A Snapshot- French Personal Injury Claims

There are varying methods of calculating personal injury claims across the different jurisdictions.

Below we provide a brief overview of France and the procedure to follow along with the various heads of loss used to assist experts with their evaluation. 

Firstly we need to point out the limitation period which is ten years. Furthermore after the settlement of the claim if the victim suffers from further complications due to the index incident then he/she can make a claim for ‘aggravation’. 

Following an accident the victim, usually assisted by a lawyer, will have a medical examination by an independent or Court appointed expert. The Defendant’s representative, often the insurer in non-litigated claims, will also send a medical expert to jointly examine the victim. 

The victim will have completed a medical questionnaire in advance of the appointment and provided medical notes including the initial medical certificate (CMI) which is usually obtained within 72 hours of the incident. 

Both the lawyer and medical expert will generally use the ‘nomenclature Dinthilhac’ as a reference point when reviewing the medical report. This is a list of heads of loss which can be applied to the claim to help with the assessment of damages. Other, more specific, heads of loss may be added to a schedule. 

The medical expert will review the list along with the medical notes/questionnaire and determine which heads of loss under Dintilhac can be applied. The expert must add a consolidation date to the report. 

Local Court awards can provide guidance between the parties in their evaluation of the losses based on the conclusions of the medical report. 

The list is broken down into pecuniary (special damages) and non-pecuniary losses (general damages) and permanent and temporary losses to direct and indirect victims. The heads of loss are : 

Direct Victims 

Pecuniary Losses 

Temporary Financial Losses (before consolidation)

DSA (Dépenses de Santé Acutelle / Health Expenses

Miscellaneous Expenses

Loss of Earnings from the incident to the date of consolidation 

Permanent Financial Losses (after consolidation)

Future Health Losses

Adapted Accommodation Costs

Adapted Vehicle Costs

Care and Assistance (hourly rates)

Future Loss of Earnings

Occupational Impact

Educational Impact 

Temporary Non Pecuniary Losses (before consolidation)

DFT/ Temporary Functional Deficiency (an hourly rate is awarded and multiplied by the number of affected days which is multiplied again by the percentage awarded by the expert

Suffering- scored from 1-7

Temporary Esthetical Damage- scored from  1-7 

Permanent Non Pecuniary Losses (after consolidation)

DFP / Permanent Functional Deficiency- calculated as a percentage and linked to the victim’s post- accident incapacity.

PA / Loss of Amenity

Esthetical Damage- scored from 1-7

Loss of Sexual Function

Loss of Prospect of Founding a Family

Exceptional Permanent Losses 

Developing Non Pecuniary Losses (outside of the consolidation period)- in case of developing illnesses

Indirect Victims (Fatal Cases) 

Pecuniary Losses 

Funeral Expenses

PR / Loss of Income following a fatality- usually claimed by family members/parties close to the victim

FD- Miscellaneous expenses of family members/parties close to the victim 

Non Pecuniary Losses 

PAC / Loss of Companionship

PAF/ Compensation for Distress 

Indirect Victims- Non Fatal Cases

Pecuniary Losses

PR/ Loss of Income

FD- Miscellaneous expenses of family members/parties close to the victim

Non Pecuniary Losses

PAF/ Compensation for Distress

PEX / Exceptional Losses

Should you have any questions do not hesitate to contact Coris UK.

Nick Lavelle / Senior Associate Manager / nlavelle@coris-uk.co.uk / Coris UK