Compensation for physical injuries caused by traffic accidents
Today, we are discussing one of the most important subjects concerning physical injuries caused by traffic accidents and what are the required procedures the injured shall do to protect its rights, in the most of the cases the injured is a victim of the lack of knowledge about his rights and how to behave in such cases.
There are four main axes herein:
- What are the types of physical injuries caused by traffic accidents?
- What are the damages that may the victim ask for compensation?
- What are the Powers of the appointed judge of compensation assessment of physical injuries?
- What steps should be taken in case of a traffic accident?
The UAE`s legislator stipulates the necessary legislation concerning this subject to guarantee that the injured acquires the compensation that conforms with the torts occurred, the article 282 of the UAE`s civil transaction law sets the following (The author of any tort, even if not discerning, shall be bound to repair the prejudice).
And the article 292 of the UAE`s civil transaction law sets that🙁 Damages shall, under all circumstances, be assessed to cover the prejudice sustained and the lost profit provided it is a natural consequence of the prejudicial act).
The court of cassation in Dubai ruled on 20.05.2007 in Appeal No. 52\2007 civil Appeal the following: (each individual has the right to bodily integrity, transgression and injuries shall be deemed damage which shall be compensated, it is a type of material tort that inflicts damage even though it does not affect the injured person ability to earn, does not incur largely loses nor treatment charges, this bodily injury expressed in body wounds includes compensation for temporary health disability and permanent partial disablement. The material tort concerning the disturbance of the financial interest of the affected person when the damage is a natural consequence of the harmful act is calculated at the right amount of loss and his lost profit. The affected person may have the right to claim compensation for moral damage, which is everything that affects dignity, honor and causes psychological troubles. The court through the scope of its authority to assess the admissibility or nullity of the evidence decides the compensation value which covers the damages.
Firstly: types of physical damages:
- Physical damage which does not cause death:
The injury does not cause death, these non-fatal physical damages are considered unstable, some injuries may transform into permanent disabilities. Then, we are not facing permanent disability but temporary incapacity if the damage caused losing of organ function for a temporary period. Permanent disability is considered as the maximum harm of bodily integrity, it has a permanent and negative effect on the sensual side of the injured person which leads to incurable psychological troubles because of the impossibility of its cessation.
The most highlighted examples of permanent disability:
– Amputation of a limb and losing its utility: partially or completely cutting of hand and leg, in addition to that paralyzes which is considered as a permanent disability.
– Enormous distortion with no hope of recovery: distortion is considered as permanent disability considering two main conditions: firstly when the distortion is enormous. Secondly, when the distortion with no hope of recovery. – completely or partially disablement of one sense, such as hearing, tasting, pronouncing, smelling or touching
– losing one of the natural forces, sexual and procreative ability.
- b) Physical damage which causes death:
physical injury causes death immediately or death after a specific period. Heirs are be entitled to claim compensation for the material and physical torts That have been already made or certain to happen which affects the injured by his death. Heirs may claim compensation for the deceased`s incapacity to work in the time in which the deceased was likely to live given his age and health. As well as, heirs may claim compensation for expenses resulting from the loss of the deceased such as funeral expenses since the latter is a debt of the assets. Heirs may not refer to the responsible except within the limits that the injured late might had initiated. Heirs shall not claim for a whole compensation if the victim had contributed to the trot. In summary, the right of compensation for material damage resulting from physical injury or death is transmitted to his heirs, there is nothing in the law to forbid it. Therefore, no fairness to deprive the heirs of their sustainer in addition to their judicial compensation which would only compel a very small fraction of the damage since the human soul could not be compensated even by the most expensive.
Secondly: Types of damages that can be compensated:
Firstly: Damage that causes depriving from joys of life: all forms of tort resulting depriving the injured of all or some of the pleasures and joys of healthy life, due to a particular incident person’s disability may deprive him or her from a favorite sport or hobby, as practiced by the healthy individual such as reading or traveling. Permanent incapacity which accompanies a young man with a brilliant future not only caused him physical harm but also accompanied by daily nuisance and pain, especially the collapse of his hopes for a prosperous future on a personal, familial and social level.
Secondly: damage causes deprivation from procreation: may the reproduction system of the injured person is damaged by an accident which inevitably leads to the disruption of one of the most important functions of this system, especially in the event that the injured person is young and infertility is caused to him in the spring of his youth, which is a serious harm. Judiciary shall consider that damage seriously to compensate the injured and his wife if necessary.
Thirdly: youth damage: compensations are awarded to persons who have not exercises a profession yet, not been fully qualified nor completed the age of discrimination established by the law. If the consequences of this damage are not clear at the time of its occurrence then its future effects appear to be harsh. It may deprive the juvenile of the right to choose certain professions that require physical fitness and also deprive him of some sports.
Fourthly: Taking into consideration the affected person and his profession in estimating the damage. Assessment of compensation takes into account several points as victim age and professional earning. The situation of the injured person shall be taken into consideration whether the injury will prevent him from practicing his profession which he is living from. Incapacity of the musician is the end of his artistic and professional career, while the defect does not affect the teacher, who continues in his profession despite the amputation of the hand.
Assessment of compensation for physical damages:
We will discuss the full compensation for damage and the judge’s discretionary power to estimate compensation for physical damage. The principle of full compensation is damage or injury shall be fully compensated, however simple it may be, it must be doubtlessly compensated. Therefore, the provisions which sometimes determine that compensation is only symbolic or theoretical contradict the principle of full compensation for damage, which should be reversed. Content of the principle of full compensation for damage is determined by the fact that the estimate of compensation must be as far as the harm is perceived by the injured. Therefore, the judge shall consider carefully all circumstances of the victim concerning especially the past, present and future consequences caused by the damage, regardless the circumstances of the response at all as it would deviate from the principle of equivalence between compensation and damage.
Thirdly: What are the powers of the competent judge to estimate compensation for physical damages?
A competent judge has the full power to estimate the compensation for material damage as extracted from the evidence and case papers presented before him in the lawsuit which shall prove the results that the judge obtained then estimates the compensation accordingly with the damage. Competent judges have broad discretion in assessing and determining the amount of compensation without being obliged to determine the basis for such an assessment. taking into consideration the required treatment expenses in addition to the lost profit. In this case, the estimation of the compensation is combined with the rule of subsequent loss and lost profit. The judge shall also have recourse to civil investigation procedures in relation to the experience as the judge has no medical ability to cognize the consequences of the tort and not be able to predict the damage exacerbation at the future as the physical incapacity is, This can only be known through a medical experience that has absolutely nothing to do with the law.
estimate compensation damage exacerbation:
During the estimation process, the judge shall take into consideration the confusing circumstances that would lead to an exacerbation. The estimation for this case should be determined at the time of pronunciation of the verdict not at the time which the damage occurred as determined by Fiqh and modern judiciary. There is no prevention from reviewing the compensation during the appeal period event after the verdict pronunciation is rendered, as exacerbation, in this case, form a new tort which does not contradict with the principle of force of res judicata.
Fourthly- what are the steps that must be undertaken when exposed to a traffic accident?
When a person is exposed to a traffic accident, he should not sign any discharge with the insurance company as this will result waiving his or her right to claim compensation. Therefore, it is advisable to contact legal counseling in this regard, then, he or she will be informed of his or her legal status and in the event that the victim of the accident has no any responsibility and the accident was not caused by him or her, the victim will be entitled to claim the insurance company of the responsible for the accident, Then filing a case to instruct a corner to estimate the injury and the rate of incapacity if any, and filing a case before the court for claiming compensation for material and psychological torts caused by the injury as the occurred loss and lost profit.