State Courts to hear accident claims for up to $500,000

Starting next month, the State Courts' jurisdiction to hear claims involving road traffic accidents and personal injuries resulting from industrial accidents will be raised from $250,000 to $500,000.

The change is in line with plans to increase the civil district courts' monetary jurisdictional limit in phases, as announced by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon at the 2016 State Courts Workplan, said the State Courts and Supreme Court in a statement yesterday.

Parties seeking claims of between $250,000 and $500,000 arising from such cases will continue to file their action in the High Court.

But these cases will then be transferred automatically to the State Courts' civil district courts, and they will follow the same processes currently applicable to district court cases of the same nature.

The move is expected cut costs for litigants.

Said Lee Shergill LLP lawyer Chia Aileen: "The advantage of transferring such cases to the State Courts lies in substantial savings on filing fees without necessarily compromising on the quality of the adjudication process as the district judges are also considerably experienced in these matters.

"Moreover, claimants can avail themselves of the court dispute-resolution processes where the court mediates liability and amount separately," she added.

K. C. Vijayan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 26, 2016, with the headline 'State Courts to hear accident claims for up to $500,000'. Print Edition | Subscribe