If you have been involved in an accident in Italy and have suffered damages, it's important to know that according with Italian Law, the person who caused the damage has the duty to comply with the criteria set forth by articles 2043 and 2054 of the Civil Code, pursuant to the general duty to restore the person who suffered the damage back to the position they would have been in if the damage had not been incurred.
Therefore, for to proceed with the quantification of damage, appear important to know that the Italian Civil Code identifies a distinction between patrimonial damages and non-patrimonialdamages, now, we proceed to analyze them.
The patrimonial damages consist in a Financial loss, that is when fault or negligence harm the economic assets of the injured party directly. Two different sub-categories of patrimonial damages exist. Consequential damage and monetary loss: "Consequential damage" is defined as the immediate and direct consequences of the damage, that caused the economic loss. This sub-category is comprised of the expenses for the medical treatment and cures.
Consequential damage also comprises the loss and the impoverishment of goods owned. The consequential damage needs to be proven and the compensation will take place once substantial evidence of the expenses incurred are presented;instead, the "Monetary loss" stands for the reduced possibility to gain profits, i.e. the profits that the damaged person will not secure or add to its personal income as a direct cause of the injury. This means that all the future incomes which are going to be lost because of the accident shall be compensated, both those that have already taken place and those which will take place in the future.
Assessment of monetary loss, pursuant to articles 2056 and 1226 of the Civil Code requires proof, even when presumed obvious, of its existence otherwise the damage shall be deemed as non-refundable.
Therefore, it is mandatory to show substantial evidence of the economic loss using objective elements, which testify that they would have certainly been secured and that such loss can be assessed; in addition, it must be proven on a high balance of probabilities that the damage caused is closely related to injury sustained or that it is a consequence.
Instead, the Non-patrimonial Damages are an unjust damage caused by an intentional or negligent act injuring a person. There exist two types of non-patrimonial damages: biological damage and moral damages.
Finally, the "Biological Damage" is defined as the physical, mental and socio-environmental relations. Thus, the personal injury covers all the psycho-physical damages.
The most recent definition of biological damage is provided in articles 138 and 139 of Code of the Insurances, which define this category of damage as, "the temporary or permanent injury to the reduction of psycho-physical integrity of a person, regardless of the person's capacity to produce an income." The Biological damage is divided into two sub-categories: -1. "Temporary disability" consists of the number of days necessary to recover from the traumas, taking into consideration the natural capacity of the body to respond and the treatments to undergo to restore the original psycho-physical conditions of the damaged person. The T.I. is measured in days. If the injured person is unable to carry out any activity, the temporary inability shall be deemed total, whilst a limited inability falls upon the partial temporary inability, which is also measured in days, but the incident will only be considered as minor; - 2. "Permanent disability" defines the percentage of incidence on psycho-physical conditions which cannot be cured. The Permanent disability is expressed in a percentage starting from 1% to 100%. The assessment of the personal injury is carried out, pursuant to article 61 of the Code of Civil Procedure, by a forensic expert of medical science.
Whereas the assessment of the indemnification of the biological damage shall be made by applying predetermined criteria provided by the law and ordered by the court or tribunal, the most commonly applied criteria are the ones provided by the Tribunal of Milan, although some other tribunals have created their own. Such criteria and standards are based on a "variable index", which is a sum of money for a given percentage of inability and increases following the percentage of inability whilst it decreases on the age of the injured person.
The "Moral damages"consists of the moral harm, anxiety and distress and offence to a person's general well being.
Accordingly, the assessment of the quantum of moral damages is related to the percentage of biological damage up to 20%, in conformity with article 139 of Legislative Decree of 7 September 2005 n. 209 (Code of Insurances), which provides the power to increase the quantum of the compensation sustained.
At the conclusion, the considerations made above, with reference to the distinction between the patrimonial and non-patrimonial damages, are useful to proceed with the quantification of damages, which may be compensated as a result of an accident.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.