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When a Motorcycle Crashes Into a Car, Who's at Fault?

Updated 06 Dec 2018 – By Nisya Aziz


Motorists and bikers have been archenemies since the beginning of time. Motorists hate it when bikers zigzag through the lanes as much as bikers freak out for their dear lives when motorists don't use their turn signals.

To be frank, if both of them collide, most of the time the bikers would sustain much more damage. Perhaps that’s the reason why when there’s a dispute on who’s at fault, no matter how much the motorists are in the right, the bikers would always have the upper hand.

But, how true is this, really? We came up with a few scenarios to see the situation from the motorist's point of view, and how to approach it.

 

Situation 1: A motorcycle hit my car and the policeman favours the biker even though it was clearly his fault. What can I do?

If you’re very certain about this, you can take the case to court. Don’t forget to inform your insurer that you want to file a suit as your policy can cover the legal fees up to RM2,000 when you get their consent in writing. This applies for the Comprehensive, Third Party Fire (TPF) and TTPC insurance type (depending on the insurance packages you take).

The court’s decision depends on the facts of the case. So there is a possibility for them to side with the other party.

Another thing you could do is to just let it go. Going to court is a hassle. It is definitely not worth taking the day off especially if the amount involved is too small.

 

Situation 2: A motorcycle knocked into my car and the police concluded that it was his fault. Can I claim from his insurance for damages done to my car?

There is a common belief saying that you can’t claim because the accident involves a motorcycle and it’s not a must for this type of vehicle to have motor insurance. This isn’t true. Based on the Road Transport Act 1987, every motorised vehicle in Malaysia is required to have at least a Third Party insurance policy.

So, if you’re in this situation, you can definitely make a Third Party Property Damage (TPPD) claim against the biker’s insurer, especially when the police is on your side. You can do this yourself or ask your insurer to act on your behalf.

In case you didn’t know what TTPD is, this policy covers road users against third-party claims for injuries or death caused to them during an accident. It also covers losses or damages to the third party’s property caused by your vehicle.

 

Situation 3: What if his motor policy has expired or has no motor insurance policy? How do I claim?

Unfortunately, in this case, you can’t make TTPD claim from the biker’s insurer. You can still make the claim directly against the rider by appointing a lawyer to do so. That being said, make sure the damages to your car is substantial enough for you to hire a lawyer because it ain’t cheap.

Even if you can afford it, you should also consider if the rider has the ability to pay you if they lose the case in court. For example, if your car’s damage is worth RM900 and your lawyer cost you around RM2,000, it may not be worthwhile to sue the biker’s owner if he’s earning below minimum wage and has a family to feed.

Yes, this is none of your concern, but do you think he’ll be able to pay you? And, not to mention the time-consuming process. It’s better to just claim from your own insurance (if you have comprehensive coverage/first party insurance).


 

Situation 4: What about bikers who didn’t use the dedicated motorcycle lane? Who’s at fault if I get into an accident with the biker?

As reported by The Star, Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department director SAC Maha­mad Akhir Darus said that bikers who used the main carriageway instead of the dedicated lanes will face a RM300 fine (unless the circumstances permits e.g. the road is under construction). This applies to riders of larger capacity motorcycles as well.

To those who are not aware, there are a few highways that have dedicated motorcycle lanes such as the Federal Highway, Guthrie Corridor Expressway (GCE) and Kajang-Seremban Highway (LEKAS).

So, who’s fault is it if you crash into this motorcycle? Well, this depends on the situation. First, the biker is already at fault for not using the gazetted lane. However, you could be at fault too if you’re the one who is driving carelessly and dangerously or are under the influence of drugs/alcohol. You will be charged a RM300 compound or more depending on the offence made.


 

Situation 5: I don’t want to go through the hassle and wish to settle outside. What’s the reasonable amount that I should ask for the repair work?

By law, all accidents must be reported to the police within 24 hours. Failure to do so may cost you a fine from RM120 onwards for late reporting.

That’s not all. You should also consider notifying your insurer even if you have settled the matter with the bikers personally and have no intention to claim - just in case the person suddenly decided to file a TPPD or Third Party Bodily Injury claim (TPBI) against your insurer.

Nevertheless, if you and the other party have agreed to settle it amicably, you can head to your trusted car workshop or authorised panel workshop has an independent licensed adjuster. They play an important role in evaluating the damage and calculating the repair cost. They will hand you their report right after, so remember to keep it safe.

The adjuster also estimates the repair timeline and how long it’ll take to get your car back. Another name for this report is Compensation for the Actual Repair Time (CART), which you can claim on top of your repair cost.

 

Know Your Rights Before These Incidents Happen

These are just some of the scenarios that can happen when a motorist get into an accident with a motorcycle. If you have any other situations that you have encountered before, do share with us in the Facebook comments!

That aside, if you’re looking for the car insurance, don’t forget to check out our handy car and motorycle insurance pages in order to get the latest quotes right at your fingertips!

Drive (or ride) safe everyone, and don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends!

 

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