In traffic accident cases in Japan, a responsible party has to compensate for all the victim’s losses. Besides, only in the following circumstances, the responsible party has legal duty for not only compensating for their losses but also for paying consolation money for their pain and suffering.
(1) The victim was dead
(2) The victim was injured
(3) The victim was left with residual disability
As you can see, the consolation money is never for property damages in Japan. The Consolation money is for pain and suffering the victim got in the traffic accident. In other words, it is money for the victim’s mental burden. In this article, we take a closer look at case (2): Consolation money for the injured victim.
(About the other two cases, you can see the following articles: Consolation money for a dead victim, and Consolation money for residual disability)
Calculation of consolation money for injured
For calculating the consolation money, there are three standards in Japan: Attorney’s standard, CALI’s standard, and voluntary insurance company’s standard. Each of the standard shows a different extent of money. So, that is one of the reasons why both parties sometimes fail to agree in a phase of settlement. In the following, we take a closer look at each of these three standards.
Attorney’s standard shows the highest amount of money of all the three standards. It’s based on past precedents and made by attorneys consulting with judges. So, it basically shows the amount which the court will admit if you file a suit. If you are an injured traffic accident victim, it’s better to start with the amount calculated based on this Attorney’s standard.
Only Attorney’s standard has a table of consolation money as follows:
|Comuuting to hopitals
(The table is officially referred in a book of Compensation Standards of Civil Traffic Accident Lawsuit in Japan, which is also called as “the red book.”)
According to the above table, if you are hospitalized for one month and commute to a hospital for two months, you have a right to receive JPY980,000. (See 98 in the table colored by red.)
If you visit a hospital twice a week for one month, you can refer to the amount shown under one month in the table. If you visit a hospital only once a week, the amount might be about 30% decreased to the amount in the table. If you visit a hospital only once a month, the amount might be about 70% reduced. Namely, the amount shown by the table is not fixed, but it depends on how often you commute to a hospital.
CALI has its standard when calculating consolation money for the pain and suffering of the injured victim. Since CALI’s upper limit of payout is JPY1,200,000. Consolation money can be calculated only if the amount of the victim’s losses is under JPY1,200,000.
It usually pays out JPY4,200 per day as consolation money. For multiplying, you have to take a lesser number from the following:
(1) The number of the month you visited a hospital (If it’s one month, use the number of 30. If it's two months, use 60.)
(2) Twice the number of days you practically visited a hospital (If It’s ten days, it’s 20 days.)
Voluntary insurance company’s standard.
The voluntary insurance company’s standard is not officially disclosed. Each company has its own standard for the calculation. However, it’s clearly lower than the Attorney’s standard, so one of the reasons why settlement between an at-fault party and victim fails is due to the difference. Like Attorney’s standard, the consolation money increases as the number of days you commute to hospitals or you’re hospitalized increases.
What is the best standard for you?
If you are an injured victim, use the Attorney's standard because it shows the highest amount which the court will admit. The responsible party's insurance company, on the other hand, will suggest a lower amount referring to their standard. So, in a settlement process, you and the other party might negotiate and try to seek a compromised proposal with each other.
In the case where the at-fault party doesn't have financial ability to compensate, CALI's payout might be your last hope. In that case, use CALI's standard for the calculation of consolation money.
In any of the cases, what standard you should use, or how to calculate it depends on every single case. It is wise to consult with professionals trying car accident cases. We, Senryaku Corp., have tried many traffic accident cases for more than ten years. We have knowledge and wisdom derived from our long years' experiences. If you have any concerns or questions about the calculation of consolation money, please do not hesitate to contact us as follows:
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