Are deed and damage legally related (relativity)?


Relativity is about whether the wrongful act and the damage are legally related. If a certain law is violated, there can only be compensation for what this law protects against.

An example: someone dumps waste in the forest, causing damage to the local catering industry and tourism. Can they then claim compensation? The answer is no. The law is there to protect the environment and not to fill the local catering industry. So there is an unlawful act, but no compensation.

Has an unlawful act been committed?

Before there can be any liability or compensation, an unlawful act must of course have been committed. But when is something a wrongful act? Is there:

  • infringement of another’s right. For example, if you damage someone else’s car or other property.
  • a violation of the law. Such as driving into traffic, causing a collision.
  • a violation of social diligence. This concerns behavior that violates unwritten rules, such as: noise pollution. Judges have set criteria by which to determine whether such behavior has taken place.
  • Only if you can demonstrate that your damage is the result of something that you can blame another, it is possible to hold the other liable and recover your damage. You can also check wrongful death attorney for details.

Is there actually any damage?

Of course, compensation only needs to be paid if there is actual damage. It must therefore be determined exactly what damage was caused by the wrongful act. This may include:

  • Material damage. Think of damaged goods, but also medical costs after personal injury.
  • Immaterial damage and compensation. This is the damage caused by grief, pain and the loss of joy of life as a result of personal injury. The pain is compensation is the compensation that is paid.

Compensation for damage

The law provides that anyone who causes unjust harm to others is required to compensate it. Compensation for damage differs from compensation which is paid in the cases provided for by law when a behavior authorized by the law involves damages for third parties. The compensable damage is divided into pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage. Damage to health or biological damage is placed in the category of non-pecuniary damage.

Do you meet all the requirements?

Have all of the above 5 requirements been met? Then you can hold the offender liable and recover the damage from the offender. Find out how to file a claim.

A shopkeeper who makes a large hole in the floor of his shop to fix something and the customer falls into that hole will soon be liable. A shop is a public space where many people come. Chances are that a customer will fall into that hole. The customer’s damage is likely to be significant. The shopkeeper could have closed the hole with a fence, so that customers had been warned. This is a simple measure to prevent accidents. Finally, it makes sense that a customer walking into the store would not immediately notice a hole in the floor. That customer is probably already thinking about the groceries he wants to buy. A retailer must take this into account. 

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