Even without a traffic jam, driving on a highway is a very stressful thing. Drivers are usually very pushy and the cars drive bumper to bumper, even at speeds of over 100 kilometers per hour. So, suffering an accident is inevitable in such intense and complex traffic. When that happens, what needs to be done about damage caused by the accident?
To compensate damage arising from a car accident, vehicle owners are obliged to acquire traffic insurance. This is a mandatory insurance and further coverage is also available upon request. This compulsory traffic insurance covers the damage to other vehicles and third parties in case of an accident.
Insurance companies insure the legal responsibility of vehicle owners up to the limit set by the Highway Traffic Code regarding material damage, deaths and injuries. Thereby the damage caused by drivers in traffic is compensated by the insurer up to the limit.
Besides this coverage, reasonable costs incurred by the insurant to reduce the damage in an accident should also be compensated by the insurer. Even if the accident has already occurred, the insurant should make necessary provisions to avoid more damage. Accordingly, the costs of these provisions are also compensated by the insurer. Compulsory insurance also protects the insurant against unjustified claims and is valid within the boundaries of Turkey.
Not only expats but most local people, too, are unaware of their rights regarding compulsory traffic insurance. This is partly because of the difficulty involved in navigating the bureaucracy around this insurance.
When an accident occurs, the vehicle owner (or other involved parties) must inform the insurance company within five days if he or she is responsible. Documents detailing the accident must be delivered to the insurance agent upon the agent's request. All documents pertaining to the accident should be delivered to the insurance company to complete the file and the insurance company must compensate this damage up to the insurance limit within eight working days of the date of this delivery.
In accidents with injuries, the insurer also compensates the initial costs of first aid, medical examination and treatment of wounded people within eight working days of the same date.
Further claims by people who suffer as a result of the accident are covered by this insurance, but only a few people do follow up with the insurance company -- those who do not miss being compensated.
NOTE: Berk Çektir is a licensed attorney at law and available to answer questions on the legal aspects of living and doing business in Turkey. Please kindly send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. If letters are published, names may be disclosed unless the sender expressly wishes to remain anonymous.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is intended to give basic legal information and is not for professional use. Please do not only rely on the information in this column and remember that you should get legal assistance from a lawyer while conducting legal transactions in Turkey.