It is a very common question in the inquiries that we receive daily in our office. Am I entitled to compensation? The answer is always the same: it depends on who is responsible for the accident. In this article we are going to talk about the right to collect compensation for damages suffered in a traffic accident.
Every day we receive inquiries in our office from people who have suffered damages of all kinds in a traffic accident. Am I entitled to compensation? What does it depend on whether you are entitled or not?
In the first place, it is necessary to define what this right encompasses, that is, when a traffic accident is suffered, what is “to have the right to compensation”. This right refers to financial compensation for damages suffered as a result of a traffic accident. In other words, the right to compensation is the right to financial compensation for all those damages, both material and personal, that the victim suffers in the traffic accident.
Now, who is entitled to compensation? Any person who is not exclusively guilty of the accident has the right to compensation. That is to say, any person who is involved in a traffic accident, suffers damage and cannot be blamed solely for the accident. Does this mean that I may have some liability in the accident and still be entitled to compensation?Exactly. There are times when the accident is caused by the reckless intervention of several drivers. These cases are known as concurrence of fault, that is, both drivers are responsible for the accident. In cases of pedestrians, for example, it would be a pedestrian crossing an inappropriate place on the road and being run over by a car that is speeding. In this case, depending on the circumstances, there would be a concurrence of faults and the pedestrian would be entitled to compensation based on his percentage of fault.
The percentage of fault attributed to each driver is generally made by the Judge in charge of the case, unless an amicable settlement is reached beforehand in which the parties agree on what percentage of fault each protagonist has in the production of the accident.
The cases of exclusive fault are those cases in which the victim is the own person in charge of the accident and, therefore, of their damages. For example, a driver who suffers personal and material damage when he hits another from behind for not respecting the safety distance and driving with excess speed. As you are solely at fault, you are not entitled to compensation for all damages resulting from the accident.
On many occasions, this exclusive fault is defined later, when the case is in court and a judgment falls. In these cases, although at first it may be thought that one has the right to claim, finally the judge considers that the victim does not have the right to compensation for the damages suffered in the accident in which it has been sentenced that he was solely at fault.
For all other cases, regardless of the percentage of fault (except 100%), there is a right to claim for damages suffered, both material and personal. This percentage of fault is the one that establishes how much of the total that corresponds to all the items valued in the claim will be able to be claimed. For example, if the Forensic Health Report shows that the victim will be able to claim € 4,500 for injuries, the fact that he is attributed 50% responsibility in the accident production will reduce the amount by that percentage, having the right to charge only € 2,250. Therefore, to the question “ Am I entitled to compensation? “ The answer is always “It depends on who is responsible for the accident and in what percentage it is ”.
For this reason, and as we have already mentioned in other entries in our Blog, it is very important to collect all the circumstances surrounding the accident as well as how much data can be used later to reconstruct the accident and to be able to define its responsibility easily and firmly.
There are occasions that the fact of not attending to this basic premise makes the claim, which a priori would seem simple and 100% of the responsibility of the opposite, such cannot be demonstrated and the claim suffers a considerable reduction. It is always advisable to try to sign the friendly part or to count on the intervention of the authorities so that everything that later serves to define responsibility for the accident is collected in the Report.