INVOLVED IN A ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENT IN THAILAND ?
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THE SITUATION
WHAT TO DO in a motor accident in Thailand
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Have you ever been in the following situations after a car accident? You do not know what to do, who you should call, or what documents need to be used.
Once you’ve checked your car documents, discovered the Insurer’s telephone contact and called them, it seems to take forever until your insurer has arranged for their motorcycle claims attendant to arrive and “rescue” you at the scene.
You really want to move your car away so as to not block the traffic, but somehow you feel that this would not be the right thing to do.
And so, there you are, stuck in the middle of the road, while drivers of passing cars glare at you as if you, personally, were the cause of the terrible traffic that is delaying them.
The above kind of incidents can now be avoided if you understand the “Knock for Knock” agreement which exists between insurers in Thailand.
Essentially the Knock for Knock agreement is an agreement between two insurance companies, whereby each insurer agrees to pay the losses sustained by its own policy-holder regardless of who is responsible for the cause of the accident.
Consequently, the Knock for Knock agreement arrangements help save time in the event of motor accidents, make the whole affair of an accident less dramatic and inconvenient for the parties involved, and reduces traffic congestion.
Ultimately the satisfaction of individual motor policy Insured parties is enhanced, while the standing of the Thai motor insurance industry, which is becoming more and more competitive in order to meet the standard of the ASEAN countries, is raised.
So, when can you use “Knock for Knock”?
There must be a party who accepts the fault.
Both parties should have valid driving licenses (Check!). As per our previous article !!
If liability is still in doubt, or if neither party accepts fault, then the form cannot be used.
In this case the situation reverts to those we have all seen on Thai roads: the crashed vehicles remaining in the accident situation, blocking traffic, the parties looking aggrieved, and the Boys in Brown in attendance spray-painting around the vehicle’s tires (and for what to do if you find yourself in this scenario)
How to use the “Knock for Knock” form.
Both parties fill in the Knock for Knock agreement form which is enclosed along with your policy documents, and which, hopefully, you have kept in your vehicle’s glove box. Please make sure it is there (or check with your insurance broker if you have misplaced it or do not have one).
Complete and sign on the form and exchange it with the other party to the accident.
Then, you are lawfully allowed to leave (not “flee”) the accident scene.
Subsequently, when making the claim under your insurance policy, present the other party’s Knock for Knock signed agreement form to your insurer.
Some points to note:
The Knock for Knock agreement form can only be used when both parties are covered by comprehensive insurance policies –check that the other party’s insurance policy is comprehensive.
The Knock for Knock Agreement is only applicable to cars, trucks and vans with 4 wheels, vehicles not exceeding 4 tons gross weight, and not exceeding 20 passengers.
If a vehicle falls outside the applicability of Knock for Knock, then the insurer of that vehicle will not have issued them the Knock for Knock form and so the driver will not have the form to exchange with you. Therefore, it is not necessary to know whether the other party’s vehicle has gross weight over 4 tons or registered as exceeding 20 passengers.
So, to recap, please ensure the other party has a valid driving license, has the form to exchange with you, the form shows correct vehicle registration number and the period of insurance as stated on the form is still valid.
Earlier we explained how the Knock for Knock agreement can potentially save you time if you are involved in a motor accident. In this second part of our report we examine the situation where the Knock for Knock agreement is not applicable or cannot be used.
In the event of an accident, please try not to panic, remain calm and keep safe. Make sure nobody is injured and try to move everyone to a safe location. If there are injured parties, call the emergency services. If you suspect that there are injuries to someone’s back or neck, try not to move them but make them as comfortable as possible until the ambulance arrives.
When the Knock for Knock agreement document CANNOT be used, here’s what to do.
Whether or not you are or believe you are at fault:
Note down the registration number, make and colour of the other vehicle. Almost everyone carries a mobile phone, so it is easier to take a few photos of the scene of accident and the registration number of the other vehicle.
Ask the other party for their name, address and telephone number. Offer to show them your driving license and ask that they do the same. If possible take a photo of the license and make video.
Write down the name and address of any witness(es).
If the other party admits liability ask him/her to sign a liability note for further recovery action.
If your vehicle is causing an obstruction or endangering other road users, take a few photos of the scene of accident and get agree with the other party to move the vehicles to a safe place.
Call your insurer to notify them of the claim
Even if you think you may have been at fault do not sign anything admitting liability without the agreement of the insurer.
If there is any doubt in your mind about whose fault it is:
Do not move your vehicle from the scene of accident until a policeman has marked the position and direction of your vehicle on the road and you are instructed to do so.
Call your insurer to notify the claim.
Most insurers promise to have one of their surveyors on the scene within 45 minutes. While you are waiting for the surveyor to arrive, take a few photos of the scene of accident and also the registration number of the other vehicle. This may be useful if the police arrive and ask you to move the cars without first marking the road.
How do you notify the claim to your insurer?
Call the insurer or the surveyor as soon as possible. Their contact details should be shown on a sticker placed on your windscreen. The sticker is usually issued together with your insurance policy. Make sure you have the sticker when your broker or insurer delivers the policy to you.
The insurer will usually ask for your car registration number (and possibly your policy number). All companies nowadays should be able to trace your records by just informing them of your car registration number. They will also ask you for your location, how the accident happened, along with your mobile number so that the surveyor can contact you.
Remember to ask the name of the person taking your call just in case the surveyor takes too long to arrive and you need to follow up, or in the event you need to go to hospital or police station.
In case the accident has resulted in bodily injury, here’s what you should do:
It does not matter who is at fault in the accident. It does not matter if the surveyor still has not arrived to attend the claim. If there is a serious injury, it is a priority to take the injured person(s) to the nearest hospital. There should be no need to go to the hospital if the injury is minor and can wait until all is sorted out with the insurer.
Please do not forget to ask for medical bills and the doctor’s certificate as evidence to submit to your Insurer for reimbursement later. Alternatively, you can claim the medical expenses under your Compulsory Motor Insurance, a topic we will address in a future article.
Report the accident to the nearest police station as necessary and keep the paperwork !
Advise your insurer if you are detained by the police for any reason. They should then arrange the proper amount of security to post bail so that you can leave the police station as soon as possible.
It is important to know that the police have no right to hold you at the station unless there has been a serious injury that would result in a lengthy hospital stay.
Be aware that if you flee the scene of the accident, it is likely to be regarded as an admission of guilt. If you did have to leave the scene of the accident you should report to the police station as soon as possible.
Again, even if you think you may have been at fault, do not sign anything admitting liability without the agreement of the insurer.
If you are unable to identify the other party:
If the other party leaves the scene of the accident prematurely you must notify the nearest police station. Give them as much information as you can about the other party, including the registration number of the vehicle if possible.
Make sure you obtain a copy of the police report as the insurer will require this.
When your vehicle is retained by police:
The Police are entitled to detain the vehicle(s) involved in the accident for further investigation if it is apparent that either or both parties have broken the law. If your vehicle is detained, you should ask the policeman to note down the items of valuable property inside your vehicle, into the police daily report as evidence of your belongings.
In the event your vehicle is not driveable:
You or your insurer will need to co-ordinate the removal of your vehicle to the nearest garage so that your vehicle can be repaired. If you have to make payment, please keep the receipt and send to your broker or insurer for reimbursement under the claim process.
We hope you have found this article interesting – and useful, and also hope you do not find yourself in an accident having need of this information.
UDONTHANILIVE.IN.TH hope you find this article interesting – and useful, should you find yourself in an accident.