Three years ago when a private university sophomore surnamed Wu was driving his scooter, a man surnamed Chang whose license had been revoked crashed into him, leaving him in vegetative state. The Taiwan High Court said that Wu, who was only 19 years old at the time, will have to face the agony of being taken care of by others because the accident has left him paralyzed for life. Last week the court ordered Chang to pay a compensation of NT$15.48 million (US$516,525) together with a consolation payment of NT$1.2 million to Wu’s parents for psychological distress, paying NT$17,880,000 in all. The case is eligible for appeal.
Wu’s father, a taxicab driver, said outside the High Court with sadness in his voice that he only has one child, and that since the accident happened his son has shown no sign of recovery. With tears in his eyes, he asked “What will his life be like in the future?”
Particularly interesting is how the collegiate bench calculated the loss that Wu incurred from not being able to work any longer. Using the average monthly salary of NT$22,000 for recent university graduates, they determined that he is eligible to more than NT$5.8 million in compensation for lost earnings, which when added with the consolation payment, nursing fees and medical costs, amounted to Chang being ordered last week to pay a total restitution of NT$15,480,000.
Wu’s parents represented their child in court and called for Chang and his mother, who is the actual owner of the vehicle that Chang was driving at the time of the accident, to both be made responsible for paying restitution, but Chang’s mother said that although the vehicle was purchased in her name, she has never had a driver’s license or driven the car. She was also allegedly unaware that her son had taken the car or that his license had been revoked.
The court ruled that Chang should be held accountable for paying compensation for damages caused by the accident and that Chang’s mother should not be held responsible.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)