If you have been injured in an accident in France and wish to claim for compensation, we are experts in cross border travel claims. With our French Legal partners BCV Lex, we can immediately advise you on the French legal system, and we can obtain medical and police reports to support your case.
The Personal Injury* System in France
The French legal system of Personal Injury compensation refers to a detailed scale of damages typology known as “Nomenclature DINTHILLAC”, which is applied for any kind of Personal Injury by judges, courts, lawyers and insurers.
Most Generally Brought Actions for Compensation
The statute of limitation is basically ten years from the date of medical “consolidation” (i.e. stabilisation) of the victim’s medical condition (Article 2226 Civil Code), in case of:
- Road Traffic Accidents: There is a specific regime which allows automatic compensation for any road accident injury caused by any motorised vehicle, except for their drivers, and except when the accident occurs as a consequence of any “inexcusable fault” by the victims themselves;
- Medical accidents: For injuries caused by health professionals (doctors, dentists, midwives, etc.) as well as any establishment, service or organisation providing care, or, in which any prevention or diagnosis are being performed are considered as responsible, but exclusively in case of misconduct; as to liability without any misconduct, it applies only in case of defective health products, nosocomial infections, medical research damages.
Statute of limitation is three years in case of:
- Liability for defective products: The 3 year period starts from the date on which the injured person became aware of the damage or defect, and of the identity of the producer; but and additionally, the action must be filed within the ten year period after the date the product was put on the market; liability for defective products, when alleged, shall prevail over any liability grounded on a thing’s performance;
Specific regimes exist, with provisions that differ from the aforementioned ones, i.e. liability for damages caused by asbestos.
Direct Action Against Liability Insurers
Direct action against insurers can be brought (Article L. 124-3 Insurances Code) without having to sue the person themselves who caused the damage.
French Compensation System
In France, both direct victims (injured persons themselves) and indirect victims (next of kin of direct victims) are entitled to claim compensation.
Direct Victims (Injured Person):
- Pecuniary Damages: Temporary and permanent pecuniary damage may be claimed.
- Non-Pecuniary Damages: Both anterior (temporary impairment, pain and suffering, temporary aesthetic damage) and posterior to stabilisation (permanent impairment, loss of amenity, permanent aesthetic damage, sexual damage, “setting up” damages i.e. impossibility to marry/live in common-law marriage and/or have children, permanent exceptional loss, evolutionary non-pecuniary damage, damages related to evolving pathologies) may be claimed.
Indirect Victims (next of kin of direct victims)
- Indirect Victims’ Damages in case of Death of the Direct Victim: Both pecuniary damages (funeral expenses, loss of earnings of the kin, miscellaneous expenses of the kin), and non-pecuniary damages (supporting the direct victim from the injury till the death, loss of affection, post-traumatic damage) may be claimed.
- Indirect Victims Damages in case of Survival of the Direct Victim: Both pecuniary damages (miscellaneous expenses of the kin) and non-pecuniary damages (loss of affection, exceptional non-pecuniary losses) may be claimed.
*In contentious business a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.
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