A friend of mine was recently hit by a van as she was crossing the street. She was on a crosswalk, the light to cross was green; since it happened in front of a policeman, there is no doubt that she was not at fault. The driver of the van also stopped and admitted that he was at fault.
My friend is now laid up in the hospital, and looking at six months rehabilitation to be able to walk. Her otherwise well-paying job here pays nothing while she recuperates, apart from National Health Insurance coverage.
Her boss is visiting her in the hospital and helping her to communicate with the police and the driver of the van. We foreigners were expecting that since car insurance is now mandatory, the car insurance should pay provide her with some compensation ( thinking the one-to-one haggling over fender benders and scratches you might see on the roadside is just to avoid raising premiums by reporting minor incidents).
However, according to her boss, and the other Taiwanese involved in this, in Taiwan, auto insurance will only cover immediate medical bills. This raises a question–of what use is auto insurance in this case if it only replicates what is paid by National Health Insurance?
As far as out-of-pocket compensation from the driver, after a little discussion with my friend’s boss, the driver said he would pay for some medical expenses, such as the leg brace and walker, but said he doesn’t have much money because he has two kids in college to support, and offered $NT 20,000. Her boss seems to have the attitude of “this is the way things are. Maybe we’ll negotiate and get $30 or $40.” My friend most definitely does not have any interest in the “sue him for what he’s worth” approach. However, she is losing her salary, and in a worst-case scenario, may even have to give up her job and return to her country; not to mention needing to go through rehab therapy.
My friend doesn’t want any more than enough compensation to cover her living, travel, and medical until she’s recovered. She appreciates the honesty of the driver, and doesn’t want to make life any more difficult for him. It is just that we are dumbfounded at what we are being told about accident compensation in this country. It sounds very primitive, and we could believe that face-to-face, out of pocket compensation is the way compensation is normally taken care of, but find it hard to believe it is the only way to take care of it. Essentially, this would mean that if you are run over by someone who is happens to be unemployed, you get nothing, but might get more if your car is scratched by a rich guy.
I hope someone knows of more options than we have found so far!
Thanks in advance for any info. or similar experiences you can share.
(Sorry if there is a similar topic archived–I couldn’t access the past topics this morning.)