23 October 2018

Road Traffic Accident (RTA) – high compensation

On 30 August 2018, the Court of Appeals in Warsaw issued a judgement in the case of the BFP law firms’ Clients concerning a road traffic accident as a result of which the plaintiffs’ husband and father have sustained fatal injuries.
The second instance court upheld the greater part of compensation for the plaintiffs adjudged by the first instance court, finding the following amounts warranted: PLN 150.000,00 for the first plaintiff and PLN 185.000,00 for the second plaintiff as redress, PLN 30.000,00 for the first plaintiff and PLN 50.000,00 for the second plaintiff as compensation for considerable deterioration of their life conditions, PLN 10.000,00 for the first plaintiff as compensation for funeral expenses and circa PLN 13.000,00 as capitalized pension as well as PLN 400,00 as further monthly pension for the second plaintiff. All claims, besides the amounts of monthly pension, were adjudged together with statutory interest from the date the request for payment to the insurer was issued.

The second instance court shared the stance of the plaintiffs and the first instance court in acknowledging the significant levels of suffering caused by the death of a closest relative and therefore considered that it must be compensated by redress that is sufficiently high. Additionally, the Court of Appeals reasonably concluded that the amount of redress must be assessed taking into account not only the suffering of the plaintiffs that exists at the time of the verdict, but also the suffering that has occurred from the day of the accident. The second instance court also rightly noted that the compensation for considerable deterioration of life conditions should be “adequate”, meaning that it has to facilitate the adaptation of the injured party to the changed life situation. The Court of Appeals clarified that the considerable deterioration life conditions, which forms the basis of awarding compensation, may include the loss of support and help in different real-life circumstances and especially the loss of a chance to receive help in the future.

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