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Cars and accidents (II): some problems with civil liability insurance for automobiles
Some problems with civil liability insurance for automobiles

One of the main features of the legal field of damages caused by motor vehicles is the vital presence of civil liability insurance taken out by the vehicle owner to cover potential compensation claims against whoever drives it.

In fact, civil liability insurers are the main agents in the administration (encompassing claim, processing and payment, both legal and non-legal) of damages deriving from traffic accidents. Moreover, the defendants in compensation claims brought by the victims of damages caused by motor vehicles are, in the vast majority of cases, the companies insuring the vehicles involved.

Without a doubt, this is helped along by the direct action generally attributed to the aggrieved party by articles 76 of the “Ley de Contrato de Seguro” (insurance contract law) and 117 of the penal code and, specifically for traffic accidents, article 6 of the “Ley de Responsabilidad Civil y Seguro en la Circulación de Vehículos a Motor” (law on civil liability and insurance for motor vehicles).

Article 76 of the insurance contract law stipulates:

«The aggrieved party or his or her heirs shall be able to take direct action against the insurer to demand that all obligations over compensation are fulfilled,…»

And according to article 117 of the penal code:

«Insurers that have taken on the risk of pecuniary liability deriving from the use of any property, company, industry or activity, when, as a result of a circumstance provided for in this Code, an event occurs that produces the insured risk, they shall hold direct civil liability up to the legally established or generally agreed compensation limit,…»

Finally, article 6 of the law on civil liability and insurance for motor vehicles, states the following:

«The insurer, within the domain of compulsory insurance, must pay the aggrieved party the sum of the damages suffered by their person or property, to then be charged to this compulsory insurance. The aggrieved party or his or her heirs shall have direct action to demand this.»

Coches y accidentes (II): algunos problemas del seguro de responsabilidad civil del automóvil

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Fernando Gómez Pomar, «Cars and accidents (II): some problems with civil liability insurance for automobiles. Some problems with civil liability insurance for automobiles», InDret 3.00