On your way going back home, you participate in a car accident. You accidentally run into a car from behind at a traffic light. As a result, you are badly injured. The question is, can you delay lodging a police report to receive medical treatment? Read on as we explain more in detail regarding the issue.
Time limit for a police report after an accident
How long can you delay a police report? Let us refer to the law stating our duty to report in case of accidents.
Section 52(2) of the Road Transport Act 1987 (RTA) stated that:
“In the case of any such accident as aforesaid the driver of such motor vehicle and, if there is more than one motor vehicle, the driver of each such motor vehicle shall report the accident at the nearest police station as soon as reasonably practicable and in any case within twenty-four hours of such occurrence.”
The “accident” emphasises an accident or occurrence whereby damage or injury is caused to any person, property, vehicle, structure, or animal.
What are the penalties?
- First conviction – a fine up to RM2,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months
- Subsequent conviction – a fine up to a maximum of RM4,000 or/and imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months
You have 24 hours (from the time of the accident) to make the report. You are liable for a penalty if you fail to lodge a police report without a lawful excuse.
But the police will not penalize you for making a late report if you have a lawful excuse as to why you might not be able to do so on time.
An exemption is given for a valid reason that can be supported by an official medical report. Examples are such as being hospitalised or receiving treatment for your injuries).
What happens if you do not make a police report?
Please ensure to still lodge police after participating in a car accident for safety. You must still go to the police station and notify your insurer even if you are not at fault in a motor vehicle accident.
A police report will protect you against unexpected third-party claims or injury claims. 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.
You may not have been responsible for the collision. However, the other driver could file a claim while you fail to do so. Without sufficient evidence, it looks more suspicious on your end. You could end up bearing the blame when you could have got off scot-free.
In addition, your insurer may reject your claim if you fail to submit a police report or if the report is made 24 hours after the accident.
Steps you need to take after a car accident
Below are the steps that you should do following a road crash:
- Check your injuries
- Move your vehicle to the side of the road for safety
- Gather details of the accident
- Call your insurer’s hotline
- Lodge a police report (please provide the details of the accident to support your report)
- Report the accident to your insurance company
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