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Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union, and Poles constitute 7.5% of the European population. It therefore comes as no surprise that in cross-border personal injury cases it is often necessary to refer to Polish substantial or procedural law. Attorney Jolanta Budzowska, pictured below, is the member of the PEOPIL Board for Poland and works with her PEOPIL colleagues to ensure that the rights of victims are duly respected.
PEOPIL wishes to draw attention to its Polish members two important initiatives of the Financial Ombudsman, aimed at removing discrepancies in the Supreme Court’s case law. The first initiative concerned the legitimacy of compensating close relatives for their provision of free care of the victims of a, e.g., traffic accident. The Financial Ombudsman filed a motion to adopt a resolution on this issue to the Supreme Court on 29 April 2019 which remain pending before the Court.
In Polish case law, there is no doubt that the only premise for determining a pension for the future is to prove the existence of increased needs, and thus the injured party does not have to demonstrate incurred expenses. However, what became controversial is the question whether compensation for personal injury should include payment of an equivalent of the costs of free care provided to the victim by the members of his family up until the victim applied for a pension. According to the Ombudsman, the victims should be able to be compensated for the costs of care provided by their loved ones free of charge.
The most recent initiative of the Financial Ombudsman concerns the right of the victims’ closest relatives to redress for their own pain and suffering. The Chamber of Extraordinary Review and Public Affairs of the Supreme Court dismissed an extraordinary complaint regarding redress for closest relatives, referred to it by the Public Prosecutor General, in October last year. The Chamber of Extraordinary Review and Public Affairs of the SC took a completely opposite position to that previously expressed by the Civil Chamber of the SC.
Atty. Budzowska commented “the Civil Chamber of the SC so far had no doubt that when it comes to cases involving vegetative or so-called terminal states, that redress should be awarded. The Chamber issued three homonymous resolutions on this matter in March 2018. The Financial Ombudsman called for removing discrepancies in favour of the victims’ closest relatives in a motion filed on 13 December 2019”.
PEOPIL President John Beer added “Personal injury law is about victims and their families. Especially when a victim is so badly injured that the lives of family members are affected. It is good to see that throughout Europe more attention is focussed on family members who are both emotionally damaged by what has happened to their loved one and fulfilling the duties of care as well. Thus, the Financial Ombudsman’s activities in that regard should be acknowledged and supported”.
If you are a practising Lawyer in Poland and wish to become a PEOPIL member please contact our CEO Dr Wolfgang Resch today at Wolfgang.firstname.lastname@example.org or simply click this link to become a PEOPIL member.