Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Reply: accident with taxi leads to insurance woes

21 December 2005

The Editor
Online Forum Page
Straits Times

I refer to the letter entitled "Accident with taxi leads to insurance woes" by Jonathan Tan Meng Chye (ST Online Forum, 19 Dec 2005).

NTUC Income insures about 40 percent of all vehicles in Singapore. Our policyholders regularly encounter this type of situation. We wish to give the following advice, as a guide to motorists.

Motorists must always maintain a safe distance from the car in front. They should be able to stop in time without hitting it in the event the car in front has to stop suddenly. The recommended distance between cars is about 2 car lengths.

When a car collides squarely into the back of a car, the presumption is that the driver of the rear car was negligent in not keeping a safe distance. To overcome this presumption, the onus is on the driver to prove that the front car had cut so suddenly into his path that he was unable to avoid colliding into it.

The workshops that were approached by Mr Tan were not keen to assist him in pursuing a claim against the taxi driver, as it will be an uphill task to prove his case. He should have a witness to prove his assertion that the taxi driver had cut into his path to succeed fully or partially in his third party claim.

If Mr. Tan is able to prove his case, the law and our courts will protect him and enable him to recover his loss from the third party. Further, if Mr. Tan is able to prove that the taxi driver was negligent, he will be able to recover part of his legal costs from the taxi driver. Generally, the legal costs recoverable from the party at fault is about two-third of the costs that the successful party would have to pay his own lawyer.

In this case, we advise Mr. Tan to claim against his own insurance policy. If we are able to establish that the other driver was 80 per cent or more at fault, we will not penalise Mr. Tan's NCD.

Freddy Neo,
Claims Senior Manager

No comments:

Blog Archive