so you had an accident

My gosh! what to do? The police say it is your fault. The opposing party is demanding to go to the hospital! Demanding MONEY! Look at the traffic!

The law in the Philippines is that when you get into an accident you must wait for the police, without moving those vehicles. the fine for doing so is P500. Local police can impound your car for 3 days in order for the other vehicle owner to collect evidence from it.

If you are worrying about the law, you are not a Filipino.

This confrontation at the accident site is all about politics, not about facts. Who pays eventually could be determined by the facts but that will not be the police or the Filipino who does it. It will be the courts. If you are highly socially skilled, and remember that this argument is not about facts but face, you can walk away from even serious accidents, Scott free.

I, though am not skilled socially, So.

I just wait for the police, be polite, and know that it will be impossible for me to collect, or be forced to pay if it is just a common folk.

When the police arrive they will tell you it is your fault and that you should settle.

I have been in perhaps 20 accidents in the Philippines, not a single one my fault. After trying to collect on the other persons insurance about 4 times, failing, I just gave up and made my bumper stiffer.

Had my car impounded 5 times but never waited the 3 full days. Most impound yards are on the street near the police station and as the shift changes nobody knows what the status of any parked car nearby the station. Never give them the key when you impound the car.

I have left my name and address several times, then just drove away. No repercussions. (illegal).

I failed to make corrective/defensive actions when a guy pulled right out in front of me, really damaged his little car. He insisted that I could have “swerved”, and he was right. But I was in the right and he knew it. 3 nights later my next door neighbor was badly beat up (white guy same age as me).

I once hit a kid who was playing tag near the road and ran right into my car as an evasive maneuver. After making it clear that I would spend the night in jail if I did not agree to pay hospitalization, I signed the police blotter ” I agree to pay all damages to (forgot his name) that are my fault”… Later he claimes he spent P200,000 on the kid.. I said “but it was not my fault”.. and made it stick.

The mayor slammed into the side of my car (rear tire) as I drove between his security detail and him. I was driving on the national highway and he felt that as he was mayor and following his security detail (left turn onto highway) I should have stopped. I argued that I was in the right, the mayors car was not an emergency vehicle, 100% of the cops nearby, about 11, told me in no uncertain terms it was my fault and I had better pay. I was arrested (handcuffed) and taken to the police station where when asked/told to sign the blotter. SOO instead of my name I signed “under duress” in long hand…they bought it, I was released, and I never went back to that town.

I would suggest, no matter the fault, NEVER pay up front anything. If they sue you, get a lawyer and settle, at least a year later. This is the Filipino way.



NOTE: I wanted to include a little note here, I have only had one accident here in the Philippines so far. I had a custom made Tricycle back in 2004 and the first time I took it out not being used to the size of the tricycles in Bogo I ended up sideswiping another tricycle on the main street. I must say I was a little embarrased, when the driver said give me 1000 pesos for repairs I gladly gave it to him. All I actually did was tear a small hole in the top covering and nothing on my own tricycle. The payment to me was a little steep but who cares.  So that was it I paid him and we were on our way. If I do have an accident I think I will suggest a payment so we both can get on our way. My wife was hit by a motorcycle in the back of her new car, he ran off so, nothing there and the repairs were under P3000 for our bumper.  The only other accident I my wife had was a obviously drunk truck driver that tried to overtake our Ford Escape on a narrow road he was speeding and ended up riping of our mirror, with no other damage he just kept on going. That one cost us P6000 with deductible to repair. We alo had another incident with the Ford my driver was behind the wheel this time and came up the main road in Bogo and some kids were playing when a playmate pushed a girl into the side of the ford which was moving slowly. She was knocked out and our driver drove her to the hospital in Cebu City and paid the P5000 for the hospital and I paid him back. I had been in the US and was flying in that day he was driving in to pick me up when the incident happened. The girl received x-rays and was found to be OK, her parents came to pick her up and were very thankful that we had taken here there and paid the hospital bill. I think we were lucky in this incident. My driver never made it to pick me up, but that is OK too. I ended up taking an airport taxi home once we found out what happened. We sold the Ford in 2008 for $15,000. Oh I was able to push the dent out with my hand and it was barely visible after that.



This is the custom made tricycle I had built in 2004 for $400. Those lights all worked.


2005 Ford Escape 4×4 great on the mountains but a gas hog with its large V6 engine. We now have a very economical Suzuki Celerio 3 cylinder 996cc car and it runs great even passes on the mountains with a full load of people.


Suzuki Celerio 996cc, 4 speed automatic, air conditioned, goes from Mactan Island to Bogo on 1/4 of a tank around P500 for the trip. This is my wife’s car she bought it because she liked the color, didn’t even look in the window. Fortunately for us it turned out to be a god car with front wheel drive it even climbs out steep hill and goes through deep muddy rutted wet roads without getting stuck.


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