Pursuant to French law, the assessment of damages resulting from personal injury is carried out by the Courts who may be assisted by a court-appointed expert. The Courts are not bound by any compulsory rules as to the type and amount of damages to be awarded. Compensation may therefore vary considerably depending on the court seized of the dispute.
The French Ministry of Justice has published a draft decree setting out an official designation (“nomenclature”) of damages resulting from personal injury. This decree is largely drawn from the unofficial designation that is in practise often used by courts: the “Dintillhac Nomenclature” (Nomenclature Dinthillac). The draft decree provides that its designation would apply not only to court decisions but also to out-of-court settlement agreements.
A public consultation was launched in December 2014 and French insurers have recently declared their strong opposition to this project. The French Federation of Insurance Companies (FFSA) and the Pool of Mutual Insurance Companies (GEMA) argue that the decree would give rise to additional costs of €1Billion mainly due to the additional types of damages which would be indemnified if the decree became binding.
The French Ministry of Justice has not officially taken a decision yet.