An accident victim whose lower left leg was amputated will receive a record $80,000 for the pain suffered, as part of the total damages of about $400,000 awarded by the High Court.
The sum for the pain suffered by Mr Mohamad Fairuz Kamal, 32, is understood to be the highest reported for cases involving amputation from the knee downwards.
The Singapore Academy of Law published a guidebook for assessing general damages in personal injury cases in 2010.
It recommends the sums to be awarded for damage to specific parts of the body. The recommended range for an above-knee amputation of a single leg is between $42,000 and $80,000.
For a below-knee amputation, the range is from $40,000 to $70,000.
Mr Fairuz's lawyer Viviene Sandhu pointed out in High Court submissions that the book served as a guide in the absence of any other local decisions. The two decisions on similar cases that were listed in the book were made 20 years ago and were therefore not very helpful, she said. In the two cases she referred to, one accident victim was awarded $42,000 and the other $50,000.
Ms Sandhu argued that the court had to take into account the currency value over time when deciding on the sum payable. She cited a Court of Appeal ruling in January this year, which said: 'At this point of time, we must observe that in examining the amounts awarded in past cases, especially those made before 2000, one must not overlook the significant changes in the purchasing power per unit currency.'
Accident claims lawyers told The Straits Times that the aim of the courts is to compensate the victim fairly based on the severity of the injury.
Mr Fairuz was injured when the motorcycle he was riding collided with a Malaysian-registered car at a traffic junction in Woodlands Drive 50 on Nov 21, 2008.
He was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he was kept for 73 days with serious internal injuries. His lower left leg was damaged beyond repair, and was amputated in September 2009. He has been fitted with an artificial limb.
After the accident, Mr Fairuz lost his job as a technician. He now works as a taxi driver, and can no longer ride a motorcycle, stand, walk or climb for long periods of time.
The driver of the car, Ms Norlilah Abu Samah, accepted 90 per cent liability for the accident. She was convicted and fined $600 for inconsiderate driving, and disqualified from driving for three months, in June 2009.
Following a three-day hearing spread over several months to assess damages payable by the vehicle insurers, High Court assistant registrar Chee Min Ping on Tuesday awarded $407,377 altogether for various items including loss of future earnings, medical and treatment costs, as well as general damages.
For Mr Fairuz, the four-year wait for the court settlement could not have ended on a happier note. The following day, his 30-year-old wife gave birth to a Leap Year baby boy.
Speaking on Thursday at KK Women's and Children's Hospital, where the baby was born about a week ahead of the expected delivery, he said: 'I think this is a blessing in disguise, after all the pain and suffering I have gone through.'
Source ----> http://thecourtroom.stomp.com.sg/sto...tees_pain.html