Accidents involving a motorized land vehicle (car, truck, motorcycle …) are governed by the law n ° 85-877 of July 5, 1985 known as “Badinter Law”.
1 ) Who can be compensated?
The law provides that can be compensated:
Non-offending drivers: The driver of the vehicle involved in the accident can obtain full compensation for his injuries if he has not committed any fault. In case of fault, its repair may be limited or excluded (unless he has taken out specific insurance).
Passengers, pedestrians and cyclists : Passengers, pedestrians and cyclists who are victims of a traffic accident are in principle compensated for all their losses without being able to claim their fault. However, if the victim has committed an inexcusable fault, which was the sole cause of the accident, his compensation may be limited or even excluded.
Indirect Victims : Indirect victims can in principle obtain compensation for the harm they have suffered as a result of the death of the direct victim or his injuries.
2 ) How is the compensation procedure going?
The law of 5 July 1985 lays down the principle according to which the insurer of the vehicle responsible for the accident bears the compensation of the victim.
Two exceptions are provided by the text:
– An agreement between insurers may provide that the insurer of the victim will cover his compensation (for small damages in particular);
– If the vehicle responsible for the accident is not insured or if the person responsible for the damage is unknown, it is the Guarantee Fund for Compulsory Insurance of Damage (FGAO) that will pay compensation to the victim.
The compensation of the victim will then intervene in several stages:
The initial determination of harm and responsibility: before claiming any compensation, the victim is, usually with the help of an expert lawyer such as injury attorney sport, a complete file. This file includes an initial medical certificate, indicating the initial injuries presented by the victim in the immediate aftermath of the accident, the investigation report prepared by the police following the accident and the various elements of the criminal file, elements which the victim does not have direct access to but the lawyer can make the request.
Medical expertise: Medical expertise is a crucial step in the victim’s compensation process. Indeed, the quality of the compensation of the victim depends on the conclusions retained by the expert. It is for this reason that the presence of the lawyer is essential at this stage so that it ensures the consideration of the entirety of the injuries of the victim by the expert. This assistance is all the more important since the expert is often appointed by the insurance company itself. At the end of this medical expertise, either the victim can be considered as consolidated and a definitive compensation can intervene, or the victim is not consolidated (its state is not stable and little still evolve in positive or in negative) and a second medical expertise will have to be held later.
The offer of compensation : Once the medical expertise has intervened, the insurer will make an offer of compensation to the victim. This offer must in principle be made within the 8-month period from the traffic accident, even if it is only provisional. The definitive offer must be made within five months of the insurer’s knowledge of the date of consolidation. In the event of delay in the offer of compensation, the amount of the indemnity offered by the insurer or allocated by the judge to the victim produces interest in full double the rate of the legal interest from the expiry of the time limit and until the day of the offer or judgment become final