portuguese law

If you sustained an injury in Portugal, compensation for your injuries will be calculated on the basis of the Portuguese Civil Code. Article 483 of that code states that “whoever, whether by willful misconduct or negligence, unlawfully infringes the rights of another person or any legal provision intended to safeguard the interests of others, must compensate the injured party for the damages arising from such violation”.


If you were involved in a road traffic accident your compensation claim can be pursued under the Fourth EC Motor Directive here in Ireland and we can deal with your case.

Under Portuguese civil liability rules there are two main categories of damages which are admissible and which should be compensated: patrimonial damages and non-patrimonial damages.

The non-patrimonial damage is also known as general or moral damages and includes the following heads of loss:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of faculties
  • Cosmetic damages
  • Loss of amenities
  • Hospital stay

How is compensation calculated?

The compensation to be awarded will be assessed by the Portuguese Court, taking into consideration the particular circumstances of the case and the particular injuries sustained. The Court will also consider the general range of previous awards in similar cases although the Court is not bound by these. This is an important distinction, because if a case is run in Ireland the Judge will not have to strictly apply the Portuguese level of damages which can be quite low compared to Irish level of damages.

Ordinance 377/2008 is applicable to personal injury cases when caused by road traffic accidents. This regulates the heads of loss which may be recoverable and also foresees the minimum amounts of compensation for pain and suffering. There is a range of points between 1 and 7 with 1 attracting compensation of €800 and 7 attracting compensation of up to €10,000 for cosmetic damages. For pain and suffering the maximum point is 7 points which attracts damages of €5,200.

It is extremely important if you have been injured in an accident abroad that you immediately take advice from a lawyer who has experience in handling foreign claims. The Moloney Law Firm has such experience and has associations with expert personal injury law firms throughout Europe and can get you prompt expert advice from top personal injury law firms to protect your interests.

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