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Court awards S$872K in damages for man in motorbike accident, but disallows S$420K claim for domestic helper

”In my view, it has not been proved on balance of probabilities that the plaintiff would need a domestic helper on account of his condition brought about by the accident," said the judge in a written statement

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Singapore—A man who had been in a vehicular accident in 2013 was awarded almost S$872,000 in damages on Monday, December 9. But 28-year-old Danial Syafiq Mahbob’s request for an additional S$420,000 for a domestic helper to provide care for him was denied by the court.

Mr Danial Syafiq had been riding pillion on a motorbike, which crashed into a taxi on April 17, 2013. He sustained injuries to his brain from the crash, which left him with epileptic fits.

The damages were awarded in the negligence suit he had filed against Amin Juman Abdul Jabbar, his friend, who had been riding the motorbike.

According to his mother, he needs a companion to make sure that he can still breathe in the midst of a seizure, make sure that he has meals to eat, talk with him and remind him about his medicines.

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However, according to Senior Judge Andrew Ang, the claimant still enjoys daily activities, such as taking videos of himself skateboarding with his peers and commuting on the public transport system, The Straits Times (ST) reports.

He also mentioned that Mr Danial Syafiq only had one epileptic episode last year, and accepted proof that the claimant would most likely not stop breathing if he were to experience another seizure.

In a written statement the judge said, ”In my view, it has not been proved on balance of probabilities that the plaintiff would need a domestic helper on account of his condition brought about by the accident.”

Mr Danial Syafiq sued his friend, along with the taxi driver, Mohammed Faizal Ismail, three years after the accident, in 2016. He later chose not to push through with the case against the cab driver. ST reports that Mr Amin Juman consented to bearing full liability but then brought Mr Mohammed Faizal as a third party to contribute to the damages.

According to the neurosurgeon who treated Mr Danial Safiq, after the accident the claimant suffered from lifelong cognitive and memory issues, as well as post-traumatic epilepsy, experiencing 46 seizures between November 2013 to June 2018.

These seizures have tapered in number, though, as more time has elapsed since the accident.

Mr Danial Safiq was awarded S$671,873.50 in general damages (for future earning losses, future medical expenses, etc) as well as S$200,101.45 in special damages. He had originally claimed between S$730,080 and S$1.26 million for future earning losses, while the defendant said that he should only receive around S$75,000 for damages for loss of earning capacity.

The accident occurred just a few days after the claimant had enrolled in a diploma course, and the award of S$456,204 for loss of future earnings had been computed based on the premise that he would finished this course had the accident not occurred.

The special damages granted to him are for the loss of earnings for his mother (S$113,728.59) who had to stop working in order to take care of him, as well as S$79,348.86 for medical expenses already incurred. -/TISG

Read related: Crowdfunding raises S$50,000 for Malaysian in a coma after motorbike accident on SLE

Crowdfunding raises S$50,000 for Malaysian in a coma after motorbike accident on SLE

 

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