The lawyer’s guide to road accidents in Italy

Have you suffered damages due to a road accident? The Supreme Court lawyer in Rome for road accidents and personal injury.

This guide aims to provide some useful indications to those affected by road accidents, with the goal of obtaining the maximum compensation in the shortest time possible.

Please note, not all road accidents can be effectively handled without the assistance of a lawyer.

Let’s try to answer the following questions:

Lawyer and road accidents

It is possible to find many lawyers specialized in road accidents in Rome.

Some might even be suggested to you by nurses, orderlies, or physiotherapists at the hospital after your motorcycle fall or road accident.

Other lawyers may be appointed after you have turned to a road accident agency.

If you have been searching for your lawyer online, try to understand if that professional has handled a case like yours.

What needs to be compensated after a road accident?

The party responsible for an accident must compensate for all direct and indirect damages resulting from the accident: the affected party must be relieved from any harmful consequences that have arisen.

material damages (to property);
damages to people.

This initial classification requires further clarification. The following should be subject to compensation:

damages for temporary or permanent disability;
loss of earnings damages;
vehicle damages;
any other consequential damage (medical expenses, physiotherapy, alternative transportation, damages to objects, e.g., watches);
any non-pecuniary damages of any kind.

What to do after an accident?

When an accident occurs, we must first take care of any injured individuals and then secure the area to avoid being hit by other passing vehicles, signaling the potential danger.

If, understandably, we are not calm, we should request the intervention of the Authorities (Police, Municipal Police) to obtain an assessment of the situation and the accident’s dynamics.

If we intend to fill out a CAI form (friendly settlement), ensure that the identity of the drivers and owners of the involved vehicles is correctly stated, including personal data, address, contact number, driver’s license; Insurance Company and policy number, names of witnesses, and vehicle passengers.

Upon returning home, what to do to obtain compensation?

To obtain compensation, it is necessary to “report the accident” to your insurance company, or in cases where direct compensation is not provided, also to the responsible party’s insurance company.

The accident should be reported by sending a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt, attaching all relevant documentation. Some documents need to be provided immediately, while others throughout the process. Pay attention to the documentation and information to be provided; there is a risk of preclusions and forfeitures.

If the Authorities intervene, to obtain compensation, it will be necessary to wait for the release of the accident report: the minimum timeframes are 30 days in case of only property damages, 90 days in case of injuries (damages to people). If a criminal proceeding is initiated, the report is included in the investigation and must be requested from the Court.

In the event that the party causing the accident is unknown or uninsured, it is possible to request compensation from the Road Victims Compensation Fund, established at Consap.

If you are seeking further information on how the Road Victims Compensation Fund works, read our post.

What happens after the accident is reported?

The insurance will appoint an expert to assess the vehicle damages and will request a visit to a doctor of their trust to ascertain damages to individuals. Once these assessments are obtained, the insurance adjuster will make an offer, usually negotiable by the affected party within certain limits.

The affected party or their heirs and relatives are entitled to compensation.

If the insurance does not acknowledge a fair amount, it becomes necessary to turn to a judge to obtain proper compensation.

An accident in a parking lot: does the insurance have to pay?

In the case of an accident in a parking lot, there are limitations to the insurance’s obligation to pay compensation.

This is because the Highway Code establishes the obligation to compensate for accidents on public roads and equivalent locations (such as a supermarket or shopping center parking lot) regardless of public or private ownership of the place.

The situation may be different for private areas not open to the public, such as a garden, courtyard, or a private residence’s parking lot: in these cases, there might be doubts about the insurance’s obligation to compensate for the damage, and the issue is currently under the scrutiny of the Court of Cassation at Joint Sections.

Of course, the affected party is not left without protection, having the possibility to seek recourse against the party responsible for driving the vehicle in the private and non-public parking area.

The employer’s recourse for employee accidents

The employer has the right to be compensated by the same insurance that compensated the employee for road accidents occurring during work activities.

In fact, if the worker is on sick leave due to the accident, the employer remains obligated to pay part of the salary (after what is paid by INPS and Inail).

In these cases, the employer has the right of recourse, meaning after paying the employee, they can request indemnity from the insurance.

Accident abroad: how to obtain compensation

In case of an accident abroad, in the countries of the so-called “Green Card,” with a vehicle registered in one of the European Union (and neighboring) countries, it is possible to use a simplified procedure to claim compensation.

The compensation claim for the accident abroad must be made by contacting the responsible party’s foreign insurance company or their representative (agent) in Italy.

Passenger compensation

In the event of a road accident, the passenger always has the right to be compensated by the vehicle’s insurance they were traveling in.

It may happen that the injured spouse in a road accident where the husband was driving, but had no responsibility (for example, because they were rear-ended), seeks compensation from the husband’s insurance (even where direct compensation was not expected).

This is because the passenger in the event of a road accident always has the right to compensation, regardless of who caused the accident.

It is a choice, sometimes necessary when the vehicle in which the passenger was present has expired insurance; in such cases, the passenger can act against the civil liability insurance company of the responsible party for the accident.

The fact that the passenger was traveling in a vehicle with expired insurance cannot diminish their protection, as the entire compulsory RC (liability) system is based on the principle of protecting third parties.

In this sense, the Court of Cassation in judgment 1179/2022.

Compensation for unmarried cohabitants

Even an unmarried cohabitant has the right to compensation in case of the partner’s death.

According to judgment 23725/2008 of the Cassation, the right to compensation for patrimonial and non-patrimonial damage due to illicit acts must also be recognized to the cohabiting partner, provided that the relationship is characterized by a tendency towards stability and mutual moral and material assistance.

Moreover, compensation for patrimonial damage presupposes the existence of a stable economic contribution made during the deceased’s life to the affected party.

These conditions can be assessed based on presumptive elements (such as cohabitation, the existence of a joint account, economic contribution to daily expenses), which must be considered in a comprehensive and unified manner, as clarified in ordinance 8801 of 28/3/2023.

Compensation for temporary disability

The Tables of the Rome Court provide that for the liquidation of temporary disability (also called IP), it is deemed fair, in relation to what is indicated for biological damage, to determine €110.60 daily for absolute temporary disability for the year 2019, and €55.30 for temporary disability of 50%.

However, if the biological damage is between 1 and 9%, the parameters of Law 57/2001, as replaced by Article 139 of Legislative Decree 209/2005 and last updated with DM January 9, 2019, will be used, provided it concerns damages resulting from healthcare professions, road traffic, and hunting activities.

Road accidents and the Cartabia reform

The Cartabia reform has also impacted the issue of road accidents.

Specifically, regarding road accidents, the procedure before the Justice of the Peace has been reformed, recalling the simplified procedure provided for proceedings before the Justice of the Peace.

For civil proceedings subject to ordinary proceedings, the attention of the parties and the lawyer shifts to the timely summons of the third-party insurer.

Previously, the insurer’s summons could occur up to 20 days before the hearing (out of 90 days available), now the summons must occur within 70 days before the first hearing (out of 120 days available).

Essentially, from the moment of the notification of the summons, the responsible party will have approximately 50 days to defend themselves.

Road accident at a level crossing

Level crossings often cause road accidents (news reports speak of about 250 accidents every year).

In the event of an accident at a level crossing, it may be necessary to verify ownership of the railway line, whether it belongs to RFI of the FS Group or to ANAS or even to Ferrovie del Sud Est.

Clearly, the accident’s dynamics will have consequences as always regarding the apportionment of responsibility, such as in cases of malfunctioning level crossing traffic lights or failure to close the barriers.

Repair even if the cost exceeds the vehicle’s value

The affected party has the right to repair even if it costs more than the vehicle’s value.

Indeed, the practice of some insurance companies aimed at essentially demanding the scrapping of the vehicle is incorrect.

We know that in some cases, the value of the vehicle to be scrapped would not be sufficient to purchase a new or even used car: in these cases, demanding scrapping can be absolutely reasonable for the affected party, who, being the one who should be compensated for the damage suffered, deserves to choose between scrapping and repair.

In any case, repair cannot translate into enrichment for the affected party.

Lawyer’s fee for a road accident in Italy

The lawyer is entitled to a fee, but in the case of road accidents, the lawyer’s fee is almost always borne by the insurance (except for simpler cases, such as damages only to property and not to individuals).

The lawyer’s compensation is therefore usually agreed upon based on the result obtained, either with the application of ministerial tables or by requesting a percentage of the amount received.

Remember that the lawyer’s fee is paid by the insurance and is commensurate with the value and complexity of the case. Therefore, the lawyer you engage has the same interest as you in obtaining the maximum compensation, defending you from sometimes unfair behaviors of insurance companies that naturally aim to minimize payouts.

Who is the best lawyer in Rome for road accidents?

There is no statistic or objective data that allows us to say who the best lawyer in Rome for road accidents is.
In reality, the answer does not exist because it is impossible to say if one lawyer is better than another.
It is more appropriate to identify the right lawyer for your case based on the personal feeling established, the trust placed, and the perceived competence in that specific area.

To conclude: who is the right lawyer to obtain your compensation for a road accident?

If your accident only involves a claim for property damage, then you need a civil lawyer.

In case your accident has resulted in a criminal proceeding, or you are interested in involving the Public Prosecutor to ascertain the crimes and the accident’s dynamics, you need a criminal lawyer. If you have a problem with your license due to driving under the influence, read our guide.

If you have read this guide and found it useful, or if you are looking for a law firm in Rome with cassationist lawyers dealing with accidents, claims against insurance companies, and personal injury, you can contact us for a consultation without obligation regarding your case.”

 

 


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