Compensation for traffic accident

My wife was in a traffic accident a couple of weeks ago and I am wondering what level of compensation we could ask for and what we could expect to get.

My wife (riding a scooter) took off from a light that had just turned green and was hit by a car that came through the red light.
(My wife saw the car slowing down for the red light and as that was the only approaching car she felt safe to go immediately when her light turned green)

She suffered lower back (spinal) injury.
The doctor at the hospital signed a certificate for a month off of work.

My wife was taken to hospital in an ambulance, and the police attended the scene and took photos, measurements and statements.

We met to talk about compensation with the lady driving the car (who apart from spending some time at the hospital immediately after the accident had not been in contact with us - none of the customary fruit!) and a guy from her insurance company (third party).

It was really a little early to meet with them as everything has not been finalised, but we don’t really understand the system here.

Anyway, the insurance guy said that there were no witnesses (none that stopped anyway) and no cameras, and said that it was just my wife’s word against the lady’s word. (which kind of infuriated me because I thought the guilt was already established, but apparantly the lady told the police that her light was green, even though she told my wife that she didn’t see the light.)

I told the insurance guy (who went into some prattle I didn’t fully understand about he was the guy who was going to decide how much compensation we would get and that we couldn’t prove the lady was at fault) that if he would agree to pay for medical fees/medicine, scooter repairs, taxi fares (my wife can’t sit, so she can’t ride a scooter until she is better), and for loss of income that we could settle there and then. (This would amount to $70,000 - 100,000)

He continued to prattle on about this and that - generally just upsetting my wife and making me angry. So I told him the terms we were willing to settle on and that if we didn’t settle on that day and he continued to make trouble for us and we had to work hard to get compensation out of him that I would get legal advice (and add that to the claim) as well as ask for hardship money for both me and my wife, emotional compensation for my wife - and pretty well what ever else I could think of.

He continued with his intimidation tactics and said our proof of income wasn’t official enough.

I told him that we would get something more official, but would he agree to compensate.

In short he told us to get something more official and then we could talk about it.

So I gathered our documents and told him we would contact him with a considerably higher claim when my wife was back to work and we left.

The lady came and visited us later that morning and apologised for how the guy had talked to us (although she is not admitting fault it is clear she knows she is at fault and she is feeling guilty - but still lying). She told us that after the meeting the guy was going on about how my wife wasn’t really badly injured and that as a teacher she only needs to talk and could go back to work if she wants, but that she just doesn’t want to.

I felt that we offered an extremely light package for him to take and he was just being a bit of a :loco:

What I need to know now, before we go and sink ourselves into legal fees, is what kind of compensation could we ask for and how much could we reasonably ask for. Back in a western country I am sure we could after all the shouting get a minimum of about $1,000,000 NT (the injury has had my wife confined to bed for 10 days, she can get up now but is still in constant pain and has difficulty even walking, and it is one of those injuries that is going to trouble you for the rest of your life)

Spouse’s hardship?
Legal fees?
Anything else???

In the first instance, we would like to get the appropriate level of compensation.
In the second instance, I would like to send a strong message to the insurance guy that he should have taken our more than reasonable offer in the first place and not put my wife through all the added trauma! :fume:

Also, does anyone know a good lawyer in Taichung for this kind of thing who can speak English, and could we add the legal fees into the compensation claim?

Many thanks in advance.


Are you on good terms with your boss or is your wife on good terms with her boss?

I’ve noticed owners of buxibans tend to have lawyer friends, so maybe they could help you out as well.

I also found this on the web:

Maybe you could do a consulting meeting with him/her to find out more:

*Li Ming Hai
2F-1, No 103, San Min Rd Sec 1, Taichung
Tel: 04 2375 6955
Mobile: 0920 770 081

Areas of practice: Civil/Criminal Law, Insurance cases, traffic accident cases

Thanks for the suggestions.

And thanks for the lawyer link. You said you found this one on the web. You don’t happen to know anyone who has experience with them?

[quote=“Ditch”]Thanks for the suggestions.

And thanks for the lawyer link. You said you found this one on the web. You don’t happen to know anyone who has experience with them?[/quote]

No, but it was on the British Trade Office’s website (whatever you guys call it–I’m not British so I’ve long forgotten)…

I wish your wife a speedy recovery. And if possible no more moto riding for her (nor for you). I simply am too scared to ride any two wheeler in Taiwan period.

IN any event seek legal counsel.

would you feel better just blowing up her apartment block*, or do you really need the money? you could do both, of course, but you’d have to wait for the money first.

  • not that i am actually suggesting that, of course.

You’ll have an extremely hard time getting compensation for anything that isn’t immediately tangible and officially documented… Emotional stress, hardship, pain & suffering etc are not provided for under Taiwanese law or at least, the way the law is implemented in traffic accident cases… Traffic cases are regarded in an extremely trivial light by Taiwan courts since they are so common and the priority is always to “make it go away” so even in cases with serious injuries, the courts will sometimes send the involved parties away to reach a private settlement… Medical bills, vehicle damage and loss of income is the best you could hope for and that’s only if you can legally establish 100% culpability for the woman who hit your wife… A friend of mine was hit from behind in broad daylight by an unlicensed ex-con who was drunk at almost twice the limit, the accident was witnessed by scores of people and immaculate police reports were made by several witnesses to the effect that the drunk driving con was 100% to blame… The injuries my friend sustained put him in the ICU for several days with life threatening injuries and in hospital for much longer… I was involved as a witness to the crash and as a translator throughout the follow up process and after protracted legal shenanigans and mediations in the end the “compensation” my friend received was a bad joke… His medical/hospital costs were excluded since he had a national insurance card which covered the bulk of medical costs, lost income was granted as per the proof of taxable income provided by his employer for the 60 days that the doctor said he couldn’t work and he got less than half the cost of replacing his bike which was totaled in the crash (it was an expensive bike)… All this to be paid in tiny monthly installments that he now has to fight tooth and nail to receive, and the total he was ‘awarded’ will almost certainly never be paid off in full… Bear in mind that he had the most water tight case anyone could hope to have…

Your biggest headache by far is your inability to prove guilt… As far as the courts are concerned, and even for out of court mediation, if it’s not in the initial police statements taken after the crash it did not happen… So anything the woman said to your wife after the crash is irrelevant, it’s her word against your wife’s now… This will hold true no matter how far up the legal system you take this and unsurprisingly it sounds like the driver and her insurance guy knows this all too well… Despite how flat out wrong it may seem to any of us from a “how this would play out back home” perspective, what the insurance guy was saying to you during your first meeting is pretty much accurate and your initial ‘low ball’ request may now effectively be “on the record” as the first offer and as such the upper limit, which will certainly be bargained down…

IMO your best bet is to forget lawyers because nothing a lawyer can do or say will change the way the Taiwanese legal system processes this kind of case and it’s the system itself that’s broken… You should also consider that from first hand experience after my mate’s crash, and also that foreigner in HuaLian who was successfully sued for verbally telling off a local woman in public, in Taiwan courts, especially those outside Taipei, impartiality goes right out the window in foreigner vs local cases (you don’t mention is your wife is Taiwanese or not)… Rather save your money and apply for a hearing with the dispute resolution and arbitration council or whatever it’s called… The Taichung offices are on the corner of ChongDe Road (崇德路) and SongZhu Road (松竹路)… It’s free and once you make the application the other party has to participate in the mediation, but the finding/ruling/agreement is not legally binding… It’s basically a quasi-court of sorts for resolution and arbitration of disputes that are not full blown legal proceedings… A mediator is assigned who helps hammer out compensation claims between two parties for the kinds of cases the courts couldn’t be bothered with…

In terms of what you could hope to claim, I assume your wife has jian-bao insurance through her employer and as such medical costs will likely not be taken into account other than perhaps the deductibles… To be considered you’ll have to provide proof in the form of hospital issued stamped and chopped records of directly related medical expenses not covered by insurance… You can also claim lost income for the period your wife can’t work but only for the 30 days the doctor signed her off for after the accident and only in the amount of her officially taxed and declared income as provided by her employer… Costs to repair the vehicle will have to be provided, again a stamped and chopped quote from a repair shop will be necessary… In the end if you can get whatever documented amount medical insurance didn’t cover, 1 months salary and whatever it costs to repair the damage to her bike, you’ll be doing very well… You won’t get anything like a million, more likely well under NT$100k and again unless you can prove 100% responsibility, potentially far less than that…

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, good luck and I hope your wife makes a full and speedy recovery…

You won’t get a million so don’t even consider that. Insurance companies don’t recognize emotional hardship here. They just have no way to calculate it. I went through a bad accident 3 years ago and can concur with what plasmatron is saying. You will be lucky to get medical, vehicle damage, and possibly lost wages.

Most Taiwanese will ask the driver of the car to pay extra compensation above what the insurance paid. But if she is denying it was her fault and she didn’t sign a police statement to the effect that she is to blame then you are going to have a very hard time getting anything out of her.

I wish you the best.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply.

I was never expecting to get a figure anywhere like home. I know things just don’t work here the same. And that’s why I really don’t know what to expect with it all. I was kind of hoping to stick it to the insurance guy though :raspberry:

Thanks for the well wishes. My wife (who is Taiwanese BTW) is recovery steadily (and I would even say speedily).

Really sorry to hear about your friend Plasmatron. The fact that it is so on going makes the pill even more bitter. I hope he recovered well from his injuries.

Far from being the bearer of bad news, I appreciate knowing what to expect (or in this case what not to expect).

Uradacus - I would need to blow up the insurance guys apartment too (or should I just leave him to torment his family?) or if I get them both together I could save some money on explosives. Not that you were recommending that anyway. :neutral:

Thanks once again everyone.

Not at all, dear fellow!

I was simply saying that you’re not going to get much money in any event, either with or without a successful legal case, and perhaps a little revenge taken in some other way may be all the closure you’re going to get out of this.

Unfortunately many of the previous posters have been through this themselves, and have been kind enough to pass their accumulated wisdom along. Not that that relieves the pain, cost and inconvenience of yet another example of local driving standards, or lack of them.

Welcome to Taiwan. Have a nice day!

I could think of a few suggestions, but none of them legal. Taiwan isn’t developed enough yet to cope with situations such as yours, step in the suits with sandals.
I’ve had the same experience albeit without any personal injury. Taiwanese never own up in my book, so you have to take things into your own hands.

A little it of good news for those who care.

My wife was paid full compensation! :bravo:

Doctors fees not covered under ins., taxi fees, cushions for her butt, medicines, scooter repair, lost wages, and whatever else we claimed. (but only things we could show a receipt for)

Of course she is still very sore, and will probably get worse with time, unless we can find someone who is good with that sort of thing (tail-bone).

The lady mentioned something about someone she knows who had a similar injury and I think she realised that she had inflicted that on on my wife. She seemed genuinely sorry, and her insurance coughed up.

There are obviously some with consciences out there.

I wish everyone could have such a satisfying outcome.

Thanks for all your thoughts.

I wish your wife a complete and full recovery. And please see if you can keep her off the moto if possible. I personally dont recommend moto riding in Taiwan.

best wishes

[quote=“Ditch”]My wife was in a traffic accident a couple of weeks ago and I am wondering what level of compensation we could ask for and what we could expect to get. Anyway, the insurance guy said that there were no witnesses (none that stopped anyway) and no cameras, and said that it was just my wife’s word against the lady’s word.

I felt that we offered an extremely light package for him to take and he was just being a bit of a :loco: In the second instance, I would like to send a strong message to the insurance guy that he should have taken our more than reasonable offer in the first place and not put my wife through all the added trauma! :fume: Ditch[/quote]

Well Dithc the guy is just doing his job which is to offer the minimal that the insureance company thinks is an appropirate first offer. It’s a barganing system and happens in every country.

Secondly if there are no witnesses and no cameras to back up your wife then yes proving fault will be very difficult. You should survey around and see how many cameras around that area focus on the intersection.

Compensation here does not work the same way as it does in your home country.

Erm. Read his last post. Paid in full. Complete success.

See, it does work differently.


Good news yes I did miss that. I guess the other party finally admitted their completey being in the wrong and having gon through a red light.

It seems we tapped into the conscience somehow.
It was nice she came through for us.

I think laws on compensation are changing in Taiwan though.
slowly, but I think they are changing.

I wish the same satisfaction to everyone fighting similar cases.