What to do in case of a car accident  

by  LAURE DREYFUS, Attorney of law

In the case of a car accident, the responsibility of the driver who caused the accident (himself,
sombody else or  material element) must not be proved: one speaks of an "absolute responsibility".
This situation has two faces since the victim must not prove the culpability, which makes receiving
compensations easier, but the law limits the amount of the compensation. Thus, even though
somebody causes an accident, if his/her car is insured he will be compensated for damages

1. In which situations does the law apply?
The law has a wide vision of the notion of car accident: "it applies to every person who is the victim of
a motorized machine used for transportation", that is to say usual vehicles but also trains, tractors ...
This category comprises also vehicles that are implicated in an accident when their motor is not
ignited. This is the case  when a tire or a fuel tank explode, when a car door is opened  etc...

2. To whom does the law apply?
The law applies only to persons who have undergone a physical injury, pedestrians or passengers (
even if the car is stopped)
Obviously, drivers who drive without a license, those who deliberately committed an accident or those
who used their car to commit a crime are not covered by law

3. All vehicles must be insured
Insuring the car is compulsory; there exists an insurance called "bituach chovah", but it is advised to
also obtain  a complimentary insurance "bituach makif"
There exists a special fund of indeminsation  (kranit) for victims of accidents caused by vehicles who
have not been insured , by unidentified vehicles or in the case the driver could not know that his/her
car was not insured

4. The law fixes the honorary paid to the lawyer in charge of the case.
The sum to be paid to the lawyer depends on how the case is progressing but should not be above 13%
of the compensation received
No down payment should be given to the lawyer

5.  What elements are taken into account for the compensations?
a) the percent of  incapacity caused by the accident. This is fixed by an expert chosen by the court
b) the pain suffered by the victim
c)  the loss of income (past) aused by the accident (absence, reduction of working time...)
d)  the future loss of income .
e) the "lost years" in the case of death of the victim: this is the loss of potential income of the
deceased, calculated from the number of years he/she would have worked till retirement
f) medical expenses (visits to the physicians, consultations, medicines)
g) help and medical  equipment
h) transportation expenses
i) housing expenses if  the victim had to adapt to the handicap caused by the accident
j) if the victim's autonomy has been diminished
k) if the victim has chances to recover

6. What to do in case of a car accident, some advices?
• Go to the police station to declare the accident. The police will deliver a certificate necessary for the
insurance company
• Go to the emergency room immediately or later to check your health and consequences of the
• Do not hesitate to consult specialists if need be , physiotherapists, psychologists, social worker and
keep all the medical records
• Keep all the receipts: gas, help at home, medical apparatus, taxi etc... All these expenses are taken
into account if they are justified
• Go to Bitouach Leumi if the accident took place at work or on the way to or from the work place.
• Ask for a copy of your insurance policies (including your life insurance)
• Asking for a compensation from the  Bitouach Leumi  (work accident) does not prevent from asking
from compensation from the insurance later
• Ask your employer to give you an attestation for the days you could not come to work because of the
• Do not answer questions asked by the insurance company and do not sign declarations
• If your vehicle has been damaged , keep all the papers (this proves the force of the impact)
• It is primordial to keep all the medical documents
• When you visit the doctor, check that he/she has written down all your complaints
Give all these documents to your lawyer who will take care of your case in front of the insurance

Maitre Laure DREYFUS, attorney at Haifa

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