Venice, the most romantic city on the water in the world, is now the backdrop to numerous ship crashes that legitimize the person who suffered the damage to request the "compensation for a ship crash".

Cruise ships in Venice or tourist boats are increasingly involved in ship crashes, resulting in physical damage or even death of people on board.

Even the gondola has often appeared in a ship crash scenario. Not rare are the cases of tourists who lose their lives due to accidents on the canals of Venice (Venice gondola crash).

Compensation for a ship crash in Italy: is the insurance compulsory? 

The Italian legislation on compensation for a ship crash requires the compulsory insurance for ships that are not used for commercial purposes and for boats of pleasure. This is because navigation is considered a dangerous activity and therefore potentially possible to cause damage to things or people.

The injured party (which may be another boat or even a swimmer or a diver) has the right to obtain compensation for all damages to things and to the person.

Compensation for a ship crash in Italy: Italian navigation code and prescription 

In accordance with the provisions of the Italian navigation code, in the event of a ship crash caused by tourist boat, vessel, yacht, ship, etc., the injured party has the right to obtain compensation for all damages suffered to things and to people on board (Compensation for a ship crash, which we are talking about).

More specifically:  

- if the ship crash is caused by accident or force majeure, it is impossible to ascertain the origin of the collision, the damages will not be compensated;

- if the ship crash occurred due to the fault of one of the ships, the compensation for damages is paid by the ship that caused the crash;

- if the ship crash is caused by the fault of more than one boat, each of them should pay responsibility in proportion to the seriousness of their fault and the extent of the damage caused. Where it is not possible to determine the liability share of each ship, compensation is payable in equal parts.

The right to obtain compensation for a ship crash in Italy is limited to two years, starting from the day on which the damage occurred, except in cases where the offense has resulted in a crime.

Compensation for a ship crash in Italy: how the compensation is calculated? 

The amount of compensation for minor physical damage from ship crash is calculated using the tables for calculating micro-permanent injuries from road accidents.

For the calculation of biological damage from macro-permanent lesions, reference should instead be made to the tables of the Court of Milan which will also help determine the extent of the non-material harm.

In addition to compensation for the physical damage suffered, the injured party has the right to obtain compensation also for all the material harm suffered from direct economic losses (medical treatment, drugs, therapies, rehabilitation, etc.) and for lost earnings (for example the loss of working days) caused by the accident.

The victim's family members are entitled to compensation for the psycho-physical suffering and property damage as well, for example due to the death of their relative.

Compensation for a ship crash in Italy: what to do to obtain the compensation? 

When a ship crash happens, the insured is required to notify his insurance company, within three days of the accident, both in the event of a wrong doing or under correct behavior, and even if no damage has occurred.

Failure to comply with the report obligation leads to the loss of the right to compensation in favour of the insured, in cases where the default is malicious. Otherwise, in the case of gross negligence, the injured party may find his compensation reduced.

If the accident is attributable to the fact and responsibility of others, the complaint should also be sent to the counterparty's insurance company.

In the same way, the victim of a ship crash is always advised to contact a lawyer experienced in shipping and maritime law, who knows how to correctly initiate the compensation procedures in order to ensure the right compensation for the material and non-material damages suffered.

Compensation for a ship crash in Italy: how can we help you? 

The Arnone & Sicomo International Law Firm has an internal maritime and navigation law team capable of assisting all persons involved in a ship crash, who have suffered physical or material damages.

The lawyers experienced in the field collaborate closely with colleagues in the criminal law departments to (1) evaluate whether or not a ship crash gives rise to criminal liability on the perpetrator that caused the damage and (2) possibly initiate the appropriate criminal protections.

The Arnone & Sicomo International Law Firm at its Venice office periodically receives foreign and non-foreign clients who have been involved in a ship crash or a gondola crash in Venice. Together with the client the lawyers scrupulously examine the case so that the client is aware of the phases of the compensation procedure or penalty that awaits him.

Are you or do you know a tourist injured in Venice ship crash who might need legal assistance?  Contact us  for more detailed information. We can help you.

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.