Tag Archives: personal injury liability

Statute of Limitations Related to Personal Injury Cases in Turkey

contact : cindemir@cindemir.av.tr

Phone : 00905325680647

The claims of compensation because of a unlawful act cease after a certain period of time. Normally the term is 2 years running from the date on which the damaged person recieved knowledge of damage and of the person who had caused the damage. This may not be longer than ten years from the date when the act causing the damage occured. (New Code of Obligation of Turkey entered into force in 2011,  article 72)

There is one important issue to consider in Turkish Law related to statute of limitations of tortious acts ( in other words acts stemming from Personal Injury). In case that wrongful act causing the damage also became an issue of a criminal offence , Statute of Limitations applying to Criminal Offence would be taken into account by civil court dealing with personal injury case.

For example, in case that a person died by a brick which is fell out from the building, this negligence will be an issue of both civil and criminal case.  In these situations, we need to consider time period stated in criminal act and in contract law of Turkey. If criminal act’s time period is longer then we need to take into account to criminal act provision related to this issue. To make it more concrete, according to Turkish Criminal Law, statute of limitation applies to killing of a person by negligence is 15 years, thus case can be filed within 15 years due to characteristic of offence.

Turkish Criminal Act, Article 66 states statute of limitations as below:

(1) Unless otherwise is provided in the law, public action is dismissed upon lapse of ;

  1. a) Thirty years in offenses requiring punishment of heavy life imprisonment,
  2. b) Twenty-five years in offenses requiring punishment of life imprisonment,
  3. c) Twenty years in offenses requiring punishment of imprisonment not less than twenty years,
  4. d) Fifteen years in offenses requiring punishment of imprisonment more than five years and less than twenty years,
  5. e) Eight years in offenses requiring punishment of imprisonment or punitive fine not more than five years

(2) Public action is dismissed upon lapse of half of the a/m periods if the convict completed the age of ten but not yet attained the age of fifteen at the commission date of the offense; as for the convicts who completed the age of fifteen but not attained the age of eighteen, public action is dismissed upon lapse of one third of the a/m periods.

(3) In determination of statute of limitation, the qualified form of offense which requires imposition of heavy punishment is considered on the basis of the evidences presented to the file.

(4) The maximum limit of the punishment assessed in the law for the offense is taken into account during determination of the periods mentioned in afore subsection. In offenses, where imposition of alternative punishment is in question, the punishment of imprisonment is taken as basis with regard to statute of limitation

(7) Statute of limitation may not be applicable in case of commission of offenses in abroad, which require heavy imprisonment, or imprisonment or imprisonment more than ten years.

Accordingly, in case that personal injury stemming from criminal offence we also need to take into account the provision which is mentioned above. Civil court will also consider prescription periods concerned above.

Gökhan Cindemir , Attorney At Law

After he completed his high school degree in Turkey, he went to Belgium with AFSintercultural exchange program and completed his high school degree in Belgium. Upon his return to Turkey, he obtained his law licence degree from Marmara University of Law Faculty of Istanbul, Turkey. During his university education, he had participated in Philip C.Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition on behalf of Marmara University, Istanbul. He became member of Istanbul Bar Association, then after he had been granted to a master’s degree, LL.M by Gent University of Belgium in the field of European and Comparative law. He completed his one year millitary duty at Legal Affairs Department of Central Command Headquartes in Ankara with Lieutenant Rank. He is specialized in all matters concerning International Private Law, European Law, Family Law, Employement Law, Real Estate Law, Penal Law and Tort Law. He speaks fluent English and has good command of Dutch and French. He is also authorized as a solicator, barrister.

Personal Injury Liability in Turkey

Personal Injury Liability in Turkey under Turkey Tort Law

Personal injury liability is well described under Tort Law Definition of Turkish Obligation Code. Under Turkish Law, there must be 4 conditions for tortius liability (in other words, personal injury liability).

  1. Acts Against Law
  2. Damage
  3. Causal Relation
  4. Negligence

 Act Against Law

 If a defective product damages a person, if someone falls into construction’s hole on the road due to lack of warning , etc. Accordingly in Turkish Law not only intentional acts against victim is covered by the law, additionally the acts which have omission character are included as an act against law. Therefore, personal injury must be arising from intentional act or acts stemming from negligence.

 It is also noteworthy to mention that as in all Roman based laws self-defence  is one of the exception for “act against law” principle. In case of harming third people as self-defence purpose will be not be considered as Act Against Law. Thus, self-defence is a legitimacy reason for personal injury cases.

 Damage

 Damage is a key factor in Turkey when determination of compensation amount will come to an issue.This may be material or immaterial damage. Generally in Turkish Court Practice, judges appoint an expert in order to determine compensation amount stemming from the damage. Forinstance, in case of a truck accident, traffic report which is written in the incident place will play a role to evaluate negligence level and experts who are specialized in personal compensation will determine the compensation amount.

 The amount of compensation shall be decided by the expert in two stages. The expert determines first the amount of the injury that the damaged person has actually suffered. The person claiming compensation has to prove the damage. The judge subsequently determines the amount of compensation after taking into account the circumstances and the degree of fault. Unlike Former Turkish Obligation Code in New Turkish Obligation Code, consideration of defendant’s (wrongdoer or tortfeasor) financial situation for determination compensation does not exist. Accordingly, the priorty and purpose of the law is to satisfy the injured person as much as possible. Such as loss of support related to family members, occurance of ability in daily life, permanent disability, contemporary disability, hospital expenses (in case that there is no social security registration), funeral expenses are all playing role in calculation of compensation amount.

 Casual Relation

The third condition of liability is the existence of proximate cause. There must be reasonable link between wrongdoer’s act and the injury to hold wrongdoer’s responsible. This casual relation must be evaluated under the principle of ordinary rules and circumstances of life.

 Negligence

Negligence levels are important in personal liability cases. Fault , defects and negligences are categorized as a level of “Severe” and “ Slight”. A person cannot be negligent unless he has ability to make fair judgments. The head of the family may be responsible for a minor’s act which caused a damage. A master is liable for damages caused by his employees or servants in the course of performing their duties, unless he proves that he exercised all reasonable in the circumstatances to precent such damage, or that the damage would have occured notwithstanding the exercise of such care. The modern trend in Turkey is to make the wrongdoer’s responsible for his acts.

There are some risky fields in life practice that also made lawmaker to pass a law to enable insurance companies for undertaking risks of possible damages. Forinstance, all vehicles are subjected obligatory insurance and personal damages stemming from traffic accidents must be compensated from these insurance companies (material compensation only) . Doctors and lawyers are entitled to obligatory insurance for the damages which may arise from their misconducts.

Reference: Turkish Code of Obligation and Introduction to Turkish Law edited by Tuğrul Ansay and Don Wallace.

tort law, personal injury liability

Gökhan Cindemir , Attorney At Law

After he completed his high school degree in Turkey, he went to Belgium with AFSintercultural exchange program and completed his high school degree in Belgium. Upon his return to Turkey, he obtained his law licence degree from Marmara University of Law Faculty of Istanbul, Turkey. During his university education, he had participated in Philip C.Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition on behalf of Marmara University, Istanbul. He became member of Istanbul Bar Association, then after he had been granted to a master’s degree, LL.M by Gent University of Belgium in the field of European and Comparative law. He completed his one year millitary duty at Legal Affairs Department of Central Command Headquartes in Ankara with Lieutenant Rank. He is specialized in all matters concerning International Private Law, European Law, Family Law, Employement Law, Real Estate Law, Penal Law and Tort Law. He speaks fluent English and has good command of Dutch and French. He is also authorized as a solicator, barrister.

gokhan@cindemir.av.tr

mobile 00905325680647