Compensation for Road Accident Injuries
Almost any one of us might get injured in a road accident. How does a road accident is defined by law? Whom can you sue due to road accident injuries, and what are the criteria for a successful lawsuit? What does the law say about compensating road accident victims?
In this article, a tort attorney will elaborate on the relevant tort laws and the legal courses of action available for accident victims.
What is the legal definition of a “road accident”?
The Compensation for Road Accident Victims law (1975) defines a road accident as an “event in which a person was physically injured due to usage of a vehicle for transportation purposes,” whether the victim or another person were using the vehicle.
What is the legal definition of a vehicle’s “usage”?
Driving, entering, exiting, parking (including prohibited parking), pushing, or towing a vehicle are all considered vehicle usage. Additionally, an explosion or fire in the vehicle also defines as vehicle usage.
What is the legal definition of a vehicle?
According to section 1 of the Road Accidents law, a “vehicle” or “motor vehicle” is a “mechanical object that moves on the ground, especially for land transportation purposes.”
This definition includes trains, tractors, portable machines with motor capabilities, towed vehicles, or vehicles supported by motor vehicles. This definition doesn’t fit electric scooters and electric bicycles, for example.
How is a road accident victim defined?
A road accident victim is a person who suffered from physical or financial damage due to a road accident, in a condition that the person who caused the injury (whether it was a driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian) did so without any intention.
What is the legal definition of “damage”?
Apart from the apparent damages – physical injuries, illness caused by an accident, or life loss – the law includes mental or intellectual damage and even damage caused to a device that supports body organs’ functionality under the definition.
Who’s liable in case of injury?
In case of an injury, as defined in the Road Accidents law, the offender holds liability for compensating the injured party. According to section 2(a) of the Motor Vehicle Insurance Ordinance (1970), every vehicle owner must have insurance, meaning that the insurance company of the offending party is liable and is open to a lawsuit.
Karnit Foundation for Road Accident Victims
Are there cases in which no insurance company holds liability? Who should the injured party sue in such cases?
There are several cases in which no insurance company is liable: the offender doesn’t have insurance, the vehicle was illegally used, the vehicle owner is unknown (i.e., hit-and-run), and other cases, as specified in the law.
The “Karnit” foundation was established to handle these cases precisely according to the Ordinance (section 10).
The purpose of this foundation is to grant compensation to the injured party in the cases mentioned above when no insurance company is liable. Furthermore, there are some cases in which the injured party isn’t entitled to compensation from this foundation by law, but their dependents are.
In addition to the above, the Karnit foundation is also responsible for compensating Israelis or foreign tourists injured in areas under Palestinian authority. The compensation in these cases will be equal to those received if the accident was in the regions under Israeli authorities (section 12(d) of the Road Accidents law).
In which cases do the provisions of the law not apply?
There are some instances in which the provisions of the law will not apply: intentional incidents, accidents in which the vehicle was used to commit a crime or as an accessory to a crime; when the car was used without the owner’s permission, without valid insurance or if the driver’s license was out of date (unless it was due to overdue payment of the driving-license fee), and more.
What to do in case of car accident injury?
Collect the details of the driver and the insurance company. (Document the scene, including the location, and get additional footage if possible.)
It’s essential to file a complaint with the police even if they weren’t present at the scene of the accident.
- Make sure to have a physical examination as soon as possible, even if there are no signs of physical damage or pain. The initial police complaint should include a description of the injury, location, and sensations. The report should also state that the incident is the reason for the injury. Additionally, ensure that everything said was documented in the medical summary.
- If needed, consult with a psychologist or psychiatrist – in cases where the injury or accident caused anxiety, fear, or post-traumatic flashbacks.
- It’s highly recommended to consult with a tort attorney specializing in such cases to fully understand the legal procedures, receive guidance, and potentially sue the liable entity.
- Like in all tort cases, it’s essential to save all the documents, including receipts of any expenses related to the accident or its consequences. Make sure to document every medical visit, police complaint, and expert opinion related to the incident.
This article is not a substitute for legal or medical advice regarding injury or damage caused in a car accident.
Contact an Expert Tort Attorney
Our law firm assists victims of car accidents and other incidents to receive the compensation they deserve. Contact our Tel-Aviv or Jerusalem offices to schedule a consultation appointment with a tort attorney.