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Claiming for Personal Injury

Personal injury is legally defined as the physical, mental or emotional harm done to an individual by another person or business entity, who is liable. Most personal injuries arise out of negligence or irresponsibility, but they can be intentional and premeditated as well.

A personal injury claim may be made if the injured person (plaintiff) exercises his or her right for compensation from the one at fault (defendant), whether through court proceedings or informal settlement.

What can be claimed as Personal Injury?

Depending on the accident that occurred, the plaintiff is entitled to seek recompense in exchange for the damages and losses sustained. Compensation may be sought for damages such as pain and suffering, medical costs, loss of earnings and future expenses. There are several types of personal injuries, from medical mishaps and car accident claims to negligence, assault and wrongful death.

Negligence causing personal injury

Negligence is the most common basis of personal injury claims, such as those that involve vehicular accidents, slips and falls, and medical malpractice. It is defined as the failure to exercise reasonable care where expected so as not to cause harm onto others. For example, drivers are expected to exhibit utmost care and awareness when operating a vehicle to avoid traffic accidents, serious bodily harm or death.

In a negligence claim, there should be evidence that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, that the duty of care was violated by the defendant, that harm was caused by the violation of duty, and that the plaintiff incurred damages and losses due to the injury. All of these elements should be present to support a negligence case.

Damages

In a personal injury case, the plaintiff may file for damages according to injuries and losses incurred. Damages are classified into two main categories: general and special damages.

Making Claims for Road Accidents

In personal injury cases, vehicular accidents are one of the most common yet complex. Be it minor rear-end or side-impact collisions or total collision or rollovers, a road accident claim is required to determine the party at fault, as well as to cover incurred damages by either driver, rider, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian.

What Can You Claim For?

Any person involved in a traffic accident, whether he or she is the driver or bystander, may file car accident claims and seek recompense from the offending party. There are three forms of damages that one can pursue: general, special and bereavement damages.

General damages focus on the damages sustained by the plaintiff, which cannot be assigned nor replaced with a monetary value. These include:

  • pain and suffering
  • mental anguish
  • emotional distress
  • future medical treatment
  • loss of future earnings
  • future trasnport

Special damages are monetary compensations for losses incurred during and after the accident. These are:

  • cost of repair or replacement for damaged property
  • medical expenses
  • loss of income
  • transportation costs

Bereavement damages, on the other hand, are fixed fees given to the deceased’s family, in the event that death occurs because of the accident. According to Singapore’s Civil Law Act, section 21, bereavement damage amounts to S$15,000 in addition to other heads of damages that may be reasonably claimable.

What to Do Right After a Traffic Accident

At the Accident Site
  • If somebody is injured, immediately call an ambulance at 995. Make sure to inspect yourself and your passengers for serious wounds and fractures first before checking the condition of your vehicle. If you don’t have your phone with you, ask a bystander for help in getting medical assistance.
  • Report the accident to the police. In cases where there are fatalities and/orinjury, hit-and-runs, damage to government property, and injured cyclists or pedestrians, you will need to call the police at 999 to start an investigation regarding the accident. The police record can serve as a detailed account of the accident, and will most likely be used as basis by insurance companies and lawyers for road accident claims.
  • Exchange information with the other party. If possible, get the following information from the other party: - Full name - NRIC number - Mobile/telephone number - Home address - Insurance details

If there are passengers or pedestrians involved in the accident, as well as key witnesses, you may also get these details from them. If one or both parties involved refuse to provide their information within 24 hours, the accident will most likely be recorded as a hit-and-run.

  • Do not move the vehicle before taking evidence. With the advent of dashcams, it has become easier to determine who is at fault in a road accident. However, if this remains unclear, it’s best to gather as much evidence first before moving the vehicle to the side to avoid traffic obstruction. Information you should obtain include amongst others: - pictures of the entire accident site, including the surroundings - license plates - damage to your vehicle - damage to the other party’s vehicle - date, time and weather conditions during the accident
  • Have your vehicle towed if necessary. If you have an insurer, you may contact him or her for assistance on how to tow your vehicle from the accident scene. This should be done first before directly calling a tow truck or auto mechanic.

After the Accident
  • File all required reports in reporting the road accident. Within 24 hours of the accident, you should report the incident to your insurer whether you want to claim insurance from them or the other party’s insurance company. This should also be done even if your vehicle only sustained minor damages.
  • Allow the other party to also inspect your vehicle’s damage if necessary. If you intend to file for property damage, the other party needs to be informed of the damages that he or she may need to compensate. This is also done for transparency purposes if the defendant’s insurer needs to conduct inspections before repairs are carried out.
  • Claim for personal injury/property damage suffered by the damage. When filing car accident claims and seeking compensation for damages, you may consider obtaining a third-party motor accident report from the General Insurance Association to back up your claim. Hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you while settling personal injury claims is also advantageous
GUIDELINE TO COMPENSATION
Road Accident (Including Hit and Run Accidents)

Were you involved in a road traffic accident?

If you were the driver, rider, passenger, pillion, cyclist or a pedestrian, you could be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries, losses and damages suffered.

You may want to note that if you were involved in an accident as a passenger/pillion of a vehicle (car, motorcycle, bus) travelling on the road, you may make an accident compensation claim even if the person who was driving/riding the vehile you were travelling in was at fault.

Even if you are a victim of a hit and run case, in that, you do not know the licence plate number of the vehicle that collided into you and the driver/vehicle has been untraceable since the accident, you could be entiled to compensation. Under such circumstances, you may make a claim against the Motor Insurers Bureau, an organisation established to compensate such injured victims.

Your Own Quick Assessment :

i. Were you a driver, rider, passenger, pillion, cyclist or a pedestrian?

ii. Do you feel that you are not to be blamed for the accident?

iii. Do you want to claim compensation for your injuries, losses and damages suffered?

If your answer to all the above questions is “yes”, you could be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries.

For a free consultation and assessment of your case with our accident injury lawyer, you may contact us or simply fill up the enquiry form or the call me back form and we shall get in touch with you within one working day.

Work/Industrial Accident

You are able to make either a claim under the Workmen Injury Compensation Act (WICA), with the Ministry of Manpower or either through the Court's of Singapore by way of a common law claim.

For your consultation with us, we shall advise you on whether you should continue with your claim under WICA or under common law. Bring along all witness statements, photographs, incident report and all other documents that would support your claim.

We shall at the very first meeting make an assessment on the success of your claim.

Public Liability

Your Own Quick Assessment

Did you slip, trip or fall:

* in a public place?

* at work?

* or while travelling on public transport (because the driver of the bus did not drive with due care/duty and was not involved in an accident with another vehicle)?

What about things falling on you at public places?

Were you injured as a result?

If so, you could be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries and/or losses and/or damages.

For a free consultation and assessment of your case with our lawyer, you may contact us or simply fill up the enquiry form or the call me back form and we shall contact you within one working day.

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"All I can really say is WOW! Ms Prasanna’s office were able to settle my claim for WAY more than I ever thought it was worth. They took the time to make sure I got compensated for everything I was supposed to. They did a really wonderful job for me. They were also there for me whenever I dropped by or called."
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