The right to compensation for road accident damage in Italy is entitled to all insured drivers unless they are responsible for the incident. In such cases, they should be in possession of extensive insurance coverage (in addition to the RCA, Motor vehicle liability insurance).
The most popular of these is Kasko Car Insurance, which covers damages incurred to the vehicle, regardless of fault. If it is determined that the driver is 50% at fault (in other words, the responsibility of the accident is on both drivers) each party will reimburse the other for 50% of the cost of damages.
It is necessary to state that, in the fight against swindlers from phony road incidents, reform of the law was implemented in 2017 (law n.124 / 2017). The role and responsibility of witnesses (who in the past were coerced into providing false statements) was one of the first reforms to the legislation.
In regards to technological advancements to help aid in the effort to both defraud those who take advantage of the system and to award the correct party reimbursement, the introduction of the black box (a mobile electronic device with GPS that tracks and records driving conduct), has empowered insurance providers to settle claims with more confidence. As is evident in this example, this technology and how it is utilized by authorities is a sign of the times.
How to make a claim for road accident damages in Italy
In the event of a road accident in Italy, there are two possible ways to request compensation for damages:
- Direct compensation procedure
- Ordinary claim procedure
The key difference between the two procedures is that the compensation for road damage through the ordinary claim procedure is without restrictions, while direct compensation demands certain conditions.
Direct compensation procedure
Direct compensation permits pre-paid compensation by having the insurance settled directly (which will then be repaid by the responsible party at a later date).
Introduced by the Legislative Decree of 7 September 2005, n. 209, which provides an alternative to common requests for compensation through the ordinary claim procedure, direct compensation provides claimants with a quick solution to a normally lengthy process. However, in order to be applicable for direct compensation, certain conditions must be met:
- There must only be two vehicles involved in the incident.
- The party responsible must be insured and their vehicle must be registered in Italy.
- The two vehicles involved must fall into the “motor vehicles” category.
- The driver must not have suffered serious injuries (quantifiable with a permanent disability higher than 9%)
To obtain direct compensation, the insurance provider can request via fax, registered mail or PEC (certified/registered mail).
- CAI Form (the form used to report an accident to Auto Insurance Companies, both in cases of fault and no-fault)
- Names of those entitled to compensation.
Later on, additional information will have to be integrated at the request of the insurance company:
- Age, work activity and annual income.
- Description of the type of injuries suffered by persons involved, uninvolved persons, and any relevant medical records.
- Copies of any statements by police or witness declarations.
- Any evidence of medical intervention or transportation to hospital, if applicable.
If the documentation is complete, the insurance company will compensate for the material damage within two months and the physical damages within three.
In the best case scenario, the offer and compensation should arrive within 15 days.
Rejection of reimbursement means that a request must be made as soon as possible through the Ordinary Claim Procedure as soon as possible.
Ordinary claim procedure
If the path of direct compensation is not feasible, it is necessary to rely on the ordinary claim procedure. The idea is to collect, in this case, the CAI form which contains all the data that the insurance company needs in order to proceed.
In the request for compensation for damages from a road accident in Italy, even if the CAI is not present, evidence and personal data of the victims are required along with details of the location of the damaged vehicles.
In the event of personal injury, a series of documents necessary to ascertain injured and/or victims must also be sent to the insurance company. Medical and death certificates (plus their tax codes, age, and income).
Once the documents have been received, the insurance company will send an expert to check the validity of the declarations. The company will then make an offer to those who are seeking damages, at which point the claimant will have to decide whether to accept or request a greater amount.
The request for compensation must be sent to the insurance company of the person which caused the accident by a registered letter.
Once the claim for damages has been received, the company is obliged to refuse or to make a proposal within 30 days if the CAI form is signed by all parties involved in the claim.
The time limit expires at 60 days if the CAI form is signed only by the party requesting compensation and reaches 90 days if the injured party has suffered physical damage.
The injured party, once the response has been obtained from the insurance agency, can:
- Accept ordinary compensation. This will allow the victim to receive compensation within 15 days, in the previously agreed-upon manner (bank check, bank transfer, etc.).
- Refuse compensation. This will oblige the insurance agency to pay the amount established within 15 days from the date of rejection. This figure will be understood as a down payment. At this point two options arise:
- If the damage does not exceed 15,000 euros, the affected party can initiate a procedure of reconciliation through the Consumer Association, which must be set against a representative of ANIA (National Association of Insurance Companies).
- However serious or minor the damage, the process may initiate legal action against the insurance company.
- No response. This means that the insurance company has 30 days to settle the damages, with the timeframe starting from when the proposal was sent.
The compensation table in Italy
After a car accident, damages must be compensated. For vehicles, the damage is calculated starting from its market value, the extent of the damages suffered, to the costs that are necessary to repair them (by providing a part estimate, drawn up by a legitimate auto body repair shop).
In the event that the amount of damage exceeds the value of the vehicle, the compensation will be limited to the insured amount.
If there are injuries, insurance is obligated to pay any medical expenses, compensation for lost working days, and further compensate for any kind of physical consequence caused by the accident, whether temporary, permanent (disability) and, in the worst case, compensation for the family if the person involved in the accident has died.
In the worst case scenario (death) the implications are innumerable because those who are at fault in the accident may also be implicated for murder. If the accident is attributable to the state of road conditions, any charges may be redirected to the appropriate body (such as road maintenance, the municipality, etc.).
Property damage and non-pecuniary damage
Two types of damages are taken into consideration for personal injury:
- Financial loss (economic).
- Non-pecuniary damage.
Property damage (economic)
Patrimonial damage corresponds to expenses incurred and deriving from the accident, and “lost wages” (loss of earnings due to the interruption of work);
Non-pecuniary damage is understood in the widest sense as biological damage (including loss of life loss) which is quantified according to legal parameters and is subject to medical-legal evaluation. To this end, it is advisable to seek medical evaluation or consultation in order to support the compensation claim.
The calculation of biological damage is based on two factors:
- the percentage of biological damage suffered (the higher the percentage, the greater the compensation);
- the age of the accident (the higher the lower the compensation);
In the event of physical disability (permanent disability if the percentage is 100%, or partial if the percentage is 75%, 50% or 25%). The higher the percentage of bodily damage, the higher the compensation will be.
According to the ‘Tables of Compensation for Damages in Force’, for temporary invalidity, the following amounts must be compensated for each day in which the ailment lasts:
- 100% absolute: € 47.07;
- 75% partial: € 35.30;
- 50% partial: €25.54 euros;
- Partial at 25%: €11.77 euros.
These figures are only indicative and are subject to change. It is up to the insurance company to make a precise calculation and present a fair offer for the damages suffered.
There are exceptions when it comes to road accidents in Italy. For example, in the event that the person who caused the accident is not insured, the request for compensation must be made to the Guarantee Fund for Road Victims, or directly to the other persons involved. Or in the event of an incident with a vehicle registered abroad, the UCI (the Italian Central Office) must also be contacted.
If you have been involved in a road accident in Italy and have doubts on how to proceed, to get what you deserve, and as soon as possible, contact us here, our lawyers who specialize in compensation damages at the Boccadutri International Law Firm.