The Spanish government has approved a proposal tabled by the Ministry of Justice which reforms the compensation assessment for victims of traffic accidents, increasing the amount payable in the event of death or serious injury.
The new scale will see compensation claims in the event of the death of a person increase by around 50%, whereas in the case of serious injury resulting in loss of a limb the compensation award will increase by around 35%.
As an example, in the event of the death of an average father of a family who earns 38,000 euro net, leaving a widow and two children, the compensation payable will increase from 335,519 euro to 671,480 euro with the new scale.
A professional who earns more than 60,000 euro per year and suffers the partial amputation of a leg in a traffic accident, would receive double the current compensation of 350,000 euro, being awarded a maximum of 750,000 euro.
The project includes, amongst other things, compensation for injury treatment costs for insurers to public health and modifies the calculation method of compensation to victims, as indicated by the ministry.
The update of the scale is one of the measures demanded by associations representing drivers and victims of road traffic accidents, with many of those groups demanding urgent action and approval, as “victims cannot wait” for the new text to come into force in January of next year, and so the government hopes that the rule will gain final approval in this session of parliament.
According to Justice Ministry the new scale will expand the level of detail in the criteria determining the amount of compensation in respect of reimbursement of expenses and intends to “rationalize” the calculation of “loss of earnings”, a factor not previously taken into account, and will replace the previous model used by the insurance field to determine appropriate compensation.
The new conditions take into account not only the net income of the victim but also aspects such as work at home, such as housework, or the loss of future capabilities of children or students, which is also for quantification in economic terms.
In order for the compensation amounts to be calculated effectively, a variety of factors will now be taken into account, so the amount for each victim will not depend on fixed sections but a calculation based on the combination of factors such as the duration of injury and recovery, the risk of death of the injured party, as well as the potential loss of public pension contributions.
Whereas the news is a significant step for awarding victims of incidents appropriate compensation, the subsequent concern is that insurance policies may increase in order for those companies to cover the expenses.