Insurance compensation – No fault for the victim of a traffic accident with undetermined circumstances

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When the circumstances of a traffic accident are undetermined, no fault can be imputed to the victim who is therefore entitled to full compensation for his damage. This was stated by the Court of Cassation in a judgment delivered on December 16, 2021.

Following a traffic accident, the driver of a scooter, seriously injured, summons the drivers of the motor vehicles as well as their insurance companies in order to have their involvement in the accident recognized and the payment of compensation provision.

The Court of Appeal of Fort-de-France in its decision of February 11, 2020, first recalls the principle according to which drivers are entitled to full compensation for their damage, provided that no fault is proven to against them.

In this context, the Court of Appeal, referring to the investigation carried out on the circumstances of the accident, considers that no element essential to the determination of the fault of the driver of the scooter is provided (lack of information on the positioning of the vehicles, the conditions of visibility, speed of the vehicles, presence or not of traces of braking, etc.).

Thus, insofar as the circumstances of the accident are undetermined, no fault can therefore be imputed to the victim. Consequently, the Court recognizes the right to full compensation for his damage. Indeed, the victim can see his compensation limited only if it is proven that he committed a fault in relation to the accident.

The motor vehicle insurance companies involved then appealed to the Court of Cassation, which confirmed the position of the Court of Appeal.

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