Compensation claims usually arise as a result of several mistakes, ranging from (1) negligence, (2) grave error, (3) non-compliance with professional or industrial law or regulations, (4) dereliction of duty, and (5) refraining from performing a legally binding act. Such faults appear similar to each other in terms of terminology and, in general, referred to as “wrongdoing” which results in harm to a party entitled to claim financial compensation. Moreover, such mistakes may be harmful to the body or self, cause damage to reputation, cause damage to funds or assists, deprivation of benefit or delay in obtaining the said benefit. The compensation shall be at the discretion of the court to compensate the affected party for such damage.
Nour Attorneys & Legal Consultants team works in a highly professional manner to represent our clients during their claims of defense in compensation claims, as we focus on the legal and financial elements that support that entitlement of our client to compensation, the supporting documents available to our client, the value of damage, etc.
First: The Elements that Determine the Entitlement of our Client to Compensation:
The law requires the existence and coherence of specific legal elements to achieve the requirement due for liability, namely:
1- The Proof of Fault or Mistake:
In order to investigate a claim for damages, the primary condition is proving that there is fault or mistake, and such fault may be proven by a criminal case (such as crossing a red signal or reversing). The fault may be also proven or fixed under a conviction for malpractice by the licensing authority (conviction of a physician or doctor for negligence by the health authority). However, the court may re-examine the reasons for the conviction by the licensing authority again, other than criminal proceedings, or if the conviction was civilly proven before the judge who is concerned with considering the compensation claim (such as if the contractor left the construction waste in the building and making the owner pay for cleaning such waste). In such cases, the means to prove the fault or mistake vary.
2- The Causality Relationship
It is a requirement that the fault or mistake has caused damage directly or contributed to it indirectly. If there is no link between the fault and the occurrence of the damage, it is not possible to obtain compensation. Hence, it is extremely important to focus on explaining the causality relationship between the fault and the damage and how the said fault has contributed to the damage. Such damage may have been caused directly or indirectly in contribution with other factors, the compensation shall be determined in proportion to the contribution. For example:
(A) Direct Damage:
Someone has crossed the red signal causing an accident to others, no compensation claim can be filed in case the party did not cause any damage to others.
(B) Damage that was Caused in Contribution with Other Factors:
The contractor in charge of construction works did not add directional signboards for the vehicles, their passage routes and the workers’ passage route. Therefore, a driver of a vehicle hit a worker passing the road and the worker was not wearing the phosphorus uniform at construction sites. In this example, the contractor’s fault, the driver’s fault and the worker’s fault, all together, contributed to the occurrence of the accident.
(C) The Existence of Both the Fault and Damage Without a Causality Relationship
Assuming that the doctor made a mistake by neglecting the allergy testing procedure before surgery, which is a binding procedure according to the regulations. Therefore, the surgery resulted in damage in the weakness of one of the organs, however, the said weakness is not related to the doctor’s fault, but because it is a potential and natural result of surgery. In the above example, there are both a fault and damage, yet, there is no causality relationship.
3- The Occurrence of the Damage or Injury
Damage occurs as a result of a fault or mistake that is committed by a certain party, hence, the compensation claimant shall prove that there is damage that was caused to himself/herself. Thereafter, the court can assess whether or not the damage has occurred. There may be an error and there is presumed damage, but it has not occurred, for example:
A driver has committed a minor accident by crossing a red signal that caused minor shocks between vehicles; however, passengers did not have any injuries. In the previous example, a compensation may not be claimed for injury from the accident as there are no bruises, injuries or medical reports in the surrounding circumstances that confirm the injury.
Second: Other Elements that Determine the Compensation Value that May Include the Compensation Claimant’s Wrongdoing
There are many factors that contribute to the assessment of the amount of financial compensation, for example, the following:
1- Participation of the Claimant in Causing the Damage (Committing a Less Serious Fault than the Defendant)
The compensation claimant may be involved in causing the damage or may aggravate the damage caused by the other party. For example, a person may cause an injury or damage to another person by committing a fault or mistake, however, the injured party may not take care of the wound or disinfect it, causing pain and long suffering that would not have occurred if it was not for the neglect of the claimant.
2- The Circumstances of the Occurrence of the Fault (Day or Night, in Case of Rain or Floods, or the Presence of Goodwill or Bad faith)
Courts take into account the circumstances of the accident in order to determine the proper compensation for the damage. For example, a person causes a traffic accident which leads to the injury of a driver of another vehicle at night in a rainy weather and in a lack of lighting. The court will determine compensation commensurate with the circumstances of the accident, unlike if it occurred in a clear daylight and in a well-illuminated area that includes directional signboards, etc.
3- The Existence of a Legal Excuse Accompanying the Fault or the Mistake
A fault or mistake may cause another person to be harmed while performing a legal act or emergency. A hypothetical example is:
A person breaking his neighbor’s water pipes in order to extinguish afire and rescuing those who are trapped by the fire, causing the neighbor to bear the costs of repair and water cuts for days before the repair of the pipes.
In such case, despite the existence of a fault, damage and the causality relationship, the court shall consider in its judgment that the compensation shall only cover the repair costs in the light of the circumstances of a legitimate excuse, namely, that a person was saving the lives of others.
You can always get the finest legal advice and consultation from our attorneys and legal consultants at Nour Attorneys & Legal Consultants concerning your compensation claims in order to ensure achieving the best possible results.
August 4, 2021
July 3, 2021