Major differences between reimbursement costs for legal assistance in Europe

Picture of Joshua White
Joshua White
Major differences between reimbursement costs for legal assistance in Europe

Many countries in Europe have united in the European Union. There is already a lot of European law. However, there are still major differences to be discovered between the legal systems within Europe. The same applies for personal injury claims. Not only in terms of fees, but also in terms of the costs of legal assistance.

Within Europe, the various countries have different legal systems when it comes to reimbursement of lawyer’s fees. It is best if you are looking for a personal injury lawyer in the Netherlands, for example a personal injury lawyer in Utrecht (Dutch: letselschade advocaat Utrecht). For example, if you are hit by a car in The Hague, you can use a personal injury lawyer in The Hague for free (Dutch: letselschade advocaat Den Haag). But how is this possible?

In the Netherlands, the right to free assistance from a personal injury lawyer after an accident is included in the law. This is because Article 6:96 paragraph 2 states that the costs involved in recovering damage, determining liability and estimating the compensation qualify for compensation by the other party. The only condition for free legal aid is that a third person is liable for the injury suffered and to be suffered.

The system as it applies in the Netherlands is unique in Europe. This system does not apply anywhere else. For example, in Belgium or France you must pay the costs of your personal injury lawyer yourself. There is no compensation. So, if you are hit by a car or you have an industrial accident, you will have to pay the costs of legal assistance yourself. The hourly rates are high, so you will quickly lose thousands of euros to hire a personal injury lawyer in Belgium or France.

In other European countries there are only minimal fees for a personal injury lawyer. In Germany they work with a table that determines how many costs will be reimbursed. In Austria, the reimbursement of lawyer’s fees depends on the amount of the damage. It is an extremely low fee. The Dutch system is therefore really the best when it comes to reimbursement of lawyer’s fees after a traffic accident, accident at work or dog bite.

Difference in compensation payment

The differences between the various European countries are not only large in terms of the costs of legal assistance. There are also major differences with regard to the compensation itself. Here in the Netherlands, you are often not the best off, for example when it comes to paying compensation for damages.

Compensation is compensation for all damage items that cannot be valued in money. Examples of consequences of an accident that fall under compensation for damages include psychological complaints. You can think of fear of traffic, but also anxiety complaints as a result of a dog bite. In addition, pain complaints and also grief for unsightly scars are part of compensation.

In the Netherlands, the lowest compensation for damages is paid within Europe. The amount of compensation is estimated there by looking at court cases that played out in the past and in which an amount of compensation was awarded. Many of these court cases have been bundled in the Smart Money guide. Based on an example from this guide, the amount of compensation for damages is determined.

In other European countries, personal injury compensation is much higher. But the differences are also large with regard to other damage items. In the field of personal injury there is therefore not yet 1 Europe.