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Personal Injury actions’ purpose is to compensate someone for damage that has been done to him by someone else. Injury can be physical or psychological. Most usual cases involving Personal Injury result from accidents or professional misconducts.
Conditions for Personal injury liability are:
- There must be an event. That event could be an action or a lack of action.
- That even must create damage.
- There must be a causal link between event and damage.
- Event must take place with fault or negligence.
Spanish Civil Code previews that, when someone´s activity or inaction –as long as it takes place with fault or negligence- damages another person, if damage is causally linked to that event, whoever caused it has to indemnify the harmed for physical and also psychological damages.
There are many cases that can generate Personal Injury Liability, but the most frequent ones are traffic accidents and professional misconducts, and especially doctors misconducts.
Due to the high risk of having a traffic accident, it is necessary to contract a Personal Injury Insurance in order to drive a vehicle, for assuming compensations in case of accident. In many cases it is also required to contract a professional indemnity insurance.
One of the most important elements for liability claims is to demonstrate damages. Physical ones are easier to demonstrate. Even if many questions could modify the amount of money to be indemnified with, there are some official scales of compensation for each type of damage. Psychological damages are very difficult to demonstrate, so compensation is calculated case by case.
It is also possible to incur in PI liability for people under the responsibility of the liable person. Those cases are for example parents responsible for their children’s behavior, or companies responsible for their workers’ acts. One of the most frequent cases is responsibility in public services. Due to the Spanish Public Health Care Service, most of the claims for doctors’ misconducts are aimed to PHCS.
However, it is important to note that, in most cases, the parties negotiate in order to avoid litigation and its implications.