Civil liability traffic accident
WHAT IS CONSIDERED A MOTOR VEHICLE AND WHAT ARE THE ROAD FACTS TO DETERMINE CIVIL LIABILITY IN A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT?
Clarification of the criteria to define what is considered a motor vehicle and what are the facts of the circulation to determine civil liability in a traffic accident.
When a traffic accident occurs, not in all cases we will necessarily find that the law that regulates civil liability derived from damage caused on the occasion of the circulation of motor vehicles can be applied, since it is necessary that two essential requirements are met, such as:
- That the damages have been caused by the driver of a MOTOR VEHICLE.
- That the damages have occurred due to THE CIRCULATION of this vehicle.
Despite the supposed clarity of the law at the time of establishing the concurrence of these conditions for its application, there are many problems that have been generated since the moment in which there is no definition of what can be understood by motor vehicle, and especially, on the occasion of circulation.
Therefore, we will try to point out in this writing, what is the majority criterion, without prejudice to the fact that there may be different exceptions that from our company ADACC Accidents Catalunya, SCP we will try to solve.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED A MOTOR VEHICLE?
Existing standards and directives define "vehicle" as any MOTOR VEHICLE intended for use on the ground, operated with a mechanical force, and which does not use a railway, as well as trailers, even if they are not engaged.
Other regulations state that all vehicles suitable for circulation on the land surface and powered by the motor, including MOPEDS, SPECIAL VEHICLES, TRAILERS, AND SEMI-TRAILERS, which require administrative authorization to circulate in accordance with the provisions of the law on traffic, circulation of motor vehicles and road safety, are considered motor vehicles.
Although with the above definitions we could resolve which vehicles have a place within the term "motor", to avoid any doubt regarding others that could be part of this group, the rule expressly excludes:
- Railways, trams, and other vehicles circulate on tracks that are their own.
- Electric motor vehicles that by design, destination or purpose are considered toys.
- Wheelchairs, even if they are motor-driven.
Finally, the need to continue contextualizing the term and facilitating its identification, motor vehicle is understood as all that provided an engine for its propulsion, excluding mopeds, trams, and vehicles for people of reduced mobility.
It is specified below, in relation to the excluded mopeds, which are those that, having two wheels, is equipped with an engine of a displacement not exceeding 50 cm3 and with a maximum speed not exceeding 45 km / h. Three-wheel vehicles fitted with an engine with a cylinder capacity not exceeding 50 cm3 are also excluded if it is internal combustion and with a maximum speed of 45 km/h, and four-wheel vehicles with an unladen mass of fewer than 350 kilos, excluding the weight of batteries in the case of an electric vehicle, sharing the same criteria as above regarding displacement and maximum speed.
By SPECIAL VEHICLE, it is considered that it is self-propelled or towed, conceived, and built to perform specific works or services, in the same way as agricultural machinery and its trailers.
By REMOLQUE is said to be a non-self-propelled vehicle that has been designed and conceived to be towed by a motor vehicle. By SEMIREMOLTHAT would be considered a vehicle that is not self-propelled and that has been designed to be coupled to a car on which a part of it will rest. TRAM is a vehicle that runs on rails installed on the track. And VEHICLES FOR PEOPLE WITH REDUCED MOBILITY, will be those with a maximum weight of 350 kilos and that can not reach a speed greater than 45 km / h, being designed and built for the use of people with some disability, dysfunction, or physical disability.
Currently, new types of vehicles have emerged that are different from the previous ones, such as ELECTRIC SCOOTERS and SEGWAYS, which occupy both the vehicle circulation lanes and the sidewalks, just as we find autonomous vehicles without a driver.
In this case, except in the case of the driverless autonomous vehicle, their status as motor vehicles is excluded, in the application of the standard and the responsibility they may generate based on other parameters will have to be taken into account.
WHAT ARE THE FACTS OF CIRCULATION?
The other element to consider an accident covered by compulsory insurance is that the accident occurred DUE TO THE USE OF THE MOTOR VEHICLE.
In the same way that happened with the difficulty of defining what was considered a motor vehicle, there have also been and will undoubtedly be discrepancies and conflicts at the time of understanding when we find ourselves in a case that derives from a fact of circulation.
From the outset, we must say that it is considered to cover both circulations on public and interurban roads, as well as in garages and parking lots, public and private land suitable for circulation, and also on roads or land that without having this aptitude is for common use.
In addition, it is necessary that the use is the usual one of the driving of any vehicle, excluding, for example, the facts derived from the celebration of sports events with vehicles that are made in circuits specially directed or enabled for these races.
Neither are the facts that derive from the performance of industrial or agricultural work, but the displacement of vehicles on roads or existing land within ports or airports.
Finally, the use of the vehicle as a tool or instrument to deliberately cause harm to someone or something will never be considered a fact of circulation.
Leaving aside these exclusions, we must point out that IT IS NOT NECESSARY FOR THE VEHICLE TO BE IN MOTION AT THE TIME THE EVENT OCCURS, since it includes the stop of the vehicle, when it is momentary, due to the existing situation (traffic jams, traffic lights, etc.), but not when it is parked and is not in motion or start.
From ADACC Advocats Accidents Catalunya we want to help you with any question or doubt that you have in relation to the production of a traffic accident or that it has occurred in other different areas, such as work, maritime, air, domestic, school, etc. Do not hesitate to contact us. We do not charge anything to resolve these doubts, as we share your concerns.