In most countries it is not possible to make a second claim for compensation for a personal injury. However, if you were injured in France and your condition has deteriorated, then in certain circumstances it may be possible to pursue a new claim even if you have already received compensation.
For a second claim to be successful, it is essential that the alleged deteriorated condition was not already envisaged and included in the initial compensation.
Examples of this might be where a limb was amputated and now requires a replacement prothesis, or where osteoarthritis has developed to the extent that further treatment is required, or that you are now unable to work or to function independently.
This is known as a French ‘aggravation’ claim and secondary compensation may be available for additional damage, suffering, incapacity, care needs and any financial losses associated with the deterioration.
Our bilingual and dual-qualified (English & French) personal injury lawyers are highly experienced in helping people who suffer a deterioration of their condition.
We are accredited by APIL, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, and have strong links with France.
We can assist you with claiming compensation for an aggravation of your injuries arising from any types of accidents, such as:
We will need to instruct a medico-legal expert to assess whether the deterioration is medically significant and to what extent it increases your level of suffering, your permanent incapacity, your needs for care and assistance, your ability to work etc.
Is there a time limit?
It does not matter when your accident occurred; it may be as long as 10, 20 or even 30 years ago. What is important is to determine when your condition started to deteriorate. Usually, the input of a medico-legal expert will be essential to determine that date, as well as when the deterioration of your condition consolidated, i.e. stabilised.
You then still have ten years to start a claim. However, please do not delay seeking advice, as this is not necessarily a straightforward question.
The solicitors and French-qualified avocats at Pierre Thomas have a strong reputation for recovering compensation for people injured in accidents in France and suffering a deterioration of their condition.
Recent cases include:
Aggravation claims are a specificity of French law. They do not exist in English law, which requires personal injury claims to be settled ‘once and for all’.
We can normally help if your accident occurred in France (subject to French law being the applicable law to the substantive issues of your case). You do not need to be a French national or resident. We act for several British nationals who live in England who were the victims of serious accidents in France many years ago and now suffer a deterioration of their condition after a first settlement was received.
We will always be able to pursue an aggravation claim in the French courts, against the French liable insurer. In some circumstances, we may be able to pursue your claim in the English courts. We will advise you at the outset of your case about the possible options.
We will explain your funding options at the outset of your accident claim.
For claims brought in England & Wales we are usually able to offer a conditional fee agreement if you have a good case. This means you do not have to pay anything up front and your claim will not cost you anything if you lose. This is sometimes known as a ‘no win, no fee’ arrangement.
For claims that are pursued in France we will review the available options for funding your legal fees and discuss what is likely to best suit your requirements.
You will be entitled to compensation for the additional damage and loss suffered as a result of the deterioration. The initial settlement will not be subject to any change. Compensation in French law contains elements of non-financial damage (such as suffering and pain, temporary and permanent incapacity, cosmetic damage, loss of amenity etc.) and financial damage (such as medical costs, care and assistance, loss of earnings etc.)
We will obtain a medical report from an independent doctor describing the nature and extent of the deterioration of your injuries and how this affects you. This will allow us to value the injury claim.