Compensation for damages – Non-pecuniary damage

cropped view of repairman with broken arm and bandage on white background

The concept of compensation for damages is one we encounter almost daily, whether it’s related to accidents occurring in traffic, at work, or in other situations such as the publication of various information. In this article, we delve deeper into the concept of non-pecuniary damage and the processes associated with it. Whether you’re facing injuries from a traffic accident or damage to your reputation due to false information, understanding your legal options is crucial for obtaining fair compensation. Continue reading to learn more about non-pecuniary damage, how compensation amounts are determined, and the steps you can take in the event of a violation of personal rights.


Compensation for Damages – What Constitutes Damage?

According to the Law on Obligations in Croatia, damage encompasses the diminution of property (ordinary damage), prevention of its increase (loss of profit), and violation of personal rights (non-pecuniary damage). While most people understand what constitutes material or tangible damage, non-pecuniary damage is a much more complex and specific concept. It refers to the violation of the personal rights of individuals, including rights such as the right to life, physical integrity, freedom, honor, reputation, dignity, name, privacy of personal and family life, and other rights.


Personal Rights of Individuals

The personal rights of individuals are subjective civil rights and include, for example, the right to life, physical, mental, and spiritual integrity, freedom, honor, reputation, dignity, name, privacy of personal and family life, and other rights.


Compensation for Damages – Determining the Amount of Non-Pecuniary Damage

Compensation for non-pecuniary damage in the case of workplace injuries, traffic accidents, or other incidents

This type of compensation is assessed in accordance with the Guidelines and Amounts for Determining the Fair Monetary Compensation for Non-Pecuniary Damage, accepted and adopted by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia on November 29, 2002, and amended on June 15, 2020 (increased by 50% compared to 2002). Therefore, the degree of violation of personal rights is measured by the physical pain, fear, and mental anguish suffered.

For example, if the tortfeasor damages your car in a traffic accident and also causes you physical injury and psychological trauma, in addition to the compensation for material damage to the vehicle, you may also claim compensation for the physical pain, fear, and mental anguish suffered.

According to the Law on Obligations, the court will award fair monetary compensation in case of violation of personal rights, regardless of compensation for material damage. In doing so, the court takes into account the duration and intensity of the physical pain, mental anguish, and fear caused by the violation, the purpose served by that compensation, but also the fact that it does not promote tendencies that are not compatible with its nature and social purpose.


Compensation for Non-Pecuniary Damage due to Violation of Honor and Reputation

You may also claim compensation for non-pecuniary damage due to violation of personal rights if any publisher publishes information in the media that may cause you harm. Initially, it is necessary to request the publication of a correction or apology. If the publisher fails to comply, you can file a lawsuit for damages within 3 months from the date of learning about the publication.

You can claim compensation for non-pecuniary damage if someone violates your right to privacy, for example, by installing video surveillance in a place contrary to the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation and the Law on the Implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation. Did you know that for the installation of video surveillance in common areas of a building, among other things, the consent of owners owning at least 2/3 of the co-ownership shares is required?


Who Is Entitled to Compensation for Non-Pecuniary Damage?

It is not necessary for the damage to be directly caused to you to claim compensation for non-pecuniary damage. According to the Law on Obligations, you have the right to fair monetary compensation even in case of death or particularly severe disability of a close person.


This article provides only general legal information and cannot be considered legal advice in specific situations. If you need specific legal advice regarding compensation for damages and initiating proceedings for compensation for damages, feel free to contact us with confidence.