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Yes, introduce “no-fault” compensation

POSTED BY CBT Team ON 09 October 2014

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I wish to commend the Malaysian Medical Association for proposing “no-fault” compensation in clinical negligence or medical mishap.

It should also be extended to road accident victims as the “Act Cover” has not been effective as envisaged.

The law may have made it compulsory for all motor vehicles to be insured for third party injuries, and all buses and taxis covered for legal liability to passengers.

But many vehicles and motorcycles are without insurance, and insurers would repudiate claims when drivers are found to be without valid licences; driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol; their vehicles not in roadworthy condition; or naively admitting fault after an accident.

While cover is unlimited for death or bodily injury seems fair, making liability claims had turned out to be cold-heartedly cruel to many victims and their families.

Unlike personal accident insurance which covers and pays out a specific sum without having to establish fault, victims have to sue insurance companies for liability claims by proving their insured were at fault, and justifying the amount asked for compensation.

However, insurance companies are guided by profits, not morals, and would only pay liability claims when compelled by the courts.

A tour bus driver related to me that he was at fault in a fatal road accident and had attended court whenever his case came up for mention.

Initially, the widow brought along her young children in tow. As the case was repeatedly postponed over the years, the infant and toddlers have grown into school-going children.

Sadly, the case was eventually dismissed for a technical reason, dealing a cruel blow to the widow. Some compensation would have gone a long way to help raise her children.

YS Chan
Kuala Lumpur

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