"Fair" compensation?

Hi!

I was recently involved in a small accident - Driving my car at 2 ~ 5kph, turning right into AnHe, and there was a “scooter encounter”.

Acording to me, the guy - +/- 50yo Taiwanese with his wife as a pasenger - was coming from nowhere (behind a cab parked on the side, in fact), the way Taiwanese drive, and did hit the front / right of my car. According to him - and (surprisingly?) the police report, I did not give way and hit him.

Anyway, shits happen.

The guy’s fine, the scooter’s fine, but the wife has a broken ankle, which I do feel sorry for.

My insurance is paying for all his medical expenses (screws in the ankle), but he’s now asking me for 200k NT compensation for “moral stress”, “loss of income”, and I don’t remember exactly what.

I’m trying to review the options I have here, and would really appreciate your advice on the matter.

I have

1 - Pay the 200k (errr… No.)
2 - Send him some mafia negociators (I do know very good ones)
3 - Go for the law suit stuff (could end up much more troublesome and expensive)
4 - Negociate a “fair” compensation (How much is that?!?)
5 - ??? Suggestions welcome…

Thanks a lot!

Cheers.

If you don’t want to be further involved with what sounds like its shaping up to be a “professional litigant” case (all too common here, specially since you didn’t scream and fight about the medical expenses – that means to him that you much be rich) I’d ask your mafia friends to get involved. At least they could help negotiate “fair” compensation.

Hi Sandman

I did not scream for the Medical expenses because I totally separated that from the rest - Quite logically. BTW, my insurances does, too, since it’s only paying for this, and not for the surrounding BS.

Any idea about what risk I take with a nice “OK, fucker, sue me if you like…” kind of answer?

Cheers

I think it has ben mentioned befour that the police report is just a sugestion or whatever. You don’t have to agree with it.

Like they could be experts in annything annyway.

Tell him you got a friend that make concrete boots for a low price.

Call his bluff. Go for No. 3. I’ve done that before, and he soon backed down.

He stands to make NT$200,000 if he’s lucky (very lucky), but it’s gonna cost him at least NT$50,000 to sue you. Would you take that gamble on such a weak case? I wouldn’t; I’ll keep my 50k, thanks very much.

unfortunately, from the way I read it - while you may have been in the right, and driving safely… Good Luck~

In the eyes of the police:
Also, this is an old taiwanese man~ whom youngsters are taught to respect. An old man couldn’t do any wrong, could he?
Plus, he has a witness… do you?

In my eyes, the dent on the car should be fairly clear as to who hit who~ and have you checked if there are any traffic cameras watching over that point?

Thanks for your comments and suggestions.

Indeed, I’m a young foreigner in a car, and he’s a old taiwanese on a scooter - You don’t need to know more to decide who’s wrong in the case…

The dent does not say much, it’s just at the right front angle, and there’s no camera around. As a withness he has his wife, and I had two american colleagues in the car - One living in Austin, the other one in Boston. That won’t help too much I guess.

I guess that going to trial will cost me an eye, so I need to go for some nego rounds with the guy - But I’ve no idea on what would be a “standard” compensation. If such thing exists…

Cheers

Leviathan22 -
My 2 cents is you shouldn’t give the old scam artist a darn cent.
This will continue the precedent as these yokel dirt monkeys viewing every waiguo as an easy mark for their “retirement” fund.

No money for extortion in my view. Bad precedent.

Don’t give them any money. You already have insurance doing what they are supposed to do and you can contest the details of the accident. If you offer to pay them out they may take this as a sign that you feel you are in the wrong and keep coming back for more. If you do feel like giving them money, at least hire a lawyer that will make them sign a contract that states that this will be it, so they can’t come back for more.

If you aren’t in the wrong, you aren’t in the wrong.

Nope. HE’S the one who has to pay if he wants to sue your for more money. Doesn’t matter what the police think. It’s up to the judge to decide, and he’s quite likely to a dim view of you being gouged further after the insurance has already paid the hospital bills. Don’t give him anything. DO NOT believe the police. It is NOT THEY who decide. Don’t waste time negotiating. Just tell them you’re happy to pay their medical bills and if they want more, they should contact your lawyer.

Hi guys

Thanks again. I feel a bit better reading your msg - I’ll sit down and talk to the guys trying to figure out what he really hopes for. I don’t mind closing the stuff for 20 ~ 50k and sleep well after that, rather than having a lawsuit pending and dragging for the next two years, frankly speaking.

But the 200k piss me off, and then I tend to become more stupid and stubborn than I’m already - if its’ possible.

Will let you know and ask again for expertise once I meet the folk.

Cheers

after Capt Stag’s accident and the follow up negotiations, I’ve got first hand experience on this kind of situation albeit in reverse…

Issues:
1.The content of the statements and police report is gospel. All legal and compensation related arbitration will be based on the content of both your statements and the police report and nothing else.

  1. If you haven’t made a statement, insist the police allow you to make one as an involved party and make sure you put every conceivable detail that is in your favour and none that are against you, but be factual and impartial. Mudslinging in the statement will get you nowhere and most likely come back to bite you in the arse in court/settlement. Make sure photos of where the scooter impacted your car are included.

  2. Find out if in his statement he noted that he is going to sue you. If not, the clock is not ticking and you have no worries so far. He can sue you at any stage for the next 6 months though, so be aware of that.

  3. If he going to sue you, insist that both parties appear before the 地檢署 a kind of pre court preliminary hearing where the facts are assesed and the likely division of fault/blame is established. A committe will process the results and transcripts of this hearing and in a few weeks issue a preliminary finding on the case. This is a good yard stick for how a court case would likely proceed.

  4. If he is going to sue you, then a settlment will be necessary if you want to avoid drawn out time wasting court proceedings that may clear your name, but may damn you, more likely the latter… Base the likelyhood of the outcome on the content of the statements and reports and the results of the preliminary hearing.

  5. If a settlement becomes necessary, set up an appointment with the 調解委員會 settlement arbitration comittee in your area. There is one for every 里 “li” so find out your closest one, make an appointment and they will inform the other party. once you apply both parties must appear before this arbitration comittee and cannot opt to avoid this step. A civil servant will mediate the settlement discussions, and a result if more likely than private meetings. This is a free service and by far your best shot a fair settlement.

  6. If it comes down to haggling for a settlement figure, anything that is not on paper is non existant. If their innitial claim is 200k immediately subtract the cost of the medical bills your insurance is covering. Demand a breakdown of specifically what they are claiming for to arrive at a 200k total, write off all and any frivalous components to the claim. If they are claiming missed time from work, demand to see a doctor’s note dated around the time of the accident that specifically notes how much time off work, not recouperation time, time off work. Accept no after the fact later add on’s from 3rd party doctors. Demand to see a contract or proof of income to ascertain how much monthly income she really has and make the calulations according to the proof of income and doctor’s leave from the medical report. After all these deductions, roughly 25% of the remaining total should be your worst case scenario for settlement, after protracted negotiations, if it comes to that…

I’ll add more as I think of it… got to go now…

excellent posting by plasmatron already.

just to add my two cents. Dont worry bout going to court. Its all very straightforward and the judge will decide who gets what. End of story. If you cant agree and have it all legally binding on a settlement, then go to court. Its easy and done every day in taiwan.

Is this what they call the “arbitration”? A friend of mine got hit side-on by a drunk old man who ran a red light over the speed limit, and ended up having to pay the guy NT$8,000 at the arbitration because, in their words, “he was an old man”. It never got as far as court – though in my opinion he should have refused point blank to pay a single cent until a court ordered him to so do.

Then again, the old guy had much worse than a broken ankle. NT$200,000 seems wildly implausible.

Hi

Thanks a lot Plasmatron for your very detailed answer - BTW, I’m a great fan of Il Dottore too… Reminds me of my old days on the vicious TLS and the legendary RG.

Well, that’s not the subject unfortunately.

I had a friend to call the guy today, and I got a bit more details on his mindset / claims.

Basically, I received a first letter just after the accident, where the guy was claiming for:

  • 120k NT of Medical expenses, half having occured, and the other half expected to occur (removing screws)
  • 200k NT of “loss of income”.
    On the later : He and his wife are having their own business (a book shop in Ren Ai). He ends up at 200k with 2 months x 2 when his wife cannot work, and the same time when he needs to attend to here. At 25k / month / person, that makes a 200k.
    Then he explained that since he was a nice person and does not want to bother me, he’s cutting half of that, and rounding the all stuff to 200k.

Last week I had a second letter, after my insurance paid him 30k for Medical expense, on the quite sound basis that out of the 120k he’s claiming, only 60k where actually paid, and out of these 60k, 30k were already covered by NHI.

So he remodel a bit his claim, adding pain / suffering / moral stress / … for 100k, that he’s cutting (remember, he’s a nice guy) to 70k.

Plus the loss of income at 100k, we’re at 170k. Plus what the insurance has paid, we’re at the magical 200k he’s shooting for.

I plan “award” him a global 100k, minus 30k already paid by the insurance, minus 30k which will be paid by the insurance, that’s 40k, which I round up at 50k - I’m a nice guy too, after all.

Which ends up as the 25% you were mentionning…

Regarding the accident itself, and the police report:

  • I’m wrong, big time, as per the statements made on the spot. Now, there are a few details which do not appear in this. Like a taxi stopped in the traffic, like works in progress on AnHe at this time, and a few other stuff which would make me way less wrong. Let’s say a 50-50, assuming the scooter was not doing a u-turn or something like that (which I do not know, I noticed him after the shock).

My plan is to go to the Local commitee on friday morning, ask their advice. Then to the guy on Sunday - I settled an appointment and will be helped by one of the fiercest negociator I know here: A lady buyer working for one of my Customers…

Then we’ll see. Drag and drag, buy time, let it rot slowly. I don’t know if court proceedings / judgements / appeals / … take as much time here as in Europe, but if it’s the case, the guy won’t see a penny - I’ll have left TWN for a while before the final decision.

Make sense?!?

Thanks again for your help and advice. Really appreciate it.

Cheers

Is this what they call the “arbitration”? A friend of mine got hit side-on by a drunk old man who ran a red light over the speed limit, and ended up having to pay the guy NT$8,000 at the arbitration because, in their words, “he was an old man”. It never got as far as court – though in my opinion he should have refused point blank to pay a single cent until a court ordered him to so do. Then again, the old guy had much worse than a broken ankle. NT$200,000 seems wildly implausible.[/quote]

yep, you are right… from the moment of impact onwards absolutely nothing is binding other than the words of of a judge, spoken as a final verdict in a proper court of law… All this preliminary 地檢署 stage yields is opinions, none of them mean a damn thing other than as a rough yard stick for an actual trial… Same goes for the arbitration commitee, they will try and push for a settlement but neither party is obliged to accept their suggestions regardless… a proper trial can be insisted upon by either side… perhaps the most important part of these preliminary phases is to get yourself “on the record” as being earnest and willing to work out a fair solution… any hotheadedness and mudslinging in the early stages will have you tarred as a trouble maker and sink your chances once a judge reads the case, on the other hand, visiting the injured party, a box of fruit here and there and some “concern” for their recovery and you will come out smelling like roses… It’s a shitty game and the rules are arsebackwards by any logical throw of the stick, but they’re the rules you’ve got to play by if you want to win the game…

[quote=“Leviathan22”]Basically, I received a first letter just after the accident, where the guy was claiming for:

  • 120k NT of Medical expenses, half having occured, and the other half expected to occur (removing screws)
  • 200k NT of “loss of income”.
    On the later : He and his wife are having their own business (a book shop in Ren’ai). He ends up at 200k with 2 months x 2 when his wife cannot work, and the same time when he needs to attend to here. At 25k / month / person, that makes a 200k.
    Then he explained that since he was a nice person and does not want to bother me, he’s cutting half of that, and rounding the all stuff to 200k.

Last week I had a second letter, after my insurance paid him 30k for Medical expense, on the quite sound basis that out of the 120k he’s claiming, only 60k where actually paid, and out of these 60k, 30k were already covered by NHI. So he remodel a bit his claim, adding pain / suffering / moral stress / … for 100k, that he’s cutting (remember, he’s a nice guy) to 70k. Plus the loss of income at 100k, we’re at 170k. Plus what the insurance has paid, we’re at the magical 200k he’s shooting for.

I plan “award” him a global 100k, minus 30k already paid by the insurance, minus 30k which will be paid by the insurance, that’s 40k, which I round up at 50k - I’m a nice guy too, after all. Which ends up as the 25% you were mentionning… [/quote]

firstly you should tell them that they should wait until all related medical bills are finalised and then claim once from your insurance for the full total… neither you nor your 3rd party insurance is repsonsible for anything but the actual dollar figure they pay over and above the National Health Insurance cover they automatically have… The medical figures they are talking are not what they are actually paying, toss the difference out of the equation with impunity… Any component of the claim that isn’t in black and white on an offically issued and stamped document does not exist…

secondly unless they can provide documented proof of income/profit from their bookshop for the last several months (plus the doctor’s note specifically saying how many weeks off work,and every preliminary hearing / arbitration offical will demand to they provide this documentation) their claims for loss of income are meaningless so bring this up, or at least remember to keep this in your back pocket for when negotiation time rolls around, no need to play all your cards too early in the game…

Lastly there is no such thing as pain and suffering under Taiwanese law, at least not in these kind of minor traffic accident cases… There is personal injury, loss of income and damage to property, that’s it… They just think they can get away with it because you are a foreigner… what he is doing is “padding his claim” make sure you call them on this and emphasise that you are more than willing to reach a fair compensation agreement, but that you feel trying to gouge you by padding the bill is a shot below the belt and you feel a judge would likely take the same dim view… If it gets as far as a arbitrator let alone a judge, they will toss these “pain and suffering” components of their claim out the window, as long as you tactfully show them up for being cheap shots… In a way it’s an advatage to you that they are trying to screw you, and it may come in handy as long as you keep playing the “genuinely concerned, but letter of the law only” game…

After considering what you’ve mentioned I would just make sure you get on the record as being a genuine, concerned, generally upstanding guy who’s willing to reach a fair compromise to negate any knee jerk anti-foreigner sentiment from judges/arbitrators… Then go through such motions as are necessary to make it clear that you’ve made a sincere and genuine attempt to reach a settlement, but if there’s even a fraction of the amount they’re asking for still on the table at the end of it all, then like Tommy525 said above, have no concerns about saying to them in sugary sweet tones, “oh well, we really tried, looks like we’re going to court, pity…” a judge’s decision is extremely unlikely to be any worse than the settlement currently on the table and it’s more than likely that they’ll just back down…

Based on my experience I think the best thing foreigners can do in these situations isn’t the beligerant “you won’t get a dime outta me!.. I won’t be scammed…” hard man approach… but rather the calm, collected and savvy to the law approach to beat them at their own game… they think foreigners are a soft target since the law protects Taiwanese first, and it’s true to a degree but if you play your cards right, you can beat them at their own game on their own turf, and that puts the word out that foreigners aren’t a soft target, much better than the beligerant big nose approach IMO…

A small update.

I went on friday morning to the Da An district committee (or whatever is the name of this stuff) with a friend to get a piece of advice.

Very nice lady (working part-time in a law firm, good place to get customers) welcoming us, listening to the case, advising to try to settle the mattr with the guy in the committee.

Interestingly enough, she was not positive about reaching an agreement, and advised me to visit the guy to pay my respects and offer a compensation, but then go to court if he wanted to - And not being afraid of it, the guy apparently made it too obvious that he wanted 200k. Semms that the judges would dislike that.

Cool.

I’ll bring some fruits and a settlement offer to the guy tomorrow - If he does not take it, so be it, we’ll go fr at least one year of proceedings / trial / appeal / …

Will let you know how it goes!

Cheers

[quote=“Leviathan22”]A small update.

I went on friday morning to the Da’an district committee (or whatever is the name of this stuff) with a friend to get a piece of advice.

Very nice lady (working part-time in a law firm, good place to get customers) welcoming us, listening to the case, advising to try to settle the mattr with the guy in the committee.

Interestingly enough, she was not positive about reaching an agreement, and advised me to visit the guy to pay my respects and offer a compensation, but then go to court if he wanted to - And not being afraid of it, the guy apparently made it too obvious that he wanted 200k. Semms that the judges would dislike that.

Cool.

I’ll bring some fruits and a settlement offer to the guy tomorrow - If he does not take it, so be it, we’ll go fr at least one year of proceedings / trial / appeal / …

Will let you know how it goes!

Cheers[/quote]

Please, please keep us updated on this. Every bit of information on how thinks work on the real world will help others if they get into similar situations. I think you’ve been cool-headed and more than fair about the whole thing which I have to admit is more than I would have managed. Plasmatron’s advice is the best to follow from here. You’ve already shown a good chunk of genuine remorse and willingness to be helpful, so like Plasmatron said, make sure all this gets on record and watch this old bugger’s ship sink by his own cannon. Good luck!

yes i’m following this keenly too!
still think of working that helmet camera into my “budget”.
of course if you’re in a heap on the tarmac someone could just take
the camera. and if Mordeth (god bless him) goes face first,
he’ll be using plastic for teeth!

  but i just had to say that

“and watch this old bugger’s ship sink by his own cannon”
is a nice play on “hoist by his own petard”.

[quote=“old canuck”]yes i’m following this keenly too!
still think of working that helmet camera into my “budget”.
of course if you’re in a heap on the tarmac someone could just take
the camera. and if Mordeth (god bless him) goes face first,
he’ll be using plastic for teeth!

  but i just had to say that

“and watch this old bugger’s ship sink by his own cannon”
is a nice play on “hoist by his own petard”.[/quote]

I have a camera setup that cost about NT$5,500, mounts on my car or bike and has saved my ass three times already. It’s not obviously a camera so I think in the heat of an accident it wouldn’t be noticed as such, plus it uses SD cards so any video is unlikely to be damaged in an accident.

Since the camera has been rolling I have had one guy on a scooter hit my car and a woman drive into me. Both were their fault, both were a product of complete stupidity and both tried to blame me. Pretty remarkable considering in the latter case I was completely stationary. My scooter guy ended up getting sorted out without footage but the woman was hilarious. I’ve never seen someone go from loud-mouthed-money-grabbing-bitch to pai-sei-pai-sei-how-much-do-want-ass-kisser so quickly as when I pointed out the camera. I also had a cop claim that I turned left on a red light and my Smug Factor went through the roof as I said, ‘oh really? …’ If you can afford it at all, get a camera… they’re so worth it!