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What if You Get Entangled in a Traffic Accident in a Developing Country?

Updated on June 7, 2014
Accident situation could be stressful
Accident situation could be stressful

Be Calm and Cooperative

It is most important that you keep composed and calm, even if it's not your fault. Do not lose your temper. You may be surprised by the number of people crowding around. Some of them may even be hostile. Do not get annoyed. It's quite a common scene following an accident in the developing countries. A white-skinned foreigner might attract larger crowd. Your cool and calm composure may help you get some support.

Dealing with Police
Dealing with Police

Settling matters

Different accident situations require different response. However you must not delay the response. Delays will attract more people to the scene and could create problems for you. Also, try to settle the matter before arrival of Police. They may not be as friendly as back home; also the crowd influence also matters. Remember, comprehensive car insurance is not a norm here. Your car may be comprehensively insured and you may be tempted to call the police to justify your claim. For minor accidents you would be better of not calling the police.

  1. Minor Accident--- No or minor injuries and minor car damage
  • Settle the matter soonest with the other party. You may be wrongly blamed but I bet you will be better of losing some money than getting entangled in a situation settling the matter legally.

2. Minor Accident--- multiple injuries, significant car damage

  • As above. Settle car damages and treatment of the injured. Damage to your car will be covered by your insurance company. You can get a police report for this later but must leave the scene ASAP.

3. Major Accident ---- major injuries/fatality, major car damage

  • Calling rescue services including Police is strongly recommended. Your prompt action in notifying these services is bound to have a positive effect on the crowd gathered there. Damage settlement should follow police arrival. Inform your insurance company also. They made send their surveyor or ask for a police report.

Police, if they get involved, may expect some "palm greasing". Legally, it's a crime. But like many other crimes in these countries it is expected and goes unnoticed. Use your discretion.Better get advice from your local contact.

Police recording statements
Police recording statements


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