Due to the growing number of vehicles in India, there has been a rise in the number of on-road accidents. These accidents could be minor such as causing scratches to the other vehicle. Or something major such as causing dents to the vehicle or injuries to the third party. You can be a victim of an accident caused to your car or a perpetrator.
If you are a victim of an accident, or you have caused the accident, i.e. you are the perpetrator, what is the correct way to handle the situation? Does your car insurance take care of the compensation?
Let us understand more about this.
What to do as a victim?
Consider this scenario: You have parked your vehicle by the street and gone to take care of some work. You return to your car and are taking it out when suddenly a speeding car approaching from behind brushes past your car without halting. You notice that your car’s side-view mirror is broken and the car’s bumper has been damaged on one side. This can be described as a hit-and-run case since the perpetrator damaged your vehicle and escaped.
What are the options at your disposal?
You can consider the following options:
- If either you or your co-passengers have been injured, call for help immediately. Dial the emergency number to receive help. You can also take the assistance of passers-by for this.
- Inform the police immediately about the accident that has taken place. If you can help describe the vehicle that caused the accident, the police might be able to spot the vehicle at any checkpoints.
- Even if you are not able to see the vehicle’s number plate, a general description of the vehicle can be helpful. This could include the brand or model of the car or its colour as well.
- Contact your insurer after the accident has taken place. If you have first-party car insurance, you might get compensated for the damages. Take photos and videos of the damage caused to your car as this might help the insurer in assessing the damage and offering an adequate compensation. *
- You can get in touch with a lawyer too. The lawyer can assist you with any hassles that could arise with the claim process. Alternatively, if the perpetrator is caught by the authorities, the lawyer can assist you in building a strong case against them.
Can you file a claim as a victim?
Yes, it is within your rights to file a claim with your car insurance provider if you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident. To file a claim, you need to:
- Inform your insurer about the accident.
- Document the damages through photos and videos.
- Provide all the necessary documents with the form. This also includes a police FIR since a major accident has taken place.
- Get your vehicle inspected by the surveyor from the insurance company.
- Get your car repaired and get compensated by the insurer. *
What to do as perpetrator?
Most times, people who cause accidents tend to run away from the spot without offering help or compensation to the victims. This can cause major legal problems for the perpetrator in the future. If your vehicle causes an accident which makes you the perpetrator, you can do the following:
- Do not run away from the spot. Park your vehicle on the side and assist the victim if any injuries are caused. Offer to take them to the hospital as well.
- Get in touch with the police after the accident has taken place. If you run away after the accident, chances are that you could get caught by the police further which could cause problems.
- If you have third-party car insurance, inform your insurer. This might get the third-party compensated by your insurer instead of you having to pay out of pocket. *
- If you flee the scene without informing the authorities or your insurer, you may want to contact a lawyer. They can help you navigate the legal problems that could arise post the accident. They might also help you with assessing any options that you might have at your disposal.
While accidents are unpredictable, it is your responsibility as a car owner to follow all the rules and maintain road safety. Whether as victim or a perpetrator, it is important to have motor insurance for your car. If you do not, use the online car insurance calculator
before you purchase your policy. The calculator presents you with a quote that is based on the parameters you select and the information you provide. If the quote presented to you fits your budget, you may go ahead and purchase the policy. If it does not, you can opt for another insurer instead.
* Standard T&C apply
Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.
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