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Assessment of damages
Parties may have to proceed for an assessment of damages in cases where judgment is granted on liability but not on the amount of money to be awarded.
This page is for matters that the Rules of Court 2014 apply to. For content relating to matters that the Rules of Court 2021 apply, click here.
If you are uncertain as to which version of the Rules of Court applies to your matter, click here.
About assessment of damages
For certain cases such as personal injury claims, a judge may grant judgment on which party is liable but not on the quantum of damages (precise amount of money) to be awarded to the winning party.
This amount of money to be awarded may be assessed by the court at an assessment of damages hearing conducted by a registrar or a judge at a later date.
File a summons for directions
If you are the party entitled to the benefit of the judgment (the plaintiff), you will have to file a summons for directions within 1 month from the date the judgment was granted.
Refer to the following to find out the steps to take for filing a summons for directions, depending on which court the case is heard.
In general, the summons for directions hearing is conducted asynchronously. This means the court may proceed to make orders or issue directions to parties based on the documents filed without the attendance of the parties unless the court directs otherwise.
The court may consider the appropriate orders or directions after the summons for directions is filed. This may include, but not limited to, the following:
Give directions for the filing and exchange of all affidavits of evidence-in-chief (AEICs) and expert reports which parties intend to rely on at the assessment of damages hearing.
AEICs are the affidavits by each party and the party's witnesses stating evidence to support the party's case. A party or witness may not be allowed by the court to give evidence at the assessment of damages hearing if their AEIC has not been exchanged.
Give directions on the discovery and inspection of documents.
Give directions as to the time by which you should file a Notice of Appointment for Assessment of Damages (NOAD).
In general, you will have to file the NOAD within 6 months of the date of judgment.
The NOAD will only be accepted by the court if all AEICs and expert reports have been duly exchanged.
(For District Court and Magistrate's Court cases) All parties have to complete and file the Checklist for Pre-Assessment of Damages ADR Conferences (Form 9L, State Courts Practice Directions) as a supporting document to the NOAD.
You should serve the NOAD on the party the judgment was made against (the defendant) within 7 days from the date the NOAD is filed.
Make other necessary or appropriate orders.
Pre-assessment of damages conference
In general, the court will arrange for the parties to attend pre-assessment of damages conferences after the NOAD is filed.
There are 3 types of pre-assessment of damages conferences parties may attend, depending on the nature of the case.
Type of pre-assessment of damages conference
Cases which it applies to
Assessment of Damages Court Dispute Resolution Conference (ADCDR)
All personal injury cases (excluding medical negligence cases) filed in the Magistrate's Court or District Court.
Non-injury motor accident (NIMA) matters, where the amount claimed by the plaintiff is below $250,000.
Assessment of Damages Case Management Conference (AD-CMC)
All other civil matters filed in the Magistrate's Court.
Assessment of Damages Pre-Trial Conferences (AD-PTC)
All other civil matters filed in or transferred to the District Court.
All other civil matters filed in the General Division of the High Court.
Personal injury (including motor accident or personal injury motor accident cases) and NIMA cases, where the amount claimed by a plaintiff is above the sum of $250,000.
At the pre-assessment of damages conference, the court may schedule a date for the matter to be heard at an assessment of damages hearing.
Pre-assessment of damages conferences are conducted asynchronously for District Court and Magistrate's Court cases.
Parties will present evidence at the assessment of damages hearing to assist the court in determining the appropriate quantum of damages to be awarded.
Examples of evidence that may be presented during the hearing include testimony from the injured party or medical reports from the injured party's expert witness.
The assessment of damages hearing will generally follow a similar order of proceedings as a civil trial. After each party has presented the party's case, the court may order the defendant to pay the plaintiff the amount of damages that the court has decided to award the plaintiff.
The information here is for general guidance as
the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.