Compensation to victims of Road Traffic Accidents

In order to help those injured in road accidents, in 1975 Israel passed the law on compensation for victims of road accidents.

The law defines a road traffic accident as an event that occurs during the use of a car or another motor vehicle, as a result of which injuries are caused to a person, resulting in death, illness, mutilation and mental disorders.

However, although the law covers a wide range of injuries resulting from the use of a vehicle, it is important to understand that not all damage caused by a vehicle guarantees a victim the right to compensation under the law. For example, in case of intentional damage, the one who intentionally caused the accident is deprived of the right to compensation.

Using a motor vehicle means not only driving, but also getting on, getting off, parking, towing, pushing, maintaining or repairing it on the roadside, as well as overturning the vehicle or its load.

It is important to note that the law establishes absolute liability for the driver of a vehicle. This means that the driver is responsible for any damage caused as a result of a car accident, regardless of who caused the accident. For example, even if a pedestrian did not follow traffic rules, crossed the road when the traffic lights didn’t allow it and was injured due to his own mistake, he will still be entitled to full compensation for his injuries as a result of the accident. The driver, who hit the pedestrian, is required to compensate for the damage caused to the victim.

Under paragraph 3(a) of the law, in a multi-vehicle accident, all drivers involved in the accident are liable for the damage, regardless of the fault of the driver of the vehicle.

In addition, the law regulates the issue of urgent payments in the interim period, which is calculated from the moment of the accident and lasts until the final decision is made, obliging the driver of the vehicle or, in most cases, his insurance company to pay in advance the amount of the damage.

The opportunity to claim such a payment in the interim period, in Hebrew “tashlum tahuf”, is aimed at ensuring the financial well-being of the victim and his family, since in most cases, as a result of an accident, the victim loses his ability to work and the ability to support family members who are dependent on him, and the trial can last for months or even years. Therefore, the law stipulates an opportunity to receive financial support in the form of fixed payments covering regular medical expenses, including hospitalization, as well as monthly payments to cover medical needs of the victim and his family members. To do this, the victim should submit a written claim to the guilty driver or insurance company. The amount of the payment is determined taking into account the income of the victim before the accident, however, the amount is tied to the consumer price index.

The law guarantees the right of the victim to apply to the court with a similar request if the driver refuses to make such payments.

Paragraph 7 of the law contains a closed list of victims who are deprived of the right to compensation:

  • Those who deliberately provoked an accident.
  • Those who drove a car without the consent of the owner.
  • Those who drove a car without a driver’s license.
  • Those who used the vehicle to commit a crime, and assisted in its commission.
  • Those who drove a car without insurance.

The law also established the Road Traffic Victims Compensation Fund, the purpose of which was to be able to compensate those who, while entitled to compensation under the law, could not receive the compensation from the culprit for the following reasons:

  • The driver involved in the accident is unknown, for example: the case “hit and fled”.
  • The driver does not have the insurance or the insurance does not cover the liability.
  • The driver’s insurance company is in financial difficulties and it is in the process of liquidation and that is why it cannot pay the compensation.

At first glance, we have a very clear law that regulates the compensation of the damage caused to victims of road accidents. However, the extent of the damage and the amount of compensation are factors that often lead to lengthy and complex litigation. It is important to remember that insurance companies hire leading law firms to protect their interests and minimize compensation costs. That is why it is very important to find an experienced specialist in a timely manner who will help to get the payment of maximum compensation in the shortest possible time.

Compensation to victims of RTA
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