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Traffic accident through no fault of my own – what claims do I have?

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A traffic accident – especially through no fault of your own – is associated with a lot of trouble and some inconvenience. In addition, as an injured party, you quickly run the risk of unknowingly waining your own claims against the opposing insurance company. In terms of accident regulation, naturally inexperienced accident victims are often “pulled over the table” here, as they do not know many damage positions. However, if the other party to the accident is fully liable, his insurance company must reimburse the injured party in full for the damage incurred. With this article, I would like to shed some light on the darkness of claims settlement and present the most important damage items:

Repair costs are generally to be reimbursed if the restoration of the previous condition is technically possible and economically reasonable. The following restrictions apply:The repair costs may not exceed the replacement value by more than 30 % (so-called 130 % case law)The co-repair of previous damage is excludedDeductions according to the principle of “new for old” must be made

Apart from these limitations, the repair costs can be reimbursed either after actual seizure or on a fictitious basis – proven by expert opinions or, in the case of minor damage, cost estimates. VAT will be refunded if the charge can be proven.

2. Replacement expenses in the event of a total loss

If there is a technical or economic total loss, the injured party can demand the replacement value minus the residual value from the opposing insurance company (so-called replacement expenses).

For the period in which the injured party cannot use his vehicle as a result of the traffic accident, he is entitled to compensation for loss of use. In the event of a repair, the reimbursement will be made for the time of the – usually estimated – repair period. In the event of a total loss, the so-called replacement period is decisive.

As an alternative to the claim for loss of use, the injured party can take a rental car for a reasonable period of time. The costs for this shall also be reimbursed if they were necessary. It should be noted that the injured party should take care not to rent a higher-class car compared to his accident vehicle due to his duty to mitigate damage.

If the other party to the accident is at fault, the injured party can commission an expert of his choice to inspect your vehicle. The costs for this must also be borne by the other party to the accident. In the case of minor damage (up to approx. 750 €), it is advisable to obtain a cost estimate, as the commissioning of an expert can constitute a violation of the obligation to mitigate damages. Obtaining an expert opinion is usually required to prove the amount of damage.

If the injured party is injured in the accident, he is in principle also entitled to compensation for pain. The amount of the compensation for pain and suffering depends on the specific individual case and represents a discretionary decision.

If the injured party suffers a loss of earnings as a result of the accident, this must also be compensated as damage by the other party to the accident or his insurance company.

If, as a result of the accident-related injuries, costs arise from the medical treatment to be carried out, these must also be reimbursed to the injured party by the other party.

If the injured party is no longer able to manage his household properly due to the accident, a so-called household management damage may be claimed. This can be calculated either concretely (costs of hiring a substitute) or fictitiously.

Accident-related travel expenses, e.B. for visits to the doctor or hospitalizations, must also be borne by the opposing insurance company.

The injured party’s lawyer’s fees also represent a damage item. The other party to the accident or his insurer must therefore also bear these costs in the event of complete fault.

12. Other damage items

The above list is not exhaustive. There are a number of other damage items that can be claimed. These include, for .B, registration and deregistration costs and a mandatory lump sum of approx. 20 – 30 €.

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