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Online Simulator to aid motorists in making claims

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By 2019, motorists will be able to gauge their likely liability in accident cases

By the first quarter of 2019, motorists involved in traffic accidents will have access to the Online Simulator that will gauge their likely liability.

This is to help motorists better decide their next course of action and make processes more affordable, accessible and effective.

The State Courts said that by the end of 2019, there will also be an online platform to recommend settlement amounts based on the information provided by users and an online mediation platform for more complex cases.

The Online Simulator uses algorithms based on data that parties provide and also on precedent cases and historical data derived from the Electronic Motor Accident Guide and the third edition of the Practitioners' Library: Assessment Of Damages - Personal Injuries And Fatal Accidents, both launched on Feb 22.

The State Courts announced the use of the simulator, which is part of the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform for motor accident claims, on Friday at its workplan seminar.

It said that users will be guided through a question-and-answer format. Speaking at the seminar, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon said: "Having been apprised of the likely outcomes, the parties will hopefully be guided and able to engage in more meaningful settlement discussions, and be better placed to decide on their best course of action."

In time to come, the ODR platform may be scaled up and adapted for use in a wider range of disputes, and provide a virtual environment for parties to participate actively and constructively manage the progress of all their cases, he added.

Insurance broker Ricky Chia said the Online Simulator is a good idea for handling own-damage claims, not so perhaps for third-party claims.

He said: "Third-party claims are more complicated as nobody will readily admit his or her liability in an accident.

"Motor accident claims are often complicated as they involve a lot of different parties."

Mr Bernard Tay, president of the Automobile Association of Singapore, said the platform is meant to advise motorists on the possible outcomes and liabilities in any accident.

"It is a good initiative to be supported and we are awaiting more details," he said.

Mr Muhammad, 42, hopes the Online Simulator will expedite claims.

The businessman, who declined to give his full name, said his case is still pending even though he was involved in a serious traffic accident in 2014 and had to be hospitalised for several weeks.

He added: "Right now, filing for motor accident claims is very messy.

"There is no consolidated approach, with many parties involved, such as the authorities and my insurance company."

Separately, a new Victim Assistance Scheme will be tested for one year from next month to offer assistance in medical expenses to those who suffer criminal assault but receive no compensation from their attackers.

Run by the Community Justice Centre, a charitable organisation, the scheme applies to two kinds of offences: Causing hurt and causing hurt with a dangerous weapon.

The offence must be committed in Singapore and original medical receipts have to be provided.