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Personal Injury and Accident Law in Singapore

Personal Injury and Accident Law in Singapore

Legislation on personal injury in Singapore

In Singapore, the personal injury law refers to all legal compensations resulted from civil lawsuits after a wrongful conduct. The term used in the Civil Code is tort action that contrary to the criminal law does not entail governmental prosecution.

Through civil lawsuits, private plaintiffs seek compensation for the damages caused by actions of defendants. Road accidents fall under the regulations of the Motor Claims Framework and the Insurance Law in SingaporeOur lawyers in Singaporeprovide legal services in litigation matters.

The Motor Claims Framework in Singapore

The Motor Claims Framework was adopted in order to provide all procedures for reporting motor accidents in Singapore.

The Singapore Motor Claims Framework was supported by all insurance companies in the city-state and it provides motorists all information about claims, documentation and estimated costs in case of accidents

According to the Motor Claims Framework, insurance companies in Singapore will provide motorists comprehensive services in order to help them with the reporting and repair procedures in case of accidents.

According to the same legislation, all accidents must be reported to the police and insurers within 24 hours from happening.

The Insurance Law in Singapore

The Insurance Law in Singapore is traced back to the Contract Law and it refers to the obligations and liabilities between contracting parties, called insured and insurer. The Insurance Law has two statutes referring to accidents in Singapore: the Insurance Act and Motor Vehicles Act.

According to the insurance legislation, there are several types of insurances in Singapore: marine and non-marine insurance, life and non-life insurance and first party and third party insurance.

What are the documents required when involved in a car accident in Singapore?

When involved in car accidents in Singapore and making a claim, the following documents must be provided: the police report and investigations, where an investigation has been made, medical invoices, certificates and reports.

If any, the parties must provide documents supporting the evidence of losing earnings, photos of injuries and damages, if any and the insurer’s report on the damaged vehicle, if it is the case.

Please address to our team if you need legal representation in these matters, but also on other situations, such as marriage or divorce; for the latter, is it always important to contact a divorce lawyer in Singapore

Where can one make a personal injury claim in Singapore? 

If a person will want to start the legal proceedings for a personal injury claim in Singapore, the participation of the court is necessary.

The court that has to be involved will depend on the value of the claim. The value of the claim can be established based on numerous factors and our team of lawyers in Singapore can help you in establishing such factors. 

For instance, in cases in which the value of the claim is of maximum $60,000, the party that wants to make a claim can address to the Magistrate’s Court. 

For claims that have a value of minimum $60,000 and maximum $250,000, the case will be heard in the District Court. Claims with a value of minimum $250,000 and maximum $500,000 will be heard by the High Court. 

The High Court is the entity that will establish a sentence for personal injury claims with a value higher than $500,000. Please mind that the parties can address the District Court even in the case in which the value of the claim is above $500,000 in certain situations. 

This can apply for situations where the claims involve road traffic accidents and personal injuries that appeared as a consequence of industrial accidents. 

What is the data on personal injury and accident cases in Singapore?

The legislation on personal injury and accidents cases in Singapore regulates numerous types of situations that can occur in various conditions, where the victim is entitled to make a claim and receive a compensation in accordance with the gravity of the injury, as long as one can prove that a third party is responsible for the respective injury or accident

Besides traffic accidents in which vehicles are involved, pedestrians accidents are also regulated by this law and pedestrians who were injured can make personal injury claims.

Personal injury cases can also refer to work accidents, where the liable party is generally the employer, in the situation in which it can be proved that the employer didn’t make all the necessary arrangements so that the employee’s safety is guaranteed, as per the minimum standards that are imposed for each profession.

You can find below information on the number of road accidents and injuries that resulted from traffic accidents, as well as statistics regarding work related injuries and accidents.

If you were the victim of any type of accident and you believe that you can make a personal injury claim, especially if you need medical care, you can request more information from our team of lawyers in Singapore

  • in 2018, there were reported 12,173 cases of minor accidents, in which the victims required at least 24 hours of hospitalization or minimum 3 days of medical leave, while the number of major accidents was much lower (596 victims), according to the Government of Singapore;
  • the number of traffic accidents decreased in the last years – in 2016, there were 6,620 accidents, in 2017, only 5,210 accidents and in 2018, the number decreased to 5,056;
  • accidents and personal injuries resulted in the work environment have been fluctuating in the last years as follows – in 2016, there were 13,014 cases, in 2017, there were 12,498 cases, and in 2018, they increased to 12, 810 cases;
  • although the number of accidents related to the work environment did not decline, one must know that the workplace fatal injuries have definitely been lowered – in 2011, the rate was of 2.3 fatal injuries per 100,000 employees, while in 2020, it decreased at 0.9% per 100,000 employees;
  • given that Singapore has modified its Road Traffic Act by adding very drastic measures for those who do not obey the traffic requirements, the overall accident rate decreased by 11,2% since 2010. 

Is there a limitation on personal injury claim in Singapore? 

Yes. Any party that wants to obtain a personal injury claim in Singapore is required to file the complaint in a given amount of time. The limitation period varies based on the category in which the personal injury is included. 

Thus, there are 2 main categories observed: personal injury claims that fall under the regulations of the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) and claims that are outside the scope of this law. 

For personal injury claims that are regulated by WICA, the time limitation is of 1 year since the moment when the event took place. This is required as long as the injury is a permanent one

For non-permanent injuries that are regulated under the WICA rules, there aren’t any statutory requirements, but it is advisable to start the proceedings as soon as possible. 

For personal injuries that fall outside the scope of WICA, persons are entitled to start the proceedings in a period of maximum 3 years.  

There is also the possibility to start the legal action in a period of 3 years since the person “first got the knowledge” of an event that could have a negative impact on the overall health of the said person. 

Thus, one can make a personal injury claim in Singapore in the case in which there hasn’t been an actual accident with visible negative results on the integrity of the person, in a period of 3 years since the person has been exposed to something that negatively impacts the health, but not in a direct, visible way. 

The term “first got the knowledge” can apply, for instance, in the situation in which a person was exposed to certain chemicals that have created latent consequences. 

Here, the case can be established if the person who “first got the knowledge” takes certain actions after being exposed to certain substances. For example, an accident like this occurs and the person seeks medical assistance.

By this, we mean that the person has taken some verifiable steps – addressed to a doctor for running tests, required medical advice and assistance in a way or another, even though the results after the exposure were good. 

Please mind that personal injury claims in Singapore can be solutioned based on the difficulty of each case. For simple cases, where minor injuries are involved and the number of documents, persons, actions, etc, is reduced, the court can issue a sentence in a period of 1 to 3 months. 

For complex cases, one should expect that the court will issue a sentence in a period of minimum 6 months to maximum 1,5 years. 

When can one make a claim for personal injury in Singapore? 

Given that the particularities of each case are different, we invite you to address to our law firm in Singaporefor advice on whether your situation falls under the personal injury law or not.

If so, our team can present the ways in which you can make a claim in accordance with the type of injury you have suffered. 

You are entitled to file a complaint against another party (a company, an individual, your workplace, etc.) if you have suffered a personal injury that was caused due to the negligence of the said party.

You can request a compensation, but for this, you must provide plausible reasons (such as the need to be hospitalized for a period of time). Along with these reasons, you are also required to provide facts that can be verified within a court. 

Here, you must present the category of injury that you have suffered – such as property damage or a physical injury of a certain degree or another (all injuries that will result in the hospitalization of the victim can be used as claims for personal injuries, regardless of their nature).

You should also be able to present the manner in which the other party has breached the law. 

When making a personal injury claim, it is also your responsibility to provide a clear image on the financial loss that you have suffered as a consequence of the respective accident.

All the information regarding the case has to be written down and our team of Singapore lawyers can help you in this process. 

Please mind that in Singapore you can also make a personal injury claim for other situations – such as injuries made by animals, or injuries caused by various consumer products; the victim is entitled to make the claim regardless of the place of the accident (such as in a store, supermarket, at home, in a public place). 

Persons in Singapore are also allowed to make a personal injury claim regarding medical negligence and here, we strongly advise you to request the professional assistance of our Singapore lawyers.

Medical negligence can be demonstrated by providing various papers, presenting information on the current health of a patient, the person’s previous health condition before entering the medical clinic and in contact with a specific healthcare provider and so on. 

The claimant is also advised to inform his or her law firm in Singapore about the accident, the events that led to the accident and what happened after. For complete information about the personal injury legislation please contact our attorneys in Singapore.

Our immigration lawyers in Singapore can offer in-depth assistance on the rights and obligations you have after you relocated here (depending on the purpose of relocation, you can also have tax obligations, once you have lived for more than 183 days per year in the country). 

Of course, these apply for long-term or permanent relocation, foreigners who arrive here for short stays do not need to comply with many rules. 

Please mind that if you arrive here and you obtain a residence permit in Singapore issued for permanent residency, you can be required to complete the military service (depending on your age). 

This applies to all male Singaporean citizens and permanent residents who have an age of minimum 18 years old. However, the Enlistment Act prescribes few exemptions from this rule.