Entering into a Private Settlement For Car Accidents in Singapore - SingaporeLegalAdvice.com (2024)

Accidents are unavoidable sometimes, even in situations where you are being careful. Hence when a motor accident happens, even if it were a minor incident, it is especially useful to know the best ways forward.

We have previously talked about making claims for motor accidents, including how to claim from third-party insurance companies. This article now aims to discuss the option of a private settlement in the event of a car accident. It will cover:

  • What is a private settlement?
  • When is a private settlement the preferable way forward for car accidents?
  • When is it not possible to enter into a private settlement?
  • What should you do if you enter into a private settlement?
  • What if the terms of the settlement are breached?

What is a Private Settlement?

In motor accidents, a private settlement is a resolution of the accident between the parties that does not involve making a claim with their respective motor vehicle insurers. The private settlement may result in a compensation made by the party at fault to the other party.

Parties in a motor accident who make a private settlement will usually also agree not to make further legal claims against each other.

However, it is still required for parties in a private settlement to inform their insurers that a settlement has been agreed upon (the repercussions for not doing so are explained below).

When is It Advisable for You to Enter Into a Private Settlement?

If the car accident resulted in minimal to no damage to your vehicle, and more importantly does not involve bodily harm to any party involved, then it might be wiser for the parties to agree to a private settlement.

This is because one of the most important benefits of entering into a private settlement, as opposed to getting the insurers involved, is to preserve your No-Claims Discount (NCD).

The NCD is an entitlement provided to you, the insured, where if you do not make any claims under your car insurance policy for a year or more with the current insurer, then you will be given a reduced amount for the premium that you have to pay for the following year upon renewal.

Therefore, losing one’s NCD by making an insurance claim automatically increases the cost of subsequent car insurance premiums.

When is It Not Possible to Enter Into a Private Settlement?

Any party in a car accident CANNOT resort to a private settlement if the accident involves or has resulted in:

  • Death or bodily harm to any person, which may include a non-driving party (such as a pedestrian);
  • Significant damage to any property, especially if government property was damaged; or
  • A case of hit-and-run.

In the above instances, there are several things that should be done during and after the accident. These include:

  • Calling an ambulance immediately if there are injured victims;
  • Reporting the accident to the police, if necessary;
  • Exchanging information with parties involved in the accident;
  • Gathering as much evidence of the accident as possible; and
  • Reporting the accident to your insurance company.

Then, you can make a claims for compensation for the car accident through the following ways:

  1. Against your insurer in accordance with its procedure for making claims;
  2. Against the other party (or the at-fault party) via your own damage claim;
  3. To the Motor Insurer’s Bureau, in cases of a hit-and-run and you do not know the particulars of the other party involved; and
  4. Via FIDReC (Financial Industrial Disputes Resolution Centre Ltd) in instances of non-injury motor claims below $3,000.

What Should You Do If You Enter Into a Private Settlement?

The first step is to have an accurate estimate of the costs of repairing the damage (if any) to your vehicle. In order to do this, you should take your car to one of your insurer’s authorised workshops to get a written estimate of the costs.

This step is especially important because the parties can decide between themselves how much the at-fault party should compensate the other party for the damage caused in the accident. This ensures that the value of compensation agreed upon remains fair for all parties involved.

You may also wish to use the Singapore Academy of Law’s Motor Accident Claims Online stimulator to find out who may be the at-fault party and get an estimate of the amount of damages a party can claim.

The next step is for both drivers in the accident to complete and sign a private settlement form or letter. The private settlement form/letter must state the following details:

  • Details of accident, including the location, date and time of the accident;
  • Particulars of parties involved and their vehicles, including the drivers’ full names, identification numbers and vehicle registration numbers;
  • Terms of the agreement, which may include:
    • A statement that no personal injury or death was involved in the accident,
    • A statement that the parties agree to settle the matter amicably;
    • The amount to be paid by one party to the other, or if both parties mutually decided to shoulder their own costs for repair;
    • A statement that both parties will not make a police report of the accident;
    • A statement that neither party will subsequently file a claim for damages based on the accident;
  • Acknowledgement of receipt of compensation, if any; and
  • Signatures of parties entering into settlement.

You can check if your insurer has sample private settlement forms for you to use.

It must be noted that under the Motor Claims Framework (MCF), any car accident must still be reported to your insurer within 24 hours. This is even if there is no visible damage, and even if you decide to settle claims privately. Failure to do so may result in:

  • Rejection of your future insurance claim, should the making of such a claim be more viable than a settlement;
  • Loss of NCD when renewing your policy; or
  • The insurer declining to renew your policy altogether.

The completed and signed private settlement form/letter must be submitted to your respective insurer. This is made for recording purposes as even with a private settlement, you can never be truly sure that the other party will not decide to file a claim against you in the future.

What If the Terms of the Settlement are Breached?

A completed and signed private settlement form/letter is considered a contract or a valid and binding legal agreement. As a result, any violation of the terms of the settlement agreement, including if:

  • The at-fault party fails to settle the full value of the agreed upon compensation; or
  • Any of the parties subsequently file a separate claim for damages based on the accident outside of the private settlement,

is subject to available remedies under the law for breach of contract, including monetary compensation (also known as damages).

There are several avenues that may be resorted to in order to resolve a breach of contract, such as court proceedings or arbitration, as well as the Small Claims Tribunals if the claim is for not more than $20,000.

Before entering into a private settlement agreement for a motor accident, it may also be advisable for you to obtain legal assistance.

If you are the at-fault party in the motor accident, an experienced lawyer may help you negotiate a settlement.

On the other hand, if you are the victim of the accident, legal assistance can also help you obtain fair compensation for the damage caused to your vehicle, or for any injury you may have suffered.

Furthermore, obtaining legal assistance might be necessary if a breach of the private settlement agreement occurs and you intend to hold the other party accountable for the breach.

If any of the above situations applies to you, consider consulting one of our experienced lawyers to assist you.

Entering into a Private Settlement For Car Accidents in Singapore - SingaporeLegalAdvice.com (2024)


How do I settle a car accident in Singapore? ›

Send your vehicle to one of our authorised workshops or any of the workshops listed on your certificate of insurance. Both parties should complete and sign the Mutual Settlement Form for Motor Accident. If cash payment is involved for the settlement, the recipient has to acknowledge receipt of the amount.

What happens when you get into a car accident in Singapore? ›

You are required to report the accident to the local police. If your car is damaged or no longer safe to be driven, we will assist to arrange towing services to bring your car back to Singapore. For further assistance, please call our 24-hour claims hotline at +65 6540 2199 and our representatives will advise you.

What is a private settlement? ›

Private settlement agreement means an agreement entered into among the parties that is not subject to judicial enforcement other than the reinstatement of the civil proceeding that the agreement settled.

What are general damages in Singapore? ›

General damages are damages that compensate for losses naturally arising from the injury. This includes pain and suffering, loss of future earnings and loss of limbs.

How do I write a counter offer for a car accident settlement? ›

Countering a Low Insurance Settlement Offer
  1. State that the offer you received is unacceptable.
  2. Refute any statements in the adjustor's letter that are inaccurate and damaging to your claim.
  3. Re-state an acceptable figure.
  4. Explain why your counteroffer is appropriate, including the reasons behind your general damages demands.
Aug 8, 2018

What does it mean to settle in a car accident? ›

A settlement offer is an agreement to end the dispute. The insurance adjuster offers a specific amount of money to resolve your injury claim. Before you receive compensation for your car accident claim, the insurance company requires that you sign a settlement agreement and release.

What to do in an accident in Singapore? ›

First of all, please on the hazard lights and stop your vehicle immediately. Come out of your vehicle and take pictures of the vehicles from all parties involved for evidence. Do this before the vehicles are moved. In the event if there are any injured parties, call for an ambulance and for the police.

Who to call in Singapore for car accident? ›

Our emergency hotline is open 24/7. In case of an accident, please call +65 6333 2222.

What is the penalty for traffic accident in Singapore? ›

General Punishments for Reckless or Dangerous Driving

1) For first time offenders – Imprisonment for a period of up to 12 months or a fine of up to $5,000 or both. 2) For repeat offenders – Imprisonment for a period of up to 2 years or a fine of up to $10,000 or both.

What are the 3 types of settlement? ›

Settlements refer to groups of houses or dwellings that humans live in.
  • Nucleated settlement: Close settlements that are often clustered around a central point. ...
  • Dispersed settlement: Called scattered settlements. ...
  • Linear settlement: Called ribbon settlements.

What are the 3 types of the basis of settlement? ›

There are three main types of settlement in geotechnical engineering:
  • Uniform settlement.
  • Differential settlement.
  • Curvature settlement.

Does a settlement always include money? ›

A good settlement agreement will include a fair amount of money and be detailed and specific. It should include details such as a timeline of the events leading up to the settlement, a release from future claims, and a clause to ensure payment is made in full within a specific timeframe.

What are punitive damages in Singapore? ›

Punitive damages may be awarded in an action in tort, for civil wrongs done against an innocent party and which do not arise from any contractual relationship between the parties. In such cases, the award of punitive damages sends a clear message that the wrongdoer's conduct is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

What is common mistake Singapore law? ›

A common mistake in Contract Law is one shared by both parties to the contract. It must relate to a matter of existing fact or law1 and can affect the contract in two basic ways.

What is the compensation law in Singapore? ›

Fact: Compensation orders can be made for any offence punishable by any written law in Singapore. Section 359 of the Criminal Procedure Code 2010 makes it mandatory for the court to consider whether a compensation order should be made when convicting an offender.

What is the best way to negotiate a settlement? ›

The following guidelines can help you settle out of court and reach creative, mutually beneficial resolutions to your disputes, with or without lawyers at the table.
  1. Make sure the process is perceived to be fair. ...
  2. Identify interests and tradeoffs. ...
  3. Insist on decision analysis. ...
  4. Reduce discovery costs.
Apr 10, 2023

How long does it take for a counter offer in a settlement? ›

Once the insurance company makes their initial offer, then we make a counter offer and the process goes from there. The negotiation process can take one week or several months depending on the complexity of the case.

Is it good to accept a settlement offer? ›

It is not in your best interest to accept a settlement offer without speaking with an attorney. The initial settlement offer from the insurance company is probably not fair. The offer may be much lower than the value of your damages. If the insurance company sends you a check, do not cash the check.

How long do most car accident settlements take? ›

If you and the insurance company are able to agree on a fair settlement, the process to receive your check typically takes around four to six weeks. The insurance company will have you sign a release form.

How is settlement value calculated? ›

The general formula most insurers use to measure settlement worth is the following: (Special damages x multiplier reflecting general damages) + lost wages = settlement amount.

What is the timeline for settlement? ›

Settlement is the process of paying the remaining sale price and becoming the legal owner of a home. At settlement, your lender will disburse funds for your home loan and you'll receive the keys to your home. Generally, settlement takes place around 6 weeks after contracts are exchanged.

What is the first thing to do in dealing with accident? ›

1. Offer medical assistance. If the person is unconscious or severely injured, call 911 immediately. If the injury is minor, offer onsite help such as bandages and ask the injured party if they would like you to call an ambulance.

What to do when you approach an accident? ›

Act quickly to provide emergency care to the victims.

Safety experts generally recommend you stop away from danger, out of the traffic lanes, and turn on your emergency flashers. Do not attempt to move any of the injured people unless they are in immediate danger.

Who calls you after a car accident? ›

After a car accident, you might get calls from an insurance adjuster asking for details about your accident or insurance coverage. It's important to keep a few things in mind when speaking with an adjuster to make sure you get a fair settlement offer and maximum compensation.

What services does SG accident Help Centre provide? ›

Such assistance includes distributing road safety advisories, as well as offering financial assistance planning for medical treatment, accident investigation, psychiatric counselling, legal advice on Singapore laws and other related services.

What is considered hit-and-run Singapore? ›

Even with no injuries, it is considered a hit-and-run if a property is damaged. In the case of severe injury or death, a first-time offender will be liable for a fine of not more than S$3,000, imprisonment for up to 12 months, or both.

What is the 10 second rule driving Singapore? ›

This is to ensure that you're driving at a safe speed, and have a sufficient distance from the vehicle in front of you. Should the vehicle in front stop suddenly, this distance will give you sufficient time to stop and avoid an accident.

What happens if you can't pay a fine in Singapore? ›

If you are unable to pay the court fine by the due date, you may have to serve a default imprisonment term decided by the court. You can also apply for your court fine to be deferred or paid by instalments, subject to the court's approval. This request should be made during your sentencing hearing.

How much are fines in Singapore? ›

Traffic Offences Within Silver and School Zones
Road/Traffic OffencesDemerit PointsComposite Fines
Crossing double white lines or road divider6S$300
Exceeding the vehicular speed limit by 21 to 30 km/hr8S$400
Exceeding the road speed limit by 21 to 30 km/hr
Driving or riding against the flow of traffic
23 more rows
Oct 12, 2022

What is the most common settlement? ›

Urban settlements, or urbanized areas, are the most populated of the settlement types and usually consist of the largest land area. Urban areas are the most developed of the different types, with advanced infrastructure and many buildings.

What are the 5 elements of settlement? ›

Human settlements consist of the five elements nature, man, society, shells and networks, which form a system conditioning the type and quality of our life.

What are the 5 settlements? ›

Classification according to pattern

There are 5 types of settlement classified according to their pattern, these are, isolated, dispersed, nucleated, and linear.

What assets are used for settlement? ›

Settlement Assets means any cash, receivable or other property, including a Settlement Receivable, due or conveyed to a person in consideration for a Settlement made or arranged, or to be made or arranged, by such person or an Affiliate of such person.

What are the settlement options? ›

Some of the most common life insurance settlement options include receiving a lump sum payment, interest earnings only (with full or partial withdrawals made later), regular payments over a fixed period of time and life only payments for the rest of one's life (based on age).

Which settlement is the smallest? ›

Hamlet or Band – a hamlet has a tiny population (fewer than 100), with only a few buildings.

How much money should I ask for in a settlement? ›

To get a general idea of settlement, add up the costs in medical bills, damages, and lost wages, and multiply the sum by three. This may be around the amount in the settlement you can receive after a car accident. Compensation for pain and suffering is only given to those who are injured in a car accident.

Is settlement money taxed? ›

Generally, settlement funds and damages received from a lawsuit are taxable income according to the IRS. Nonetheless, personal injury settlements – specifically those resulting from car accidents or slip and fall incidents – are typically exempt from taxes.

What is a good settlement offer? ›

Definition of a “Good” Offer

A good settlement offer works in your favor and puts you back in a position of favor after the settlement is made final. Settlement offers need to consider all of the factors that have touched you in relation to your losses, damages, and personal injuries.

What are damages in Singapore contract law? ›

Monetary compensation or damages are the primary remedies for contractual breaches. This is usually computed by the court based on the losses suffered caused by the breach against the innocent party. The aggrieved party may also choose to terminate the contract itself.

What are aggravated damages in Singapore law? ›

Aggravated damages, which are compensatory in nature, may be awarded in respect of the additional injury caused by the defendant's conduct or bad motives.

What is an example of punitive damages negligence? ›

Punitive damages, sometimes called exemplary damages, are additional damages that can be taken from the defendant to punish them for grievous negligence and to prevent them — and others — from making the same mistake again. A common example of punitive damages is drunk driving cases.

Which liability Cannot be excluded by law Singapore? ›

Negligence. It is not possible to exclude or restrict liability for death or personal injury resulting from negligence.

What is misrepresentation Singapore? ›

—(1) Where a person has entered into a contract after a misrepresentation has been made to him by another party thereto and as a result thereof he has suffered loss, then, if the person making the misrepresentation would be liable to damages in respect thereof had the misrepresentation been made fraudulently, that ...

What is a unilateral mistake in Singapore law? ›

Type of mistake

The Court considered UK and Singapore case law on rectification for unilateral mistake, in which rectification may be granted where a party to the transaction knows that the contract contains a mistake in his favour and seeks to take unconscionable advantage of the mistake.

What are the compensation practices in Singapore? ›

Singapore compensation laws stipulate that employees must be paid at least once a month and also within seven days of the end of the period. Whenever an employee earns overtime pay, you must pay them within 14 days of the stipulated salary period.

Can I sue someone in Singapore? ›

If you have a legal claim against another person in Singapore, you may commence civil proceedings against him/her. Civil proceedings refer to legal proceedings that occur between two or more private parties and do not involve the State. This process is undertaken in a civil court in Singapore.

What is the penalty for hit and run in Singapore? ›

Even with no injuries, it is considered a hit-and-run if a property is damaged. In the case of severe injury or death, a first-time offender will be liable for a fine of not more than S$3,000, imprisonment for up to 12 months, or both.

Can I claim insurance in Singapore car accident in Malaysia? ›

You can claim against your own insurer in a Singapore vs Malaysia car accident when you have a comprehensive insurance policy and you need to make a faster claim. However, your liability in the accident should be below 20% or else it could lead to loss of your NCD.

What is considered careless driving in Singapore? ›

This offence is committed when a person drives a motor vehicle on a road recklessly, or at a speed or in a manner that is dangerous to the public, taking into account all of the circumstances of the case, including the nature, condition, and use of the road, and the amount of traffic that is actually on the road at the ...

What are the capital Offences in Singapore? ›

Capital punishment in Singapore is a legal penalty. Executions in Singapore are carried out by long drop hanging, and they usually take place at dawn. Thirty-three offences—including murder, drug trafficking, terrorism, use of firearms and kidnapping—warrant the death penalty under Singapore law.

What is the penalty for careless driving in Singapore? ›

Reckless/Dangerous Driving

According to Section 64, drivers who drive in a manner that endangers the safety or lives of others will be liable for a fine of up to $5,000 or an imprisonment for a term up to 12 months or both.

What is personal accident insurance Singapore? ›

What is personal accident insurance (PAI)? PAI insures against accidental death or permanent disablement. It provides a lump sum compensation to the beneficiaries of the policy if unfortunate events happen. Find out more about personal accident insurance for MDWs. Last Updated: 5 October 2021.

What does car insurance cover Singapore? ›

Understanding insurance

All vehicles must have motor insurance coverage to be used in Singapore. It is a requirement for your vehicle to be insured for the entire road tax renewal period before its road tax can be renewed. The insurance must at least cover third-party liability for deaths and bodily injury.

Do we really need insurance in Singapore? ›

Having life insurance in Singapore is important, but how much insurance coverage you need will depend on your lifestyle and circumstances. We know — or at least have been told — that life insurance is important, and that part of responsible #adulting is getting the proper amount of insurance coverage.


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