Acyl Abogados

ACYL Abogados. Traffic Accidents

WHAT TO DO? Shall I need expert advice? Criminal or civil channels? What do insurance policies include?

What to do in case of a traffic accident

After an accident, our insurance company will offer to us the legal services of a regular lawyer of the Company. The insurance policies allow to hire a free-choice lawyer with a fees limit for the expenses and claim for damages.

The client or their lawyer must then inform their choice to the Company.

In case of conflict of interests with the insurance Company (as it happens when both vehicles have the same one), the client will always be able to choose their lawyer without being subject to the expenses limit determined in the policy, as the High Court ruled in the Sentence of 14th July 2016.

It was considered that it was not the policy holder’s will which had chosen the lawyer but the conflicts of interests as both vehicles have the same Insurance Company.

Moreover, it is clear that as these clauses are somehow restricting rights and they should be accepted by the policy holder separately and in writing. Generally, the insured signs the policy without knowing anything at all of these limitations about their defence and claim of damages.

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Shall I need expert advice?

In many accidents, when the guilt of the implicated people is undecided, it is necessary the expert advice to reach an agreement.

In many cases of injures it will be also required to hire the services of a doctor expert in assessment of personal injuries.

Our Law Office has qualified reference experts in accidents reconstruction with the most advanced techniques, as well as qualified medical experts who will give an estimate before the technical reports and the attendance to the trial.

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Criminal or civil channels?

Before the penal reform of 2015, the criminal channel could be chosen in case of personal injuries (even if they were minor) and not only in case of property damage.

But the mentioned reform has changed everything eliminating the trial of penal offences due to traffic accidents without identity of crime.

As a result, may injured people must turn to the civil channel, with much higher expenses. Therefore, deals and agreements have increased, which is good for the insurance sector and the workload in Courts has been reduced significantly.

Nevertheless, since 2016 and in spite of the decriminalisation of the offences, it is possible to get an assessment of injuries farm the forensic surgeon assigned to the Court (Legal Medicine Institute) without starting a legal procedure. This will have a cost for the Insurance Company even if it is only required by the injured person. The report must be issued within a month since the medical examination.

Furthermore, from 2016, before going to Court, the victim must give to the Insurance Company the claim of a reasoned offer, including all the relevant documents. The Insurance Company must answer in three months and the interest shall be calculated since this date.

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What do insurance policies include?

You must allow an expert to evaluate properly your policy. Our Law Office can advise you on this matter without any obligation in many occasions, there are expenses on the legal defence included in the policy that the policyholders do not know. For instance, home policies including civil liability caused by family members out of home or legal defence in case of work harassment. The examination of each policy should be meticulous in order to determine it this coverage is included and inform as soon as possible the insurance company about this and about the choice of lawyer as well.

We elaborate budgets of estimated fees.

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