Everything about personal injury in Singapore and procedure to claim amount
When an individual suffered a personal injury due to another person’s negligence, you can submit the application form for personal Injury Claims. There are several types of accidents that might occur in Singapore, like workplace accidents, accidents because of the other person’s negligence, and road accidents. Do remember that each accident has different types of legal procedures or claim for personal injury.
In this article, we will provide an overview of the personal injury and complete details on how you can request a personal injury claim and additional details related to personal injury.
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3 What are the Damages I can Claim?
What is a Personal Injury?
A personal injury is defined as a mental or physical injury to your body by any third person. This injury usually arises in a traffic accident, including e-scooter accidents), during work or because of someone’s carelessness, like botched medical procedures.
There are many ways a personal injury can take place. Similarly, there are ways to claim compensation for the same. One of the most common ways to claim compensation is by Bringing a Negligence Claim.
Bringing a Negligence Claim
In order to file the claim against the negligence done by the other person, you will require to confirm that the individual you are suing meets the following circumstances:
- Owed you the responsibility of care;
- The individual has the responsibility of care by undertaking the wrongful act or omissions, leading to personal injury.
- The individual is causing predictable damage.
Also, remember that the court might reduce the amount you are claiming from the individual if the court determined that you are contributorily negligent (means due to your negligence leads to accident). You will be considered contributorily negligent if you are unable to take proper care of yourself.
For example, suppose you go jaywalking and there you had an accident, the court might lower the amount of damage (i.e., monetary compensation) that you are claiming; compared to if you have an accident while going for the pedestrian crossing.
The amount to which the damage will be reduced is based on your contributory negligence to the personal injury caused.
For example, if you have taken proper care and still got injured due to the other person’s negligence, then it is possible that the court might not reduce the damage substantially.
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What are the Damages I can Claim?
You will get entitled to claim for the damage done to your personal health if you show that the complete fault is of the other party. The compensation will be done to you for any mental and physical suffering caused to your health.
Concerning the situation, you can request a claim for two forms of damages, i.e., general damages and special damages.
You might also be compensating for punitive damages and cost to cover your legal fees.
General damages are damages for which you can compensate for the losses done naturally in the form of injury. The damage includes suffering, pain, loss of limbs and loss of future earnings.
In order to confirm the pain and suffering, you need to be conscious and normal state during the time of injury, and the compensating amount will be dependent on the pain and suffering and if the pain is temporary.
How to calculate general damages
To determine the suffering and pain and future medical cost, the court usually utilizes the reference book named guidelines for assessing general damages to evaluate the amount of damage you can claim from the other party responsible for your personal injury.
In this situation, the court follows the laws mentioned in the reference book, which specifies the range of $40,000-$70,000 for the pain and suffering from below the knee damage of one leg.
However, the court may increase the compensation amount if the damage is severe and will affect the next few years of the person who got injured in the accident.
In order to calculate the harm to the future earnings, the court basically uses the multiplier-multiplicand method.
The multiplier means the time you have until retirement means the time you are expected to live but cannot due to the injury is done by the other party. In contrast, the multiplicand method means the annual loss of the earnings that you might face because of the injury.
If the loss of limbs arises at workplace accidents, the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) determines the number of damage employees can claim for the personal injury caused. The compensation amount can be calculated by using the following formula:
Average monthly earnings × age multiplying factor × % loss of earning capacity due to permanent incapacity
The appropriate age multiplying factor and the percentage of the permanent incapacity can be allocated in the third and first schedule of the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA), respectively.
For example, suppose your fixed monthly salary is $2000, and you are presently aged 59 years old, and you lost your arm in the accident. In that situation, the appropriate age multiplying factor would be 102 as per the third schedule of the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA), and the percentage loss of the earning capacity will be 75%. Therefore, the estimated amount that you will receive as compensation will be 2000×102×75 = $1,53,000
You can get the calculator tool at the Ministry of manpower website to determine the compensation amount you will account for to claim for the personal injury.
Special damages mean acquiring compensation for the financial losses which is directly related to the accident because of the fault of the second party. Few special damages include compensation for hospitalization, transport for medical visits, any medical consultation or treatment.
To acquire a claim for the special damages, you must prove your claims by producing clear evidence like hospitalization and medical bills.
After that, the case will be transferred to the court, and they will be responsible for determining if these bills were actually incurred. This means that if you paid high medical bills in the private hospital rather than getting treatment in the General Hospital. In that situation, the court will check if the higher bill is because of acquiring better treatment in a private hospital than in a general hospital.
If the court determined that the higher bill was not incurred because of acquiring a better treatment, in that case, the court might provide you with the special damages, which was part of your medical expenses, to the amount which was actually incurred. You will only be rewarded if you provide clear evidence of special damage in the court.
Punitive damage is damage provided to the victim to punish the other party for their suspicious behaviour. According to the Singapore Court of Appeals, it has been mentioned that punitive damages can only be provided when the other party has conducted a “very outrageous offence that warrants punishment, deterrence and condemnation.”
Moreover, where the other party has been already punished as per the criminal law, in that situation, the court cannot provide punitive damages to punish the defendant.
Costs to cover your legal fees
Besides damages, you are also entitled to receive the legal fees claim from another party as the personal injury claim.
How to File a Personal Injury Claim
The process of filing a personal injury claim is dependent on the type of personal injury you have been suffering from.
If you have suffered a personal injury because of a traffic accident, your claims will be managed by your insurer, especially if you were the one driving the vehicle.
However, it can be ideal to consult a personal injury lawyer to manage the claim and make sure that the process is going in the right manner and in your best interest to acquire the maximum compensation claim for the personal injury suffered.
If you are an employee and suffered an injury at the workplace, then you can go for the claim under Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA). For such a claim, you do not require a lawyer to assist you. Instead, you can approach the employer for reporting the accident as soon as possible. However, you can submit the original medical certificate and medical bills as evidence for the injury.
After that, your employer will be entitled to pay for all the medical bills and medical leave.
If you have a permanent disability due to the accident, then compensation processing will start automatically after your employer updates the Ministry of manpower regarding the accident. However, you will require attending the medical appointment to get the complete inspection of the injury suffered so that the Ministry of manpower can determine the claim amount, which will then be paid to you by the employer.
Instead of claiming compensation through the Ministry of manpower and WICA, you can also choose to take legal action against your employer in court. For this procedure, you can hire a lawyer to assist you.
If you are asking for compensation for permanent injury incurred under the WICA, you will require submitting the application form for compensation within a year of the accident.
If you are claiming for non-permanent injury under the WICA, then there is no such deadline to submit the claim application form. Still, it is always advisable to submit it as earliest as possible.
For several other cases that don’t fall under WICA, you need to submit the request for personal injury claim within the following times:
- You need to request for the personal injury claim within three years when you first sustained the injury;
- Within three years following the date when you first get to know about claiming for personal injury.
Whichever is later.
The second time when you first got aware of the knowledge which takes place when you experience the latent defect from the incurred injury like internal damage because of exposure of toxic chemicals. Latent defects are the injuries that you might not experience immediately during the accident, but it occurs on the surface after a certain period.
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A decision on which you need to focus is if you have taken the necessary steps to get aware of the injury. The limitation period starts from the same date, even if it already passed three years since you sustained your injury.
The time of the limitation period can also be extended if you have a disability and will only start once it has been determined that you are no longer disabled
After getting aware of the limitation period above, it is advisable to reach out to the lawyer or file your claim by yourself as soon as possible.
What Evidence Do You Need for Personal Injury Claim?
Basically, you will require to produce your medical certificate and hospital bills if you intend to receive the claim for the medical bills.
If you are requesting to receive the claim for the loss of future earnings, you will also need to provide the income tax statements and proof of the payslips of your salary to the court that will give them an idea of your future earnings.
If you are already appointed a lawyer to help you in this regard, they will advise regarding the submission of additional evidence. If necessary.
Duration of a Personal Injury Claim
The deadline of the personal injury claim is based on the complication of your case.
For example, suppose your case is very simple, and your injury is minor, in that situation your case can be resolved within 1 to 3 months. In contrast, if your injury incurred is very major, in that situation, your case might take up to 6 to 1.5 years to get resolved.
Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Personal injury can be claimed only when an accident has been taken place due to negligence of the other party. The claim involves several legal arguments in proving that the other party was held responsible for your injury.
Therefore it is essential to hire at least one personal injury lawyer to guide you regarding the personal injury claim process, especially when the personal injury claim is very serious. If you hire a personal injury lawyer, your chances of receiving the settlement from the other party increase.
A settlement is when both parties agree on providing or receiving the compensating amount in return for providing the right to pursue the legal matters in court.
There are several circumstances when hiring a personal injury lawyer becomes essential:
- A professional personal injury lawyer guides you in understanding the documents you must obtain for receiving a claim from the other party.
- Even during the settlement, a personal injury lawyer is very helpful in determining the compensation amount so that you do not fall short during negotiations.
- A personal injury lawyer is capable enough to accurately getting success in many legal arguments and defences.
- Guiding the victim on their liability and also make sure if there will be any contributory negligence or not
Moreover, if the claim is not severe and can be easily managed by your insurer, then it’s better to reach out to the insurance company to file the claim and let them manage the process of acquiring the compensation amount without seeking any legal advice.
In the same way, if you are claiming the work injury compensation under WICA, you do not need to hire any personal injury lawyer. Your case will be managed by the Ministry of manpower as mentioned above.
Also, remember that in Singapore, the lawyers cannot take up the champerty or “no win, no fee” agreement, which means they received some per cent or portion of the received compensation amount and only if they successfully accomplished the case..
That’s why it is essential to first negotiate for the fee with the lawyer and enter into the fee agreements once lawyers agree to represent you.
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Finally, you know the personal injury and under what circumstances you can apply for the personal injury claim. This article has sufficient details to help you understand Singapore’s personal injury and procedure to claim amount.
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