Hit By an E-Scooter? Here’s What You Can Do.
You were minding your own business as you walked on the pavement when BAM! An e-scooter rider comes speeding out of nowhere and sends you flying. Apart from nursing your injuries, what else can you do if you get into an e-scooter accident in Singapore?
If you’re hit by an e-scooter?, your first reaction may be to sic the police on the rider. Apart from that, you can also claim compensation from the rider for any injuries you’ve suffered. – In summary, this involves sending the rider a letter which states how much you’re claiming for (attaching evidence to prove your claim), and negotiating with the rider on the final payout amount. – Pro tip: ask the rider if he/she is insured. E-scooter insurance exists and you may be able to claim against the rider’s insurer instead. ? – Tag a friend who will find this useful!
Report the Accident to the Police
You can report the accident to the police to have the police investigate the matter and decide whether to charge the e-scooter rider for committing a criminal offence. Depending on the situation, the e-scooter rider could be charged with dangerous riding, voluntarily causing hurt and/or any other criminal offence.
To report the accident to the police, you can lodge a police report online or at any police station.
Remember to take photos of the scene, produce a video recording of the incident (if you have one) and always remember to try to take down the e-scooter rider’s particulars. You should also have your injuries examined by a doctor (call for an ambulance if your injuries are severe).
The Attorney-General’s Chambers, which is in charge of prosecuting persons who break the law, has stated that it will take a “firm stance” against persons who cause injury and damage while using their personal mobility devices on pavements.
For example, an 18-year-old boy has been charged for causing grievous hurt after riding his e-scooter on a bus stop pavement and hitting a 54-year-old woman. Apart from suffering severe head injuries and having to undergo 2 brain operations, the victim was in a coma for a month and had to relearn how to walk. For his actions, the e-scooter rider faced a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to 4 years’ jail.
Make a Personal Injury Claim against the E-Scooter Rider (and/or His Insurer)
Apart from reporting the accident to the police, you can also make a personal injury claim against the e-scooter rider directly or against his insurer (riders now have the option to take out insurance to cover accidents they cause to third-parties while riding their e-scooters).
This option is useful when you have incurred losses (e.g. medical bills or loss of income) as a result of the accident, and would like to claim compensation from the e-scooter rider.
You can start the claim on your own or with the help of a personal injury lawyer, if you feel more comfortable leaving it in the hands of a professional.
Unless you are claiming for an amount more than $250,000, you will have to bring your claim in the State Courts. If so, you will need to follow the Pre-Action Protocol for Personal Injury Claims found at Appendix E of the State Courts Practice Directions.
This protocol covers the procedure for filing a personal injury claim in the State Courts. Here’s a summary of the steps in the protocol:
Step 1: Send the E-Scooter Rider a Letter of Claim
First, send a Letter of Claim to the e-scooter rider and his insurer (if the rider is insured and you know who his insurer is). This Letter of Claim has to follow the format in Form 1 of Appendix E, and will state the full particulars of your claim against the rider.
For example, the Letter of Claim has to include the following information:
- Brief details of the accident (e.g. date, time and location)
- The nature of the injuries you suffered
- Names of any witnesses to the accident
- The amount you intend to claim
You also have to attach all documents which help prove (1) that the accident occurred, and (2) the amount that you are claiming for. Such documents can include:
- Police report
- Coloured photographs of the accident scene
- Your sketch of the accident
- Video recording of the accident (if you have one)
- Medical report on your injuries
- Medical bill (with evidence of payment)
- Certificates of hospitalisation and medical leave
- Evidence of income loss
The Letter of Claim must also instruct the e-scooter rider to pass the Letter of Claim (and all attached documents) to his insurer if he wants to claim under his insurance policy.
Step 2: E-Scooter Rider (or His Insurer) Acknowledges Your Claim
The e-scooter rider (or his insurer, if the rider is claiming under his insurance policy) is required to acknowledge receipt of your Letter of Claim within 14 days from the date he received the letter. An acknowledgement response is akin to a work place email where you simply reply “Noted, with thanks” to your colleague to let them know you’ve seen their email (but are still taking action on it).
Alternatively, if the e-scooter rider (or his insurer) has already decided how he wants to respond to your claim, he can skip the acknowledgement and go straight into his substantive reply (more on this below).
However if you do not receive an acknowledgement letter within the deadline, you may choose to commence legal proceedings against the e-scooter rider (or his insurer). You are therefore advised to send your Letter of Claim via registered post so you can track the date of receipt.
Step 3: E-Scooter Rider (or His Insurer) Sends You a Substantive Reply
Apart from sending you an acknowledgement letter, the e-scooter rider (or his insurer) must also provide a substantive reply to your Letter of Claim within 8 weeks of the date of receiving the Letter of Claim.
The substantive reply will contain information such as:
- Who will be defending the claim. e.g. the e-scooter rider himself, or his insurer.
- The e-scooter rider (or his insurer)’s position on the claim. For example, whether he (or his insurer) admits or denies the claim, or wants to make an offer to settle the matter out of court. Alternatively, the e-scooter rider (or his insurer) may only partially admit to the claim. This could happen where the rider accepts that he caused your injury, but is of the view that he is liable for only a portion of the total amount you are claiming for. In such a situation, he (or his insurer) must then provide the reasons for his position, together with all supporting documents.
- Whether the e-scooter rider (or his insurer) will be making a counterclaim against you. This could happen when the e-scooter rider himself also got injured in the accident and would like to claim for his injuries against you. If (or his insurer) will be making a counterclaim, he will have to provide full particulars of his counterclaim, together with all supporting documents, in his reply.
Step 4: Negotiation
After you and the e-scooter rider (or his insurer) have exchanged all relevant information and documents, both parties will negotiate to try and settle the matter as soon as possible. You can engage a lawyer to help you come to an amicable settlement with the e-scooter rider (or his insurer), or do so on your own.
If both parties have made reasonable efforts to settle the matter but there is no reasonable chance of settlement after at least 8 weeks from the date of the e-scooter rider receiving your Letter of Claim, you may then choose to commence legal proceedings.
With this guide, you should now have a better understanding of what to do if you’re the victim of an e-scooter accident in Singapore. Reporting the accident to the police is straightforward, but you may need some extra help negotiating with the e-scooter rider on how much compensation he should make to you.
If you would like a lawyer to assist you with obtaining compensation from the e-scooter rider for your injuries, you may get in touch with one of our trusted personal injury lawyers. Rest assured that they will keep the details of your matter private and confidential.
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