Report No. 85
Position in Selected Countries as to Compensation for Automobile Accidents
Introductory.- Several schemes providing for 'no fault' compensation for automobile accident's have come to be enacted in some of the Commonwealth countries and also in some jurisdictions outside the Commonwealth. It would be tedious to give details of the legislation in force in the various countries. The material on the subject is overwhelmingly vast. The following is a brief statement of the position in selected countries.1
It may be mentioned that, these schemes mostly contemplate the payment of compensation without proof of fault. Payment in such cases is mostly made by a corporation created by law or from a fund maintained by the State and is generally subject to certain monetary limitations. Compensation exceeding that limit can, however, be claimed under the ordinary process. The fund from which payment is made is financed by contributions levied from the insurers. In some countries2 payment is made by the insured person or by the insurer, but the State undertakes liability if there is no insurance or if the owner is not identified. In a few other countries, fault is not abolished, but the burden of proof of fault is reversed. Brief discussion of the position in selected countries follows.
1. Countries covered-Austria, Canada, Denmark, England, Finland, France, (West) Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and U.S.A. (Illinois, Massachussets, Michigan and New York).
2. E.g. Japan.