Before a claim for compensation is made, it is necessary to take appropriate preparatory activities aimed at obtaining a possibly complete documentation which will then be used to prepare the lawsuit and as the evidence in the course of the trial.

In situations where the accident resulted in bodily injury or health impairment, the person interested in obtaining the compensation should apply for a complete, certified set of copies of the medical records.

It is also crucial that when the person makes a decision to litigate his or her case for compensation, they should gather all kinds of documents that certify the amount of expenditure that they incur (or have incurred) in connection with the injury suffered. These are primarily invoices and bills for the medicine purchased, the visits to specialists, participation in rehabilitation camps and for travel costs to hospital as well as the costs of the care provided by the third parties, and for the costs of adapting a dwelling or a vehicle for the disabled person, and the like.

What can prove helpful will be drawing up a table showing the costs incurred in respect of pecuniary damage, as well as the breakdown of monthly costs incurred in connection with the injury.

The collected documents will be used in the demand for payment sent to the entity responsible for paying the compensation, and then in the lawsuit. The lawsuit will be then filed in the court. The proceedings before the court of the first instance usually last between one to three years. Then, if any party (i.e. either the claimant or the defendant) lodges an appeal against the judgement, there shall commence the proceedings before the court of the second instance which last approximately 1 year. The judgment of the court of the second instance is final, yet in certain cases it is possible to submit a cassation appeal to the Supreme Court.

Karolina Kolary