Motor vehicle accidents are on the increase in Kenya with thousands of people losing their lives, and getting serious or slight injuries.
Statistics by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) have indicated at least 21,760 people were involved in a road accident in the year 2022. 4,690 people died while the rest were left with life-changing injuries. The number of drivers who died in 2022 are 426.
Car accidents are very common in Kenya and vehicle owners/drivers are encouraged to drive safely, observe traffic rules and obtain a reliable car insurance policy.
What are the leading causes of fatal crashes in Kenya?
According to recent reports by NTSA, the leading causes include
1. Vehicles and motorcycles losing control,
2. Tyre bursts,
4. Improperly overtaking and failing to keep the proper lane,
5. Stalled vehicles on the road without proper lighting or warning signs
What are the requisite documentation for pursuing a motor vehicle claim by an insured in case of an accident?
- A Police Abstract.
- Copy of the vehicle log book.
- Copy of the driver’s driving license.
- A duly filled up and signed Motor Accident Claim Form.
- Any other relevant documentation.
Basic steps to take after a motor vehicle accident?
- Report the accident immediately to the police and to your insurance company or insurance agent, whether it’s the insured who has caused the accident or a third party.
- The police will subsequently prepare the police abstract, one of the important documents required by the insurance company.
- Gather as much information from the accident scene as possible including taking pictures of the damaged vehicle and the general scene, before the vehicle is moved or towed.
- Once the claim has been reported to the insurance company, they would require you to give the full particulars of the claim to facilitate the processing. These will include the duly filled claim form, accident scene photos, and all the other documents mentioned above as requisite documents.
- The insurance company will embark on an assessment and investigation process regarding your claim. This is where insurance company may appoint pre-qualified service providers such as Loss Assessors, Loss Adjusters, vehicle repairers, etc. Once investigations have been concluded, the insurance company may opt to authorize the garage to handle the vehicle repair.
a. Why do insurance companies investigate a claim surrounding a motor vehicle accident?
- To establish the circumstances of the car accident.
- To establish the condition of the motor vehicle.
- To ascertain the extent of the damage caused by the accident.
- To establish the third party involved in an accident with their insured.
b. Why does the insurance company need to assess the motor vehicle?
- To obtain an expert’s opinion on the extent of the damages to the motor vehicle.
- To determine the amount of money that may be owed to the insured as a result of the damage to the motor vehicle.
- To provide compensation to their insured.
6. Once the insurance company has all the documents and required information, they may opt to settle the claim out of court. Alternatively, the claim may be subjected to a legal proceeding before a court of law for the determination of their liability.
The legal process in a motor vehicle damage claim
There are situations where the insured is covered by either a third party or comprehensive cover.
In cases of third party covers:
The motor vehicle owner will conduct an assessment of damage and repair the vehicle.
They will subsequently get a figure on the amount spent on the vehicle repairs based on receipts.
Prepare a demand letter through a car accident lawyer to the third party that caused the accident.
If the third party does not act within the stipulated period, the affected party through their lawyer may file the case in a court of law.
In cases of comprehensive covers:
Where the insured is comprehensively covered and upon an accident caused by a third party, the insurance company will assess the damages and pay their insured.
Subsequently the insurer may file a material damage recovery claim in court against the third party who caused the accident and damage to the motor vehicle.
The insurance company will cite their insured as the Plaintiff and owner of the motor vehicle in the legal proceedings.