Railway accidents

Railway accidents

Following the serious railway accident of Galicia on 24/07/13, it took for the Spanish Government almost a year to passed the Real Decreto 627/2014 of 18.7.2014 intended to regulate assistance to victims of railway accidents and their families.

This Real Decreto establishes measures in several fields: specifies the minimum content of the civil protection plans in the autonomous communities (Comunidades Autónomas) in providing assistance to victims and their families, shows the actions that must be guaranteed by the Central Government, regulates the obligations to be articulated through the plan of assistance to victims of railway accidents and their relatives which must have the railway companies and the obligations of protection plans that the infrastructure managers should consider in providing assistance to victims and tRailway accidentsheir families and, although in the preamble of the Real Decreto says that is appropriate to increase the compensation of Regulation of mandatory insurance of passengers (SOVI) in fact only a simple upgrade to current date (presumably 2014) of the amounts offered by the Real Decreto 1575/1989 has been done, but even with a lower outcome, i.e., that applying the above rules and updating it accordingly to IPC as established jurisprudence majority says, there is still a sum of money exceeding that fixed in the Real Decreto of 2014, so despite the apparent good intentions of this legislation, once again victims see their rights trimmed.

Train accidentIn any case, when a passenger of a railway transport has an accident resulting in injury or death, if it occurs after the purchase of the ticket and it is caused in the public transport itself or its facilities and stations, the injured passenger or their families in case of death, are entitled to receive compensation for strict liability for these physical damage or death, i.e. without needing to prove the cause or guilt, based on the categories and quantities specified in these Regulations, 2014, vanishing now the conflicts that so far existed between victims and insurance companies regarding issues with updates, but in the very near future they will arise again, given the silence that remains in the new decree regarding the update mechanism for compensation amounts that is set, unlike the RDL 8/2004 of October 29, known as the Scale of Road Traffic Accidents that expressly sets in its articles the legally binding update of the amounts that are regulated.

Train passengers, as well as those in other public transports (see Accidents in non-railway public transports), apart from being entitled to such compensation not subject to any proof of guilt, they also have the possibility to claim another very superior compensation and fully compatible with the previous whenever there is guilt attributable to the driver or the transport manufacturer, which may be the public administration, and also both the injured and the families of the deceased can claim that compensation in a railway accident.

To achieve a compensation in guilt, there must be an accident where this responsibility is proved, that would blame either the train driver or the company or also the administration that provides the service or, in general, a third party, i.e., whereas the previous insurance (SOVI) can be claimed even for a stumble, even by a clumsy passenger, in the first case (in guilt) one can only claim if thereTrain crash is someone responsible for it, to whom we can impute liability for damage. This compensation is not valued according with the rules and regulation of the Regulation of Mandatory Insurance of passengers (SOVI), it is actually valued in accordance with the Scale of traffic accidents that is regulated by the Real Decreto Legislativo 8/2004, of October 29 and amended by Ley 21/2007, of 11 July, on the civil liability and insurance in road traffic.

These compensations are much higher than those covered by the mandatory insurance of passengers and require sometimes an expert medical report for better assessment that can guarantee full compensation.

For example, in a case where a victim has died in a railway public transport accident when a third party is to blame, different groups are set depending on whether you have a spouse or not or whether you have children or not, but in case of a married person with two children under 25 years, the spouse is entitled to claim 115,035.21 € and for each child under 25 years also the amount of 47,931.33 €, apart from other concepts and correction factors that could be claimed, subject to be proved in each case, while Real Decreto 627/2014 of 18.7.2014, the concept of decease is unitary and beneficiaries/injured perceive currently in 2014, 72,121.46€.

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