Traffic law and damages have been part of our lawyers´ core competencies ever since the law firm was founded. Here, we only focus on claims for damages, which can be derived from the consequences of an accident. If it is a relevant claim, you could have the right to claim compensation for pain and suffering and other compensations from the liable party. As lawyers we enforce these damages or defend you against the claims for damages. This can be carried out in court or in the course of an out-of-court settlement.
Further information on the topic of damages in connection with warranty claims are found under: general civil law
Every situation needs to be observed individually. We will gladly take the time it takes to also discuss your situation extensively. Thus, please make an appointment for a noncommittal informational interview.
Regarding the damage, there is a differentiation between financial damage and sentimental damage. Apart from property damage, financial damages include medical costs, nursing costs as well as loss of earnings. Compensation for pain and suffering, however, are regarded as compensation for sentimental damage. For relatives of an accident victim also compensation for shock or compensation for suffered grief (with or if need be also without pathological significance, e.g. accidental death of a child) can be claimed as sentimental damages. Even if the damage itself is clear, the claim for damages depends on the liability.
Compensation for physical pain is generally determined at own discretion by the courts. The assessment basis for the courts are usually the daily rates for 24 hours of continuous pain used by the courts. Generally, pains are assessed as follows:
In a legal dispute the court will base its decision on the expert report of a court-certified expert.
The assessment of the degree of pain can be deduced from the required therapies (painkilling drugs), medical aids (wheelchair, splint, etc.) and medical reports. There are no separate charts for the assessment of mental resp. psychological pain.
The same applies to continuous pains from partial recovery (amputation, loss of an organ, defacement).
The so-called “Gliedertaxe” (“dismemberment schedule”) is an individual tool of accident insurances and is of no relevance in compensation trials.
If someone suffers damages for example due to a skiing or traffic accident, he/she can claim damages against the perpetrator – if he/she caused the accident unlawfully and culpably.
Thus, apart from the damages, there are also three questions which need to be reviewed by the court in a trial:
For a legal entitlement, all three conditions (causality, culpability, unlawfulness) must apply.
This is different in the strict liability according to the regulations governing the liability insurance of railways and motor vehicles (EISENBAHN- UND KRAFTFAHRZEUGHAFTPFLICHTGESETZ EKHG). Apart from the question regarding fault-based liability, there is a strict liability in certain areas (product liability, liability of vehicle owner etc.), where the culpability is replaced by the objective danger of something or an actually permitted act.
In legal disputes there is also the possibility of reaching an out-of-court settlement even before the claims are made in a judicial enforcement. The parties are legally bound to this contract and can enforce the compliance judicially.
If no prior out-of-court settlement is reached, there is also the possibility of reaching a settlement during a lawsuit.
Here, the judge will ask the parties whether they are willing to agree in the preparatory hearing, respectively clarify whether the lawyers have any settlement offers to present. At this point, or also during the following trial, the parties are at liberty to reach an agreement before the verdict. A court settlement is included in the transcript and ends the lawsuit.
If someone plays soccer with friends and trips his opponent up and injures him/her, he/she could be confronted with claims for damages. For behaviour that is in accordance with the rules, for example if two players collide with their heads or also for “normal” rule violation there is no liability (no claims for damages), because the duty of care is not violated. However, if you kick your opponent´s leg in gross culpability, there can be a claim for compensation for pain and suffering. Then, in legal proceedings, the actual fault and a possible illegal behaviour, which would be the basis for claims for damages, must be investigated.
If you are innocently involved in an accident abroad (traffic accident, sports accident), this raises additional legal problems. Very often the cooperation with foreign authorities is very difficult due to the language barrier. For traffic accidents outside the EU, possible claims must directly be submitted to the foreign liability insurance. Very often, the effort is rather great due to the often problematic legal situation, but especially due to very slow practise of liquidation of foreign insurances. With accidents abroad but within the EU, the damaged party can even regulate the claims at the court of his/her home country – if this lies within the EU – and can sue the foreign vehicle liability insurance.
If you were involved in an accident with personal injury, you might have violated the rules of behaviour which is legally punishable. Should the prerequisites therefore be fulfilled, criminal charges can be filed because of bodily injury (§§ 83 and 84 StGB), negligent homicide (§§ 80 and 81 StGB) or maybe even additionally “abandoning an injured person” according to §94 StGB. If witnesses or people who become aware of the consequences of an accident do not provide assistance, they can be prosecuted for failure to render assistance in an emergency (§ 95 StGB).