Traffic Accidents-How to Deal with them by Gitau Komu

Today’s *Masomo Monday* will be a general overview on dealing with traffic accidents. This is not an exhaustive guide. The details would depend on individual circumstances.

*1. Injuries*

Confirm that everyone’s fine. If not, promptly seek medical help.

*2. Photos and Information*

Once you’ve confirmed that everyone is fine or has been attended to, take numerous photos of the scene and bikes/vehicles from different angles.

Action cameras are particularly handy since you’ll have a proper record of what happened.

Exchange information as well. Names, numbers and witness information. It’s advisable to take photos of the other person’s ID, insurance sticker and driving licence.

*3. Damage Assessment/Settlement*

Do an assessment of the damage to your bike. Cracks, dents, scrapes, leaks etc and call up your mech for a quick quote.

If the damage is minor, you could consider negotiating with the other person. If you agree upon either person involved covering the other’s costs without involving the insurance providers or upon each person covering their own costs, *IT WOULD BE GREAT TO HAVE THAT AGREEMENT IN WRITING!*

If you decide to take the negotiation route, avoid making admissions of liability. You don’t want to have your insurance provider refusing to compensate you if the negotiations go south and you have to take the insurance option.

The agreement ☝🏾 could be a simple one-pager with some critical points:

a.) Date
b.) Full name and ID/Passport Numbers of those involved
c.) Registration numbers and descriptions of the bikes/cages involved
d.) Whether the people involved will cover their own costs or one will cover the costs of the other
e.) A statement that the payment, if any, or whatever else is agreed upon would be full and final settlement of any claims arising from the accident
f.) Signatures
g.) Witnesses, if any

If you’re receiving a payment, it’s advisable to insist on receiving it before you leave the scene to avoid having to chase after dodgy peeps later.

*4. Cops*

You would need to report the matter to the cops if you don’t agree on settlement for minor damage, the damage is extensive or based on the injuries resulting from the accident.

If you have to move the bike/cage before they arrive, photos and marks on the road would be quite helpful.

If there is a threat to your life or bike/cage, usually in the form of an irate mob, rush to the nearest police station to report the incident and get protection.

Generally, reports to the cops should be done within 24 hours and you may be required to give your statement. Request for copies of statements made regarding the accident.

Upon reporting the accident, you’ll be given an Occurrence Book number. Follow up on getting a Police Abstract.

If the cops intend to charge you with an offense, you will be given a Notice of Intended Prosecution and may be required to give security for your availability, usually in the form of cash (bail) for traffic offenses. Once paid, you will be issued with a receipt. The amount is refundable once the cops clear you or upon conclusion of the matter in Court.

If the matter goes to Court, it could have various outcomes which you’ll be advised on by your advocate if it comes to that.

*5. Insurance Claim*

If you’re lodging a claim with your insurance provider, you’ll fill out a claim form and provide documents which your provider needs to process the claim such as the Police Abstract.

The insurance provider may direct you to drop off the bike at one of its approved garages or give a letter of authority to your preferred garage depending on its policies.

*6. Liability*

Liability depends on the circumstances. Guidance for this is mostly from the Traffic Act, Highway Code and NTSA Regulations. One is expected to have an understanding of these.

They are extensive. So they will be covered later in the form of a summarised document.

Anyone in the insurance/legal industry, feel free to add a comment.

Ride Safe

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