Recent changes to legislation and the attitude of the courts are changing the way bodily injury claims are handled in both France and Italy, presenting new challenges for insurers and claims handlers.
In Italy, the most significant developments have centred around personalisation of serious bodily injury claims, as the country’s legislators and regulators seek to ensure compensation is centred on the claimants personal circumstances.
As Andrea Mento, Claims Handler, Van Ameyde Italy, explains, the country has seen the introduction of new tables and indices that provide more scope for judges to change awards dependent on each claimant’s personal circumstances.
The Court of Milan has brought in tables to create some uniformity across Italy, protect victims’ rights to full compensation and add some rationality to the costs that insurers face – the aim being that the same injuries are settled in the same way wherever the accident occurred, or is heard, in Italy.
These tables are based on the age of the claimant, level of permanent disability, days of temporary disability and allow an evaluation to take place which produces a maximum and minimum amount of compensation that should be awarded. The final amount depends on the specific details of the incident.
In the case of parental loss, there are fixed values that depend on the relation with the deceased party, which leads to min – max range value of settlement, subject to the evaluation of the Judge.
The Court of Rome has brought in a different table based on a system of index points. The sum of these index points in relation to the value of the base point enables judges to settle damages.
Recently a new table has been issued, however, that appears to be the result of the comparison of the two main tables, and allows the settlement figure to be based on the value of the table of the Court of Milan and the points system of the Court of Rome. This is a recent change and so it will be interesting to see how this plays out in courts.
France: Insurers facing increased compensation costs
As Tatiana Jazequel, Claims Handler, Van Ameyde, France, explains, the Badinter law 1985, was designed to protect victims of accidents and harmonise compensation. The way it was developed has enabled it to move with the times, and it is now even applicable to E-scooters and E-bikes – if they can go over 25km/h, have an ID number and are authorised to drive on roads.
In essence, under the Badinter Law, the victim of an accident has a right to be compensated, but must be able to prove the involvement of the other parties, and in terms of liability, evidence of the behaviour at fault has to proven. However, minors, the over 70s, or those with a disability of over 80% automatically get full compensation for bodily injury.
At present, an insurer can limit the bodily injury payment based on each parties fault in an accident. However a new law is being proposed by the Department of Justice which could include the bodily injury settlements of faulty drivers within the compulsory liability insurance scheme, a move which could adversely impact insurers’ costs.
For more information, and to find out more about these changes in cross-border claims, download our recent webinar at: https://www.vanameyde.com/tackling-obstacles-in-french-and-italian-law/