Personal Injury Law in Spain - Basic Concepts

Published on 5/10/2011 in Health

We receive numerous enquiries regarding the type and amount of compensation that can be claimed in Spain after a road traffic accident, a fall in a shop or office, a stumble in the street due to a pavement in poor condition etc. This is what is known as ‘personal injury’. This is a matter of vital importance because the compensations that we could ask or claim for could be very high.

As per Spanish Law, we can also say that there is an obligation to compensate the damage caused by a negligent act or omission.

Normally depending on the country and its legislation, there would be a deadline to start a legal action requesting compensation; therefore, it is very important that when suffering any damage caused by another party, we contact our lawyer or solicitor to
determine the legal deadlines applicable and the next legal steps to be taken.

Personal injury in SpainIn general, personal injuries in Spain are compensated and determined per the R.D.L. 8/2004 (Ley sobre responsabilidad civil y seguro en la circulación de vehículos a motor) Law of civil liability and motor vehicles insurances and the amounts are annually updated; for this year it was reviewed on the 20th of January 2011 by the Direction of General Insurance.

In Spanish Law, compensation to be received is set and fixed according to the objective criteria fixed in the said RDL 8/2004. So for example, the compensation for a death will depend on the age of the victim, number of descendants, etc., and the amount will vary according to other circumstances such as income of the deceased, siblings, dependents…

In reference to permanent damages suffered as the result of injuries, these are ruled by a points system set out in the RDL 8/2004 and the compensation for each point is updated annually and increases with the number of points and the seriousness of the injury.

Also it includes a valuation for what is known as temporary disability days (necessary time to heal) e.g. for 2011 the value of one day in hospital is €67.98 per day, and other days out of the hospital but without being able to carry on your normal life or activity are set at €55.27 per day, and the remaining days (those where you have a normal life) are set at €29.75 per day; these quantities could be increased according to the income level of the injured person.

For example, a man aged 19 who suffered an accident caused by a window falling in a shop and who lost part of his nose and remained in the hospital for 2 days and has to take 20 days of sick leave without being able to work, and with an annual salary of €15,000, could claim for a compensation as per the following:

First the partial loss of his nose (permanent injury) is valued from 5 to 25 points. If there is also a slight cosmetic injury this will be valued separately from 1 to 6 points; so we could say that this injury could reach a maximum valuation of 31 points.

For a damage of 31 points the compensation per point would be €1,601.10. Taking into account that this could be increased up to 10% for economic damage and considering the annual net income of this example, the compensation could be as much as €1601.10 x 31 x 110% = €54,594.10.

As for the days that he will need to be in the hospital without having a normal life, he would be able to claim: 2 days of hospital - 2 x €67.98 per day, plus 20 days x €55.27 per day, plus 10% economic damage in this case = €1,365.49.

This makes an approximate compensation (without going into any other criteria that could change it) of about €55,959.59.

Should you suffer any kind of accident in Spain and need our legal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues.

Written by: White & Baos Lawyers

About the author:

White & Baos is a law firm established by Spanish and UK lawyers, and is regulated by the Law Society of England & Wales as well as the Spanish regional equivalent, the Colegio de Abogados in Alicante.  They are one of Eye on Spain's few recommended lawyers.

Calle Diana No. 19. 2º-D, 03700 Denia, Alicante
Tel.: +34 966 426 185
Fax.: +34 965 784 471

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ElviriaDreamer said:
Sunday, May 15, 2011 @ 7:33 AM

Wow E60,000 for those injuries! I suffered a preventable grade 3 SAH followed by a secondary grade 1 SAH which left me blind in one eye for 2months. Due to lack of care I am now left with a ruptured unrepairable (due to location) atrophic brain artery that leaks causing TIA's/Strokes and loss of blood flow to the left side of my brain, epilepsy so can't drive, cognitive/memory/balance problems etc ect. When this artery finally gives way again I will die from a massive bleed.Most re-ruptures that are not repaired occur within a year...I've had 5. I got £00000000. I wish medical negligence cases were as easy to claim/receive compensation. Should of holidayed in Spain that year instead of Turkey huh.

@Helen....sometimes your sanity is more worthwhile than the fight to receive justice. Principles to stay strong and fight for what should be forthcoming are all good and well but sometimes the fight just causes further stress and more illness. Hope you are ok :)

helen said:
Thursday, May 12, 2011 @ 8:23 PM

All very well in theory but in practise how many years and how much cost before the Civil Court deal with the case.I have given up any hopes of compensation in my lifetime!

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