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horak.
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Georgstr. 48
30159 Hannover
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Tel +49.511/357356-0
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horak.
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Tort law: Compensation for damages, German Law on damages

Compensation for damages presupposes a corresponding entitlement. Its prerequisites are much differentiated according to the damage and legal area.

For example, a loss of property, property damage or a personal injury could lead to a claim for damages. "Damage" is an involuntary loss of property rights resulting from a certain event. In this context, damages law standardizes which damages must be reimbursed and by whom.

Typical queries regarding the enforcement or the defence from damage claims

The following typical questions are mostly independent from the specific legal area:

  • Who will bear liability for the damage?
  • Is there any contributory negligence or a liability to mitigate damages?
  • Is there a culpable act? Was the culpable act considered negligence or intentional and what consequences do they follow?
  • What would this claim for compensation costs me? Does the injured party have to take advantage of the benefits?
  • Who must demonstrate and prove the fact?
  • Which are the special features of the particular area of compensation for damages law?

Anyone who damages another person is obliged to compensate for the loss incurred. Compensation Law is subjected to legal obligations; freedom of contract does not generally apply to those obligations. Claims for compensation can be individually very different and cover a wide range of everyday life and economic activities.

Examples of compensatory damages

Frequent cases are, for example, the following:

  • Infringement of intellectual property (i.e. copyright infringement, trademark infringement, patent infringement, design infringement);
  • Anti-competitive or anti-trust behavior;
  • Breach of contracts in its important contractual components;
  • Compensation for damages caused by official liability through official actions (official breach of duty);
  • Traffic accident / claim settlement;
  • Work accident
  • Liability of special professional groups (doctor's liability, liability of service providers, apothecary liability, tax consultancy, auditor liability, expert liability, property liability, architectural liability, liability of the pharmaceutical manufacturer, liability of the food producer and many others);
  • (Repeated) damages in the infringing chain;
  • Inadequate warranty and liability;
  • Assertion of lost profit;
  • Compensations for pain and damages (for example in the case of abusive criticism in press products or on the Internet, in the case of personal injury etc.);
  • Loss of earnings;
  • Maintenance damages;
  • Compensation by licensing;
  • Compensation by skimming off excess profits;
  • Calculation of the actual damage.

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© German lawyer Michael Horak 2002-2017

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