While it only takes one wrong turn to find yourself in a car crash, the consequences can last for years. Apart from the emotional and physical effects, a car accident is undoubtedly a financial burden as well. According to a study by H.C. Chin, the cost per traffic fatality is S$1.273 million while that of a serious injury and a slight injury is S$163,000 and S$12,000 respectively. Below, we explore six costs that result from a car accident in Singapore.
1. Healthcare Cost
Medical costs are the most immediate expense following a car accident. Depending on the severity of the car accident, healthcare costs can include the ambulance ride, x-ray scans, emergency room treatment, surgery, pain medication, physical therapy, and more. The driver and passengers may experience minor injuries such as a broken bone or more severe injuries such as traumatic brain damage.
What is The Average Cost of a Medical Procedure in Singapore?
|Type of Hospital||Medical specialities (S$)||Surgical specialties (S$)|
|Public Hospital||1,012 to 7,876||1,638 to 10,541|
|Private Hospital||3,906 to 24,687||8,109 to 18,993|
The above table illustrates the average cost of a medical procedure in a public hospital versus a private hospital in Singapore. Here is a more specific example comparing the costs of a minor versus major injury.
A Minor Injury: How Much Do Foot Related Procedures Cost In Singapore?
|Hospital||Ward Type||Median Bill Size ($)|
|Mt Elizabeth Novena||Private||22,189|
|Singapore General Hospital||A||14,241|
|Singapore General Hospital||B1||13,444|
Based on the table above, experiencing even a minor injury such as a foot related procedure can set you back up to S$22,189. Below, we explore the medical costs you may incur if faced with a more serious injury.
A Severe Injury: How Much Does Brain Surgery Cost In Singapore?
|Hospital||Ward Type||Median Bill Size ($)|
|Mt Elizabeth Novena||Private||58,836|
|Singapore General Hospital||B2||7,161|
|Tan Tock Seng Hospital||C||5,471|
Regardless of whether you would seek treatment for a minor injury or a more serious illness, healthcare in Singapore is expensive, and will likely increase in the coming years. One of the best ways to keep the cost of healthcare affordable is to create a safety net with the right insurance plan.
2. Legal Cost
If you’re in a car accident caused by a third-party vehicle, such as a motorcycle hitting your back bumper, leading to a minor sprain or even paralysis, the only way to claim compensation for damages is by proving that the other driver is at fault. Legal processes can be lengthy and complicated, especially with drafting official documents like a demand notice or presenting at a court hearing. To receive compensation for the injury, you may want to make a claim for personal injuries.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer For an Accident Claim in Singapore?
If both parties involved in the car accident can reach a settlement and resolve the issue between themselves, there is no need to work with a lawyer. A settlement is reached when the plaintiff receives compensation from the defendant or car insurance company and therefore does not need to pursue the case in court. However, car accident claims are not always so easily resolved. If both parties are unable to come to an agreement, a lawyer can help mediate between parties or represent the injured party in court. On the other hand, having the right car insurance company could provide you with enough compensation to cover damages from the accident, and you may not need to consult a personal injury lawyer.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Car Accident Lawyer In Singapore?
Since car accident cases tend to be complicated there usually isn’t a standard flat fee, unless you need a one-off service such as drafting a demand letter (which would cost between S$300 to S$1,000). A lawyer would be able to give you a quote or a range that they would charge to represent you in court or process other legal paperwork. In many cases, personal injury lawyers charge a contingency fee, which can range from 15% to 40% of your claim.
|Amount Received from Claim||Contingency Fee||Amount Paid to Lawyer|
In the example above, if a lawyer’s contingency fee is 33% and you are able to successfully claim S$90,000, you pay S$30,000 to your lawyer.
3. Car Repair Cost
Whether your vehicle leaves the car accident with a minor dent or requires extensive maintenance, you’ll need to pay for repairs. If your car insurance doesn’t cover car repair costs from a car accident, you would need to contact car repair workshops for specific quotes based on the make and model of your car as well as the damage that needs to be repaired. Car repair costs will also vary depending on if you take your car to a dealership workshop versus an independent workshop. While there is no standard fee for car repair in Singapore, major car servicing that involves the replacement of more expensive parts could cost an average of S$425.
4. Property Damage Cost
Apart from the costs related to repairing your car, if the accident damages private property such as a fence, you may be liable to pay for property damages as well. For example, if the car accident damages a private property fence, it may cost between S$500 to S$600 for fixtures. If the damaged aspect of the property is minor, such as a dent in the fence (which would cost between S$100 to S$200), it would be cost-effective to reach a settlement and resolve the issue between you and the property owner, as opposed to involving a third party to mediate the dispute.
5. Career Cost (Loss of Future Earnings)
While employers should ideally take steps to accommodate recently injured employees, they are not obligated to keep them on payroll in the long-run. As a for-profit business, an employer may see an injured employee as a liability, one who can easily be replaced by someone healthier and more productive to the company. In a more extreme scenario, where the injury could make you unable to perform your responsibilities, you may lose your position in the company which would result in a significant change in personal income and even a shift in career path.
For example, it may be challenging to work in a role that requires you to sit at a desk for long hours if you have a spinal cord injury. It would also be difficult to work as a cashier or other jobs that require standing for hours, if you have a leg injury. Being unable to continue working would either force you to take time off from your current role or pivot into a new form of employment. Either way, you’re likely to face disruption in your income. The “Multiplier-Multiplicand” method can be used to calculate the compensation amount with the traditional Multiplier-Multiplicand Approach:
- Sum Award = Multiplicand x Multiplier
- Multiplicand = Loss of Earning = Pre Injury Earning – Post Injury Earning
- Multiplier (if the claimant’s age is 30 and below) = 16 or
- Multiplier (if the claimant’s age is between 31 to 54) = (55 - age at injury or death)/2
Let’s look at a specific example where an injured party, aged 30, is in a car accident resulting in a loss of earnings (S$30,000). The table below illustrates their sum award.
|Pre Injury Earning||Post Injury Earning||Loss of Earning||Multiplicand||Sum Award|
6. Emotional Well-Being Cost
A traumatic event can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as other mental disorders such as depression, the most common mental disorder in Singapore that affects one in 16 people. The cost of treating a mental health issue in Singapore can be as high as S$1,000/month. However, there are some free and affordable ways to receive emotional counselling through helplines or in-person therapy sessions to help improve your mental well-being.
Where Can I Get Free Counselling In Singapore?
|Counselling Centre||Counselling Services|
|Wesley Methodist Church||Non-religious counselling to improve assist individuals and their families during times of anxiety and emotional struggle|
|Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH)||A helpline in-person counselling sessions for all mental health-related help|
|Samaritans of Singapore (SOS)||A 24-hour suicide prevention helpline|
|Silver Ribbon Singapore||Free basic counselling services in person|
How To Avoid Costs That Result From A Car Accident
Purchasing car insurance in Singapore is mandatory for all drivers. Car insurance not only serves to protect yourself, but also to protect other road users as well. Our recommended car insurance in Singapore to safeguard yourself in case of a car accident is DirectAsia Car Insurance.
Why Choose DirectAsia Car Insurance?
1. Tailor-Made Car Insurance
You’ve found a car that fits your lifestyle and budget, shouldn’t the same apply for your car insurance?
DirectAsia lets you customise your policy with Optional Benefits, so you end up paying for the benefits that you want.
For example, with the Personal Accident benefit, you would receive up to S$500,000 in case of death/loss of limbs in case of a car accident. Skip the jargon and don’t worry about missing the fine print.
2. Expert Advice For The Long Run
DirectAsia offers a more personalised experience when it comes to understanding your car insurance. Their friendly claims specialists are trained to simplify the process and answer your questions with transparency and assurance.
3. Exceptional Customer Service
DirectAsia has a customer satisfaction rating of more than 90%. Here’s what some customers say:
"Friendly, helpful and swift response from your customer service during my recent car insurance purchase."- Kong Weng Cheong
"Many locations around the island for making claims. Really hassle-free claim and took less than 30 minutes."- Chua Hwee Lee
Ready to safeguard yourself in case of a car accident?
Click here to get a quote online today.