One of the most relevant legal modifications which have come into force from 1st January 2016 is the new framework for personal injury compensation for road traffic accidents in Spain (Ley 35/2015).
It is applicable to all accidents occurring from 1st January and it means an average increase of 50% in cases of bereavement, 35% in cases of long-term effects, and around 13% in cases of short-term injuries.
Keeping in mind that even though this new law is compulsory for road traffic accidents, Spanish jurisprudence says that the same rules might be applicable to other situations where personal injury compensation occurred such as medical negligence or workplace accidents.
On the other hand, this new law obliges insurance companies to cover treatments for victims for life, whereas until now insurers only covered costs until the victim is considered fit to return to work by their doctor.
What’s more, insurers are obliged now to reimburse the regional social services for those expenses which result from future medical costs, physiotherapy or future prosthetic replacement.
There is a new classification for the dependents of deceased victims: 1) spouse 2) parents & grandparents 3) descendants 4) brothers and sisters 5) other affected parties.
The method of calculating loss of income has also changed now contemplating net loss of income as well as unpaid work (such as house work) and future expected earnings in case of minors and higher education students.
Injured victims can also ask for expert medical reports from the official Legal Medicine & Forensic Public Institutes in which cases they’d consider an out-of-court agreements. According to the Real Decreto 1148/2015, the costs of those medical reports will be paid for the insurance company responsible.
Our colleagues from the Spanish Guarantee Fund (CCS) have published an interesting article about this new reform. For further information you can go directly to their website: The reform of the Spanish legal system for the assessment of personal injury damages in traffic accidents. Improvement by consensus and contribution by the insurance sector.