Legal update: Compensation claims and interest
Any litigant can see that when he or she takes a case to court, the justice system is overwhelmed by the number of cases it has to deal with.
Also, the human resources allocated to the courts do not allow cases to be dealt with promptly.
As a result, there can be a significant time lapse between the date of the harmful event and the date on which the judge rules on the compensation claim.
What happens to the compensation claim in the meantime?
First of all, the assessment of the compensation at the time of the judgment must take into account, where applicable, changes in the exchange rate (Cass. civ. 2, 4 October 2018, no. 17-23.226).
It will be sufficient for the judge to refer to an index in his judgment.
Most often, the judge will use the formula: “this sum will bear interest at the legal rate from the date of this decision”.
In addition, “The economic loss suffered by the successor in title of a victim as a result of the victim’s death must be assessed on the date of the decision setting the amount, taking into account all the factors known on that date, and the trial courts must, if requested, update the compensation awarded for this loss on the date of their decision in accordance with the monetary depreciation”.
Cass. civ. 2, 13 November 2003, no. 02-16.733
Cass. crim, 8 March 2011, no. 10-81.741
Cass. civ. 2, 13 September 2012, no. 11-22.051
However, case law leaves judges a great deal of leeway in setting the terms and conditions for calculating and updating compensation.
Again, the aggravation of the injury is taken into account and when the victim’s condition changes after the judgment, it is possible to revise the amount of the annuities that have been awarded to the victim.
Although it has been the subject of debate in the past, the question of revaluing pensions is no longer debated today and, in most cases, the judge will order them to be indexed to the index that he or she considers most appropriate for the victim’s situation.
In this way, time is taken into account in the full compensation of the loss.
The DAMY law firm can help you calculate and assert these changes.
Do not hesitate to make an appointment.