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Legal Advice for Traffic Accidents

Wolfenson Lawyers provides specialized legal advice to its clients regarding traffic accidents.

We advise our clients in the event of possible litigation arising from a traffic accident, providing legal advice focused on compensating the material and moral damages that they may have been subject to. Either in the cases in which they have been sued before a Local Police Court and / or Criminal Court, and require preparing their legal defense, even those who wish to initiate a new lawsuit for the effective protection of their rights.

A qualified defense in traffic disputes is possible through the careful and personalized advice provided by our law firm.

Here is a legal guide to provide legal guidance on the traffic accident in Chile:

What do we understand by traffic accident?

We can define it as that event in which, participating vehicles and / or people , as a result of negligence or intent on the part of one or more of them, damage or injury occurs to the people and / or vehicles involved.


What kinds of traffic accidents are there?

There are different types, the main ones are collision, crash, fall, overturn, run over , among others.


What are the severity parameters in a traffic accident ?

The severity of injuries is described in our Penal Code . Minor injuries are those that do not cause illness or inability to work. Less serious injuries are described as that action of hurting, hitting or mistreating that causes the victim an inability to work for no more than 30 days. Serious injuries our Penal Code sub-classifies them into two: 1) The simply serious injuries are those that as a consequence cause the victim an illness or incapacity for work for more than 30 days. 2) The most serious injuries are those that leave the victim insane, useless for work, disabled from an important or deformed body member. Legislation also considers mutilation and castration to be extremely serious injuries.

What to do in case of a traffic accident ?

The first thing you should do when having an accident is to stop the ride, render possible help and notify the nearest police authority . In case of having automobile insurance , it is necessary to inform the respective company by means of an affidavit before a notary as a requirement to assert it. Finally, it is advisable to contact a specialist Wolfenson attorney to provide you with the appropriate legal advice .


What are the deadlines and routes of action in a traffic accident ?

In the event of a traffic accident, the police authority must be immediately recorded. If police officers verify that the accident has the characteristics of a crime , the complaint automatically goes to the competent Guarantee Court . The statute of limitations to demand compensation for damages from the accident is 6 months. In which you can demand compensation for the material damage caused. Using legal representation to the competent Local Police Court to file an infractional complaint and civil claim for compensation for damages . Once the demand has been notified, the judge will set the day and time for the single hearing of answer and evidence.


What types of damage can occur in a traffic accident?

There are three types of damages , in terms of civil liability and compensation for damages . 1) Emerging damage: It is the damage as a direct consequence of the fact. It is one that refers to any type of deterioration or loss of functionality of the vehicle involved in the accident. Also considering the expenses necessary for its repair, or in case of total loss , the sale of the vehicle at an insignificant price. 2) Loss of profit : It consists of the loss of an opportunity to obtain a profit or economic utility as a result of having suffered damage caused by a third party . In this case, an accident misses the opportunity to make a profit by working the vehicle for a certain period of time. This opportunity to make a profit must be certain, that is, it cannot be a mere expectation, so in order to determine the amount you can consider how much profit it normally obtained, as for example would be the case of taxis or freight vehicles. 3) Moral damage : It is the regret or psychological and personal discomfort that a person suffers as a result of having suffered the accident.

What are the competent courts to know about a Traffic Accident?

It is the responsibility of the Local Police Courts to hear the lawsuits related to a traffic accident, light damages or injuries have occurred, in the case of death or serious or less serious injuries , the records will be forwarded to the respective Prosecutor's Office ; For this, Wolfenson provides its clients with a specialized lawyer for the defense or filing of the respective complaint .

What is the difference between a complaint and a complaint?

Complaint and complaint are different concepts, below are the differences:

The Complaint: Corresponds to the finding of a potentially unlawful act made by Carabineros or Inspectors . Which sometimes serves as a background on which our attorneys make the corresponding infractional complaint and civil lawsuit.

The Infringement Complaint: Corresponds to a legal action brought by the person affected by a certain traffic accident with the aim of pursuing the legal sanction and the fines applicable to the act.

What happens if carabinieri do not attend the accident site?

The most convenient thing is to contact Wolfenson Abogados and then go to the nearest police unit to make the record and / or report the facts . It is important to note that having made the complaint does not mean that you will be compensated for the damage to your vehicle or physical integrity , since, for this, one of our lawyers must file the corresponding infractional complaint and civil claim for compensation for damages due to the car accident.

What is the procedure to obtain compensation for a traffic accident?

To obtain compensation in the event of a traffic accident , you require the legal advice of a qualified lawyer from the Wolfenson law firm , for the drafting and preparation of a claim for compensation for damages to be presented in the respective Local Police Court.

Said brief must present the identification of the parties involved in the accident ( plaintiff and defendant ), in addition to the vehicles, traffic regulations involved in the offense, the basis for the compensation, its total amount, among other information that must be established with the necessary legal rigor and precision .


Prescription of the action to request compensation for damage caused in a traffic accident?

The term of the compensatory action prescribes after six months of the fact. The fines derived from the infringement in turn, prescribe after one year counted from the infringement, the civil lawsuit must be filed by one of our lawyers before the three days prior to appearing in the local police court , to be welcomed and provided.

In case of not being notified in advance, the suspension of the same hearing must be requested in order to renew the term to carry out said management. Finally, in the event of not being able to notify or suspend the hearing to extend the notice period , the claim will be understood as not filed and the respective complaint will continue, in this hypothesis we must wait for the sentence to be passed and then try a new lawsuit now before the ordinary civil courts.


How demand is notified in case of an accident?

The notification of the demand is the responsibility of the plaintiff and is carried out as a general rule, through the officials of the respective Local Police Court , delivering a copy of the action and its supply signed by the Secretary. If the affected person is not found when carrying out the second search (on a different day), he can deliver the identity card and provide it to any adult person in the place where the person notified exercises his profession, industry or domicile.

What is the preliminary statement before a local police court?

Once the fact has been denounced or the infractional complaint and civil lawsuit have been filed, the judge will summon those involved to give an investigative statement , which corresponds to the first statement where the facts will be exposed and then they will summon them to a conciliation, reply and evidence summons .

Is the representation of a lawyer always mandatory in the event of a traffic accident?

Although it is not mandatory, the law requires that when damages exceed 4 UTM, the parties must be represented by an attorney . Therefore, in large part if not all cases, the representation of one of our lawyers will be necessary. If any of the participants does not attend, the Court can freely order their presence.

Can I present witnesses to the scheduled hearing?
Yes, these witnesses should be offered to the court by our lawyer before noon the day before the hearing at the latest. Only four witnesses may testify for each party, unless there are two parties with conflicting interests. The court interrogates them on the facts that are the subject of the infraction and civil lawsuit , finally the other party will cross-examine them , also on any matter.


What are the tests that can present at the hearing by accident?

In general, the following evidentiary means can be asserted :

  • Documents.

  • Photographs.

  • Expert reports.

  • Repair budgets.

How does the judge decide on the responsibility of the accident?

The Judge will appreciate the evidence given in accordance with the rules of sound criticism , the sayings of police officials and the reports of the experts compel the judge to rule in a certain sense. It must contain the sentence:

1) Individualization of the parts.

2) Synthesis of the facts that motivated the trial.

3) Brief presentation of the parties' allegations , if there is a summary analysis of the evidence presented.

4) Fundamental considerations of fact and law that serve as basis for the ruling

5) Resolution of the case submitted to you.

Is it possible to appeal the sentence of the Local Police Judge?

Yes, it is possible to make the appeal of the respective sentence within an appeal period of five days notified this, established by the Law of Local Police Courts (Law No. 18.290) , which will be made before the competent Court of Appeals .

What are the legal penalties for a traffic accident?

The sanctions established by the traffic law are the following:

  • Arrest if the defendant does not comply with the obligations of the Court , such as non-appearance.

  • Fines.

  • If, in addition to violating the traffic law, damages have been caused, those affected can demand compensation for damages , including the seizure and auction of the defendant's assets.

  • Suspension of driver's license.

  • Retention of motorized vehicles.

  • Among other.

Wolfenson Abogados legally advises its clients on disputes arising from a traffic accident.

Links of interest about Legal Advice in Traffic Accidents :

1.- Civil Code

2.- BCN - Traffic Law (Law No. 18,280)

3.- BCN - Law on Procedure before Local Police Courts (Law No. 18,287)

4.- Municipality of Las Condes - Local Police Courts

Wolfenson Lawyers. Chile Law Firm.

If you need more information and legal advice to defend your rights against a traffic or vehicular accident, we invite you to contact our lawyers in Santiago. We are located at Avenida Apoquindo 2930 in the commune of Las Condes, Santiago de Chile.

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