What is residual disability, and how does it affect compensation for a car accident in Japan?
What is residual disability?
In Japan, residual disability is a lasting physical disability that is medically proven to be causally related to a traffic accident. If you’ve been left with a life-long residual disability due to a traffic accident, the mental stress can be overwhelming. The monetary compensation you’ll receive for having to endure this mental stress and pain is the residual disability compensation.
Residual disabilities in Japan are limited to those that have been recognized as a class specified in the Enforcement Order of the Automobile Liability Security Law due to the decline or loss of labor force. Residual disability is divided into 1 to 14 grades, and the closer to the 1st grade, the more severe the symptoms become, and the more compensation the victim can receive.
How is compensation for residual disability calculated?
If you have residual disability caused by an accident, you will continue to be severely inconvenienced in your life and work. Compensation for residual disability is calculated by converting the pain caused by residual disability into money.
There are many types of residual disability according to the area injured and the degree of disability, but in the practice of automobile liability insurance, residual disability is divided into 14 grades. In the actual trial, the rate of compensation for residual disability is decided according to the classification of these 14 grades.
The table above compares the judicial standard, which can only be achieved with the help of a lawyer in court, with the voluntary insurance standard that is presented when the victim negotiates with the insurance company.
If you negotiate with the insurance company without a lawyer, you’ll find that you’ll only get about half of what you would receive with a lawyer. In other words, if you ask a lawyer, the compensation for residual disability will be almost doubly increased.
Furthermore, there are lost profits to be considered as compensation along with regular compensation. Lost profit refers to the future loss of income due to the residual disability. The table above shows the formula for lost profits and the meaning of the terms in the formula.
Without a residual disability grade certification, can I not get compensated?
Even if you feel pain, numbness, or have scars on your body after you’ve been treated for an injury, there are cases in which you won’t fall under any of the residual disability grades. In the case of no residual disability grade, even if the victim themselves informs the insurance company of the residual disability, it is almost impossible for them to receive compensation.
In many cases, you have to ask a lawyer and file a lawsuit to get compensation money. If you ask a lawyer, you may be granted compensation money for residual disability even if you aren’t certified with a grade.
What if I have multiple residual disabilities?
If you’re seriously injured from a traffic accident and have multiple residual disabilities, there’s a special rule to determine the “level” of your disability.
For example, if you have two residual disabilities, one 11th grade and one 12th grade, when you “combine” them, your degree of disability is 10th grade. Having one disability is hard enough. If you have multiple, the stresses compound on each other in unexpected ways. That’s why there isn’t a cut-and-dry “double” or “triple” of the initial compensation.
If you have multiple residual disabilities, the overall compensation will increase. Here’s a table with information from a lawyer about the details of how these degree shifts are decided.
This page is intended to be used for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for obtaining professional legal advice.