Case law: the judge’s interpretation of the expert report

The expert’s report is a central element in litigation relating to compensation for personal injury.

It is used to demonstrate liability and forms the basis of the costing.

However, it is sometimes forgotten that the expert report is only indicative for the judge, who still retains his discretion.

This principle was recently reiterated.

In one case, the expert’s mission had been drawn up by the interim relief judge, who had neglected to ask for a consolidation date to be set.

This raised a question and the trial judges, taking advantage of their freedom to set the date of consolidation, relied on the expert’s findings to determine it on the date of the report.

Cass. civ. 2, 10 February 2022, no. 20-20.143

The trial judges therefore compensated for the failure of the expert’s mission and assessed a factor not determined by the expert.

In addition to not being bound by the expert’s conclusions, the judge can perfectly well decide for himself on a point not raised in an expert report, including in matters of personal injury.

Cass. civ. 1, 20 February 1968, no. 65-14.023

By recently reaffirming this principle, it is claimed that bodily injury will remain a matter for human beings, where everyone involved will contribute to providing the victim with the best possible care.

This is in line with the recent observation that the DataJust project is perishing.

The Conseil d’Etat had approved the Data Just system, which was designed to collect data relating to judgments so that they could be processed to generate indicative quantums of compensation.

One could speak of a desire to create a predictive compensation system based on Big Data.

In practice, this project seems to have been nipped in the bud and is now in the process of being buried, given the illusory nature of entrusting the assessment of compensation quantums to a robot.

The Ministry seems inclined to abandon the project altogether.

As a result, compensation for bodily injury will continue to be assessed by health and legal professionals, who alone are capable of understanding the specificities and differences of each case.

The DAMY law firm will help you to obtain fair compensation.