a problem claiming from his insurance company. For further understanding, please read our article on hit-and-run.
If I crashed into a tree or a lamp post, do I still need to file a police report?
It is best practice to file a police report. Since you’d never know if someone is filing one against you and you end up paying a fine for not reporting. You don’t want to be sorry later so it is wise to report. You then need to report the accident to your insurer within 7 days to claim for repair. If you decide not to report and settle the damages out of your own pocket, be aware that if you later want the insurance company to pay for the damages, the company may exercise “Subrogation Rights” for being at fault and not reporting earlier. “Subrogation rights” means that the insurance company will pay for your damages done to, well in this case, the tree or lamp post (i.e. the municipal council etc), but it will later come after you to collect the money back!
What if I crashed into somebody’s property, like a house?
You will need to file for a police report. Because the owner of the property will likely file one against you. The owner will be able to claim against you under the Third Party cover called Third Party Property Damage (TPPD). If you have a comprehensive cover, you will also be able to claim for damages to your own car. If you only have Third Party or Third Party Fire and Theft cover, then you will need to pay for the damages of your car on your own. For more information on the different types of motor insurance policy, check this article or watch the following video.
We hope that this article has help clarify some of the questions you may have in handling an accident. We will touch on the next following steps, that is making an insurance claim in our next article.
If you have any query, please do not hesitate to drop us a comment or email. We would be happy to help.
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