I was driving along Lacson Street, Bacolod City late at night. I turned on my left signal light when I was about to turn left. When I was about to turn, the rear part of my car was hit by a Sedan.
1. Wait for the Police Assigned in your Area of Incident
We never moved the vehicle until the police arrived. I googled nearby police stations and called their telephone (if you are postpaid, you will be billed). When the first police station answered, they asked where the incident happened. Upon knowing, they referred me to the proper station that has jurisdiction over the incident. I called that specific police station and after 15 minutes, they arrived.
While waiting, take pictures of the cars, ask if the one who hit you (tortfeasor) have insurance which has property damage, get the plate numbers, contact numbers/calling cards, and see their Valid ID/Driver’s License. I learned that at the moment of accident, inspect the damages of your vehicle.
If the tortfeasor has no “property damage” in his insurance, he must be the one to pay for the repair of your car.
Tip: You may insist/negotiate that the tortfeasor will compensate you for the inconvenience caused once your car will be placed under repair. Yes, the insurance will take care of the car repair, but who will take care of you? (Your commute expenses/inconvenience). Better demand this, rather than go through the inconveniences and be delayed in asking for compensation/indemnification. Also, get the contact person of their insurance as they will have major involvement in your car repair (I learned that the delays in your car repair may be mostly caused by the delay in the insurance’s visit to the repair shop).
If you are the one who hit another: Be nice enough to help the person whom you hit. Follow-up on him, follow-up your insurance and the car repair shop. Don’t be complacent.
2. Get your temporary driver’s license from the police
The police took our driver’s licenses and gave us a temporary driver’s license. This was in the form of a slip of paper. Never leave without this because it serves as your temporary driver’s license. The police told us to come to his police station at 7:30am of the next day.
Tip: If your car is not severely wrecked, drive your car home and make a further inspection there. You may see further damages which you did not see in the place of incident. Take pictures of these damages and prepare to report these in the police. Make sure these are included in the blotter report.
3. Get your blotter report
Go to the police station at the appointed time. Usually, you will have to wait until other people finished their blotter reports too. Report to the police the damages in your car. The police asked for P200, I paid. This is for the printing. On a glossy paper, he then printed the photos of the damages in my car and in the car of the tortfeasor. This time, he said, “come back here if you see any damages.” At this time, I did not get the blotter report yet because I haven’t seen any damages in my car.
Tip: You may decline getting a blotter report first if you have not determined the extent of the damages in your car. Ask the police if you can come back in a few days to report everything. (Purpose of this so that the insurance can cover the repairs). As soon you determine the extent of the damages, go back to the police station and get the blotter report. Make sure the damages are reflected in the incident/blotter report.
If your tortfeasor has not yet agreed with you regarding compensation, propose this again. Explain that they have to pay you some indemnity since they are the cause of the harm caused (proximate cause).
4. Communicate with the tortfeasor and his insurance agent
Follow up on the tortfeasor and ask what “talyer” or carshop will repair your car. The carshop is designated by the tortfeasor’s car insurance company as this is where they are accredited.
Tip: If you have your car insurance, call your insurance person and ask if this certain insurance company and car shop have a reputation for having slow services. If you are convinced that their reputation is slow, propose to the insurance of the tortfeasor that you will have your own repair shop, and they are the ones to pay the liability. Ask for your insurance guy to assist.
You may also propose that you will get them a certain number of days. And if they delay, you will have to bring your car to your own repair shop, which performs faster and better, and ask the insurance person to pay them.
5. Actively follow up the car repair shop
Some repair shops are guilty of delaying repairs. So make sure that once you determined where to place your car for repair, ask for the contact number of the person responsible for the car shop and actively communicate. Actively call the insurance person of the tortfeasor to avoid delays.
As a person who is always using car in real estate selling, I know how inconvenient it is to have no car under repair. So I hope these true-to-life tips will help you somehow.