The law firm represents individual clients, i.e. injured parties, seeking redress out of and before a court against responsible persons and insurance companies for material and non-material damage sustained.
If the act or omission of a third party (traffic or occupational accident, animal bite, snow slipping from the roof, etc.) prejudices the interests of the client, this may result in damage. The injured party is granted the right to seek redress.
Damage sustained may be material (destroyed or damaged property, loss of income, treatment, funeral costs, etc.) or non-material (bodily injury, injury to health, reduced freedom, undermined honour and reputation, interference with rights relating to personality, malformation, fear, death of a close family member, etc.)
Redress constitutes compensation for damage sustained. Restitution may be demanded. In case of non-material damage, pecuniary redress is granted.
Seeking redress is subject to the following assumptions being cumulative:
- that damage has been sustained,
- that damage results from unlawful (wrongful) conduct,
- that there is a (legally relevant) causal link between the alleged action and the damage sustained,
- that the author of damage is liable for redress.
Redress may be sought by anyone, either an individual or legal entity, if a third party is wholly or partly liable for the damage sustained. If complicity is shown, redress may be reduced proportionately.
With traffic accidents, insurance companies often seek to establish contributory negligence of the injured party, whereas the law and case law have formulated extremely clear positions as to when drivers of motor vehicles are objectively liable irrespective of fault and when a contributory negligence appeal is not justified.
In case of death of a close family member, close family members of the deceased: their spouse, non-marital partner, children, parents, are entitled to redress. If a long-term living community had been established between the deceased and their brothers and sisters, they also receive redress.
If a motor third-party liability insurance (AO-Plus) had been concluded, redress may also be sought by the person that has caused the damage or their relatives.
In case of grievous bodily injury of a close family member that has resulted in a particularly arduous disability, close family members of the injured party are also entitled to redress.
The amount of redress is always individualised and is subject to the type of injury, the intensity and duration of pain and discomfort, scope of treatment, scope of irreversible repercussions and disability. Redress for fear is assessed subject to intensity and duration of fear on the occasion of the accident and the fear of the outcome of treatment. Redress for malformation is established on the basis of personal impairment and discomfort in front of people.
Our basic guideline is for our clients to be granted redress during out-of-court proceedings as redress is thus granted faster. If we fail to reach an agreement with the opposing party (which is usually the insurance company), the law firm, on the basis of long-term experience, opts to lodge a redress action before the competent court.
Clients are advised to contact their attorney-at-law immediately after damage has been sustained or no later than after treatment has been completed with all the necessary documentation and to seek a continuation of the proceedings, starting by making a claim for redress and, subsequently, if no out-of-court settlement is reached, by also lodging an action. Clients should preferably also bring the following documentation to their attorney-at-law (in case of occupational injuries, traffic accidents, etc.):
- the injury information form,
- all medical documents,
- police report, if applicable,
- certificates of justifiable absence from work,
- evidence of loss of income, etc.