Our team has the experience and multidisciplinary know-how to defend the interests of individuals to the furthest extent of the law.
The attorneys at Reykjavik Law Firm are experienced litigators and among our team we have many attorneys admitted to the bar before all levels of the Icelandic court system. Our litigation specialists emphasize professionalism and mutual trust in the tasks they take on. During all the court process we adhere to a high standard of integrity and professional ambition.
At Reykjavik Law Firm, the first interview is always free. It is important to keep in mind that it does not cost victims of accidents anything to inquire about their rights. The following passages concern the rights of people who suffer injury to claim compensation and how to best make sure that those rights can be enjoyed fully and securely.
Important first actions after an accident:
- Keep a detailed record of events. If you suffer injury, it can be crucial for your attorney to have access to a complete log of information, describing everything relating to the accident from as early on as possible and in as much detail as you can. This can help prove how events took place. Among the records you should keep are police reports, damage claims, notices to governmental bodies such as the Administration of Occupational Safety and Health, ship logs and similar registers.
- Seek medical help as early as possible. Describe your injury and symptoms so they are accessible in the medical records. If symptoms relating to the accident occur later on you should immediately get an appointment with a doctor and make sure the medical log is complete.
- Keep a track of all other documents, such as receipts and invoices, which relate to costs that you incur as a result of the accident. These could be due to doctor visits, physical therapy, medicine etc.
If you suffer personal injury, your right to compensation can depend on how the accident came about. What follows is a short description of the most common types of accidents and the different forms of compensation that can be available in each instance.
If you suffer personal injury that results from the use of a registered vehicle, you are entitled to compensation. Passengers and others can claim full compensation for their damages from the liability insurance of the owner of the vehicle. If the driver that caused the accident suffers injury, he also gets compensated from the liability insurance of the owner of the vehicle. It is a common misconception that drivers that cause an accident are not entitled to compensation. It is a legal obligation to ensure the driver in the same way as all others that suffer injury caused by the use of the vehicle. In short – everyone that suffers personal injury due to the use of a vehicle is fully ensured compensation.
If you suffer personal injury during work, or on your way to or from work, you are entitled to compensation from the workers compensation insurance. According to the collective agreements in force in the Icelandic labour market, employers are obligated to buy this form of insurance for his employees. If you suffer injury at work, you may also be entitled to compensation from the Social Insurance Administration.
If the accident is due to culpable negligence or omission of the employer, for example if the workplace is not secure or because of mistakes of other employees, the injured person may also be entitled to seek compensation from the employers liability insurance. The liability insurance pays full compensation for all damages suffered by the injured.
It is important to keep in mind that the Administration of Occupational Safety must be notified of all work related accidents. This is a legal obligation of the employer. If the employers fail to do so it is up to the injured party to make sure the accident is reported.
Accidents at sea
Sailors that are injured in the course of their work on board a ship are entitled to full compensation for all their damages, whether the cause of the injure is inadequate security on board or mistakes of other employees. The ships fishery is obligated to purchase liability insurance for his crew.
In our daily lives we can suffer injury, even though the accident cannot be traced to any negligence or mistake. Accidents that occur outside of work and are not related to the use of vehicles are usually called recreational accidents. Many people are entitled to compensation from their family insurance package if they suffer injury from a recreational accident. Such insurance usually cover those who live with the policyholder, i.e. those who reside at his home and have their legal domicile there. Many collective agreements also have provisions on compensation due to recreational accidents. If a recreational accident results from the lack of sufficient security of a real-estate, or due to precarious or even dangerous conditions at a specific area, the injured party may be entitled to compensation from the liability insurance of the party who supervises the real-estate or area.
Loss of income. If you suffer injury and are incapable to work, you should be entitled to compensation from your Insurance after you right to salary runs out.
Costs relating to accidents are reimbursed, including doctors’ fees, medicine costs and cost for physical therapy.
Seeking legal aid
It is vital to the interests of a victim of personal injury that his interests are handled correctly from the earliest possible. Cost relating to legal aid is considered a part of the damages that the injured party suffers. Therefore the legal costs are compensated along with other damages if there is right to compensation from any form of insurance. The role of the attorney of an injured person is to safeguard his interests at all time. Following an accident, the injured person often has his plate full just trying to cope with the changes to his life. His focus and energy if best devoted to rehabilitation and reaching health again. In such times he should not also need to worry about securing his and his family´s financial security. That is the task of the attorney. For the legal services to be as helpful as possible you should seek aid as soon as possible.
The course of a personal injury case
The following is a general overview of the course of a personal injury case from the beginning and until compensation is paid.
- The injured party comes to an interview with an attorney. He provides verbal information on the accident, its consequences and other matters that can have an impact on how the case progresses. The attorney explains the legal rights of the injured person and gives him advice on the necessary next steps. It is an important part of the tasks of the attorney to collect the necessary documents, from doctors and health institutions, to use in proving the damages of the injured party. The injured person gives the attorney a proxy to collect documents.
- The attorney notifies everyone that may be liable to pay compensation that he is acting on behalf of the injured person. Often more then one party may be liable in a single accident. It is the role of the attorney to make sure that no claim is lost.
- The attorney collects damages for temporary incapacity to work, as soon as wages are no longer paid. The attorney also claims reimbursement of doctor- and hospital costs that the injured person incurs after the accident.
- When is the right time to assess the consequences of an accident? This depends on how severe the consequences are. Six months after an accident is usually a prudent time to seek a doctor’s note to verify the injury. In some instance this will need to be later. It is up to the doctors to evaluate whether they have sufficient medical grounds to issue such a certificate.
- When a certificate and other documents that have been collected give a clear enough picture of the permanent consequences of an accident and the victims condition is stable, it is time to assess the damages. Independent parties, doctors or lawyers, are appointed to assess perform an assessment of the victims disability. When these assessors are appointed it can be a great asset to have the assistance of a seasoned personal injury attorney.
- The disability assessment is based on the documents that the attorney has collected, as well as an interview and physical examination. Before the examination takes place the attorney meets with the injured person and prepares him carefully and goes over all the most important points that need to be made. It is common that the injured person asks the attorney to accompany him for the examination and interview.
- The assessors evaluate the consequences of the accident in accordance with the stipulations of Act 50/1993. The legal terms that they focus on are a) the period of temporary incapacity to work, b) the period of suffering, c) when no further recovery can be expected and the injured persons condition is stable, d) permanent harm, which measures the physical and/or mental consequences of the accident, and e) permanent disability, which measures the impact that the accident has on the injured persons possibility to work.
- When the disability assessment is in place, usually around 4 to 8 weeks after the examination, the attorney and the injured person scrutinize the assessment together. He explains to the injured person the meaning of the results and whether they are acceptable or not. If the assessment is not unacceptable, the damage is underestimated or the interests of the injured person have not been fully considered, the attorney goes over the options available. If the assessment is acceptable, the attorney calculates the damages due to the injured person on the basis of the results and formally demands payment from the culpable parties.
- When compensation has been paid and a settlement taken place the case is normally concluded.
ESTATE AND FAMILY LAW
There is nothing more important in life than family, but in law many of the most difficult legal issues and disputes often relate to relatives. When a close relative passes away or when individuals are faced with seeking divorce or ending cohabitation, it is necessary to have someone you trust in your corner. When it comes to resolving delicate personal matters our main focus is on the strong bond of trust that the attorney client privilege rests on and on respecting the needs of our clients. Reykjavik Law Firm has decades of experience in defending interests of clients in matters relating to Family Law, before District Magistrates and the Courts. Our attorneys are qualified and experienced in structuring all the necessary legal documents relating to Family Law, such as last wills and testaments, cohabitation agreements and prenuptial agreements. Our aim when drafting such documents is always to help our clients avoid unnecessary and painful disputes later in life.
We are also experiences in assisting in settling estates and advising in all matters relating to divorces and when cohabitation ends, whether relating to the financial side of the settlement or to custody and legal guardianship.
Reykjavik Law Firm provides expert and reliable services relating to the settling of estates of deceased persons, both when private and official settlements.
CONTRACT- AND SALES LAW
From its foundation, Reykjavik law Firm has been keenly focused on providing exemplary services in Contract and Sales Law. Our attorneys are skilled and experienced in these fields and can provide assistance in all contract drafting and disputes relating to contracts.
It is important to take care in formulating all types of contracts and to handle both the negotiating and the drafting stage in a professional manner. That way difficulties and ambiguities can be avoided when contractual rights are exercised.
We also advice our clients on all legal matters relating to Sales Law and the execution of contracts and assist them in receiving the performance they are entitled to. We provide a full range of legal services in concluding purchase agreements, lease agreements, employment agreements, agreements relating to family law. If you need to conclude any form of contractual legal document – we have the experience and skill to see to your needs.