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This page is for matters that the Rules of Court 2021 apply to. For content relating to matters that the Rules of Court 2014 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 an application for directions

If you are the party entitled to the benefit of the judgment (the claimant), you will have to file an application 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 an applicationfor directions, depending on which court the case is heard.

An Assessment of Damages Case Conference (“Assessment CC”) will be fixed around 7 weeks after the date judgment is entered. An Assessment CC Notice will be issued to the claimant and any party against whom judgment has been entered (if that party has filed a notice of intention to contest) notifying parties of the date of the Assessment CC, and directing parties to file the necessary documents and take the necessary steps to move the matter towards settlement or an Assessment of Damages hearing.

In general, the Assessment CC is conducted on a documents-only basis. 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.

You should prepare the application for directions in the form of a summons in accordance with Form 1 of Appendix A2 to the State Courts Practice Directions 2021

You should prepare the application for directions in the form of a summons in accordance with Form 1 of Appendix A to the Supreme Court Practice Directions 2021 before you file.

Refer to File a summons for directions to find out more about the process and the estimated fees to file your documents.

Orders and directions the court may make

The court may consider the appropriate orders or directions after the application 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 production 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 4 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 10 of Appendix A1 to the State Courts Practice Directions 2021) as a supporting document to the NOAD.
    • Unless otherwise directed, 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 Assessment of Damages Court Dispute Resolution Conferences (“ADCDRs”). At these conferences, the court may schedule a date for the matter to be heard at an assessment of damages hearing.

Note
Pre-assessment of damages conferences are care generally conducted on a documents-only basis for District Court and Magistrate's Court cases.

Refer to State Courts Registrar's Circular 13 of 2020 to find out more information about what to expect for hearings in the State Courts.

Assessment of damages hearing

Parties will present evidence at the assessment of damages hearing to assist the court in determining the appropriate quantum of damages to be awarded.

Example
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 claimant the amount of damages that the court has decided to award the claimant.

Need help?

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.

Find out more

Resources

Legislation associated with this topic includes Order 9, Rule 25 and Order 15, Rule 15 the Rules of Court 2021 .
Refer to:
Alert-2 Note

This page is for matters that the Rules of Court 2021 apply to. For content relating to matters that the Rules of Court 2014 apply, click here.

If you are uncertain as to which version of the Rules of Court applies to your matter, click here.


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