HOW DO DAMAGE ASSESSED IN A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT?
Criteria for determining the compensation of damages in a traffic accident
For a long time, the determination of personal damages, injuries, and compensation for death in an accident remained in the hands of the Judges based on the principles of free assessment of the evidence, creating a situation that could cause serious inequalities, since the same injuries they could be taxed in significantly different amounts, benefiting or harming the victims depending on the criteria that could have been determined on that occasion.
After different processes and reforms that included scales that also did not manage to solve the compensation inequality and did not create the necessary legal certainty, and that from being indicative became mandatory, a system of valuation of the damages and losses caused was established. people in traffic accidents that is articulated in two parts:
- The first refers to the general criteria for determining compensation for bodily harm.
- The second refers to the rules for assessing bodily harm.
Criteria for determining compensation for personal injury
In this block we will talk about the first of these elements, that is, the different criteria to determine compensation for bodily harm.
It must be said from the outset that all the damages that have been caused to people as a result of bodily harm caused by events derived from the circulation of motor vehicles are valued.
Full reparation for the damage is one of the fundamental principles that has been sought with the different reforms carried out, and now all the personal, family, social, and economic circumstances of the victim, consequential damage, and loss of earnings during the time of work impediment as later in the future.
The determination of the specific elements of personal injury experienced by everyone who has suffered an accident is obtained by comparing the previous situation with the current one to verify the different consequences and losses experienced by the victim, reaching not only the bodily and functional deficit that may have but also the loss of activities, of their personal, vital, social and relationship development.
It is also necessary to separate what are property damages from non-property damages, and within the former, distinguish the emerging damage from lost earnings that takes into account not only the loss of income from personal work income but also, some difficult probative cases of people pending access to the labor market, unemployed or exclusively dedicated to household chores.
Rules for the assessment of bodily damage
This damage has to be objectified in all cases. You will only be compensated according to the rules and with the limits established by the system, without being able to set compensation that does not follow your criteria. The exception to this rule is the possibility of indemnifying exceptional damages that are relevant, caused by singular circumstances, and that is not contemplated in the scale.
Another issue to consider is that related to the motivating offer, a medical report is necessary and reciprocal duties of collaboration are applied both by the injured and with respect to the insurers so that the injuries and their evolutionary course are known.
In order to determine the circumstances for the assessment of the damage, the moment that will coincide with the date of the accident must be taken into account, as well as the compensable detrimental concepts also in force on the date of the accident.
At any time, the parties or the judge, at the request of one of them, may agree to replace all or part of the compensation with the constitution of a life annuity, to try to give greater protection to minors and people with disabilities.
One element to take into consideration is that unlike what was done before the reform, where its revaluation based on the CPI was taken into account as a method that served to guarantee to maintain the purchasing power of the compensation, now an update that in many cases can go below what would be implied by the application of the previous criterion, receiving this way of making numerous criticisms that are maintained to this day.
As definitions that must be taken into account, we highlight the following:
- The loss of personal autonomy refers to the physical, intellectual, sensory, or organic impairment that prevents or limits the performance of essential activities in the ordinary way, such as eating, drinking, cleaning, dressing, getting up, sitting down, stretching, etc.
- The figure of the seriously injured is defined as one who cannot carry out the essential activities of ordinary life or most of them.
- Specific personal development activities are defined as those related to enjoyment or pleasure, in relationship life, sexual activity, leisure, and the practice of sports, development of training, or development of a profession, activity, or work.
- Health care refers to the provision of the medical, hospital, pharmaceutical, and other services that are required for the diagnosis or treatment of injuries, and also the transportation that is necessary so that the victim of an accident can have the necessary assistance.
Two orthopedic elements are also defined that are important to assess certain injuries that require their use, such as:
- Prostheses are those sanitary products, implanted or external, whose purpose is to totally or partially replace a body structure or to modify, correct, or facilitate its function.
- Orthoses are non-implantable medical devices that are individually adapted to each patient and are intended to modify the structural or functional conditions of the sensory, neuromuscular, or skeletal system.
Technical aids and support products for personal autonomy are also defined, which would be the instruments or equipment used by a person with a disability that enhance personal autonomy or compensate for limitations in the activity that they may have.
And finally, the family unit is defined, includes both marriage and common-law couples, and would be the one that is made up of the spouse or partner, children, ascendants, and other relatives and close ones who live with them.
At Adacc Accident Lawyers 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 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 solve these doubts, because we share your concerns.