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Speeding to go to work or coming back home, lack of visibility due to rain, slippery roads due to the mix-up of rain and gasoline on the asphalt,
are situations that can cause minor crashes.  - A.M. Costa Rica illustrative photo -

Drivers could reach agreements on minor car crashes

Published Wednesday, April 21, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

At the beginning of the rainy season, when the number of minor car crashes rises, the Traffic Police call on drivers to reach a conciliatory agreement without the need for the presence of an officer.

According to the police, in order to reach agreements between the parties, in the event of a minor accident, an agreement between parties is allowed in the traffic law.

Drivers can agree on the consequences of an accident and how it will be resolved. This could reduce the overcrowding on the roads and allow officers to deal with other cases such as, serious accidents or maintain order on the roads.

Speeding to go to work or coming back home, lack of visibility due to rain, slippery roads due to the mix-up of rain and gasoline on the asphalt, are situations that can cause minor crashes. These such as slight blows with our injured people are classified as a lower-level car accident, according to the police.

The decree, which has been in force since 2016, allows agreement between drivers without the attendance of a traffic officer. With this mechanism, drivers can solve the consequences of an accident as long as there are no people's injuries and it is not necessary to tow the cars with a crane.
The Declaracóin de Accidente Menor, DAM, or declaration of a minor road accident in English, can be downloaded on the Ministry of Transport website.

Drivers must always carry two forms to record the agreement between the parties. One copy must be kept by the driver, the other is for the insurance company.

In a voluntary conciliation, the parties must fill out and sign the form, which can also be completed with photos or videos. Officers recommend always following the procedure established by insurance companies to make an insurance refund claim.
In the event that a person was injured in an accident, the reconciliation is not valid. Drivers must call a traffic officer to carry out the accident registration procedure, in accordance with the law.

In the event that one of the parties involved in the accident does not agree to sign, a traffic officer must also be called.

The agreement between the drivers is based on the legal principle of good faith, where one of the drivers agrees to accept guilt in the accident and pay the expenses of the damage.

If one of the parties doesn't comply with the agreement, the form could serve as evidence in a court case.

However, officials recommend asking for the guidelines established by the insurance company before signing this type of agreement.

According to the Traffic Police, last year 56,999 car crashes were reported. In the first three months of this year, from January to March, 15,756 car crashes have been attended.

Would you sign a car crash conciliation agreement without the presence of a traffic officer? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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