Standing in the middle of the road under the blazing sun or in pouring rain, horns beeping, traffic backing up.......all because you have just had a collision on the streets of Panama! BE PREPARED!
Here the basic procedures to follow after an automobile accident in the Republic of Panama. Based on my experience, interviews with Transito Police and Insurance Company Claims Adjusters, I would like to pass on the following suggestions.
For a simple collision where no person has been injured or stolen vehicle:
1. Call the 311 Transito Police Mobile Unit Dispatcher (the person who sends the Traffic Inspector to fill out the accident/incident report) or 232-5614, 6845 in Panama City, 441-4197 in Colon and 776 -8125 in David. Report the time and location of the accident. Do not move the vehicles until the authorities have arrived at the scene and of course cooperate fully with the Transito Police.
2. Call the roadside assistance telephone of your insurance company. If the other party leaves the scene of the accident, find a policeman and report "Colision y Fuga" (Hit and Run). This may protect you from further legal consequences. All Panama Insurance Companies now have mobile units to render assistance at the scene of the accident.
Ducruet customers 322-1080 AssaMovil 205-0220 Mundial Assist 390-9090 HSBC/Panama Asistencia 265-8255 Generali 800-4357 Internacional de Seguros 265-2881 InterOceanica/Panama Asistencia 265-8255.
Write down the names, telephone, cedula or license numbers of drivers involved and be sure to get the license plate numbers of their vehicles. Obtain as much information as possible from any witness to the accident. Utilize the towing service provided by the insurance company, do not use the one that the transito may call.
3. Do NOT accept responsibility for the accident and take pictures if possible. Do not come to any financial arrangements with the parties involved.
4. Call your Insurance Broker (put his cel # in your address book) or Insurance Company. (Kevin 322-1603 or 6674-1063)
In case of bodily injury to a pedestrian or occupant of one of the vehicles, you are obliged to call the emergency service (ambulance or roadside assistance telephone) and render first aid to the best of your ability. You may take the person to the nearest Hospital or medical clinic, as long as this does not endanger the life of the injured party.
All of the companies listed above use one of the two private ambulance services for you or your passengers. EMI 236-5050, 6060 or SEMM 264-4122. Third parties will have to agree to pay for this service and your policy will reimburse them, if you are later found responsible for the accident. Third parties may also wish to call Seguro Social ambulance service 503-2532, Santo Tomas Hospital 507-5600 or the new 911 service.
Following these suggestions should facilitate any claim you may submit to the Insurance Company and help with your case in Transito Court.
Print this article and store in your automobile.
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Kevin Bradley - Insurance in Panama