Trends in compensation of non-pecuniary losses in various European countries


Generally we can observe an upward trend in Europe with respect to awards for non-pecuniary losses. Courts themselves refer in their jurisdiction to this trend. Courts argue that there is a general tendency trend tozvards higher amounts of compensation in severe cases.

Regarding the double function ofevaluated indemnities, 011 one side compensation function and on the other side satisfaction function, the compensation function becomes the more and more important one. In some countries where in the past there was no compensationfor non-pecuniary losses the economical situation of the tortfeasor is now recognized to give up to the times more to the damaged party for the non-pecuniary loss

We are far away from harmonization in this field of tort law, especially with respect to the awards.

We can observe an increasing pressure brought by organized žPlaintiff lawyers’ (Netherlands, Great Britain, Croatia, …).

Claims across borders give rise to nevo systems, for example the 4th Motor Insurance Directive of the EU.

There is tendency towards extension of court jurisdiction by the possibility ofžForum Shopping’, which leads to an uncertainty in the application ofthe law.

lncreased awards ofdamages resulting from unprofessional conduct by insurers who are only interested in sellingpolicies and obtaining premium payments, but are not interested in efficient and qualified settlement ofclaims.

Increased life-expectancy results in an increase in the damages due to the longer period over which the balancing function ofpain and suffering applied.

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