Reporting Traffic Accident

  • In case of emergency, call 112. Ambulance crews often do not include trained paramedics, nor do they respond as quickly as in the United States.
  • Involvement in an accident, whether or not you are at fault, can lead to arrest and detention. Immediately notify the police and remain at the scene until the police arrive.
  • If you are injured in an accident that may result in a legal claim against you or that you wish to file against another party, you must seek medical attention at a public hospital. At the public hospital, an investigator will document your injuries. Failure to do this will limit your ability to seek legal remedy for any injuries you have suffered.
  • At-fault accidents can result in arrests, demands for financial restitution, and/or travel bans preventing you from leaving Kuwait.

The Kuwait Ministry of Interior announced the following changes for minor and major vehicle accidents in Kuwait in June 2018.

 

Procedure for Minor Accidents (no major injuries and vehicle is driveable)

Provided it is safe to do so, immediately move your vehicle from the roadway to avoid blocking traffic.  Under the new regulations, the police can cite and fine drivers who fail to clear the roadway after a minor accident.

Safely photograph the damage to your vehicle and the other vehicle(s) and the license plate of the other vehicles(s) involved.  If you are unable to photograph the license plate number, write it down, making sure to copy all the number on the plate, including the small digits at the top.

Proceed to the nearest police station to report the accident.

Respect police authority and follow their instructions.  Provide your driver’s license, registration, insurance, and civil I.D. to the police, if requested.

If injured, go immediately to the nearest government hospital for treatment and make an injury report for the police.  Government hospitals have an investigator present who will provide you with a report.  Private hospitals do not produce a report the police will accept.  Please note: the police will not accept injury reports completed days after an accident.  If you are seriously injured and prefer to go to a private hospital for the quality of the care, you will also need to go afterwards to a public hospital immediately afterwards to make a report for the police.

 

Procedure for Major Accidents (serious or major injuries, vehicle is barely/not drivable)

Remain at the scene.  Remain in your vehicle, unless this puts you at increased risk of a further accident or injury.  If you feel threatened and are able, proceed immediately to the nearest police station.

Call the police at 112 and ask for an English speaker, if necessary, to report the accident.

Remember to respect police authority and follow their instructions.  Provide your driver’s license, registration, insurance, and civil I.D., if requested.

If injured, go immediately to the nearest government hospital for treatment and make an injury report for the police.  Government hospitals have an investigator present who will provide you with a report.  Private hospitals do not produce a report the police will accept.  Please note:  the police will not accept injury reports completed days after an accident.  If you are seriously injured and prefer to go to a private hospital for the quality of the care, you will also need to go afterwards to a public hospital immediately afterwards to make a report for the police.

Remember: always carry a fully-charged mobile phone and program emergency numbers in all family members’ phones, including emergency assistance, 112.  Kuwaiti law requires that you carry a fire extinguisher in your vehicle.  It is also recommended to have a phone charger and first aid kid in your car.

 

Settling an Accident

The police will inquire if you wish to settle the matter privately.  If you wish to settle the accident privately, damages will be agreed and paid on the spot.  If the responsible party does not have cash available, the police will escort them to a bank or ATM to obtain the necessary funds.  Payment by one party to the other ends the case and no report will be made.

If you do not wish to settle the matter privately, the police will take a report.  The police will make their observations at the scene and then will instruct both parties to follow them to the police station.  At the police station, you will give your statement and the police will have you sign it.  Do NOT sign anything you cannot read or understand.  You may visit the American Citizen Services web pages for a list of translators for hire.  A list of attorneys for hire is also available.

The police will determine who is responsible for the accident.  The responsible party will be required to pay a 30KD bond for which a receipt will be issued.  This payment may be avoided if a Kuwaiti sponsor will sign as your guarantor.  The police will provide you with instructions regarding additional paperwork required and where and when it should be submitted.  It may take as long as three to six months for the case to be completed.  Once the case is completed the responsible party will be refunded 20 of the 30KD originally paid as bond.

If you dispute the Police’s determination of responsibility, the case may be referred to the Expert’s Department for adjudication.  Again, the police will provide you with instructions regarding additional paperwork required and where and when it should be submitted.  The determination of responsibility rendered by the Expert’s Department is final.

If you choose to involve your insurance company in the matter, they should be notified as soon as possible.  Save all paperwork associated with the accident including, but not limited to, police reports, repair estimates and medical bills.

U.S. citizens are reminded that it is against Kuwaiti law to insult members of the police and government officials.

U.S. citizens resident in Kuwait can check to see whether they have any tickets for traffic violations or travel bans by entering their civil ID number on the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior website.  Free apps are also available for download on the Apple and Android operating systems.