Compensation for moral damage is a rather exotic phenomenon for our country, but statistics show that people are increasingly resorting to this procedure. The Constitution of Ukraine guarantees citizens the inviolability of rights and freedoms, life and dignity, as well as the right to compensation for moral harm. At the same time, due to the insufficient development of this institution of law, decisions in such cases are often made intuitively, based on generally accepted social values and stereotypes.
The concept of moral damage
According to the legislation of Ukraine, moral damage is the non-material loss of a person due to the infliction of moral, physical suffering or other forms of harm from the illegal actions or inaction of other persons.
The concept of moral damage includes:
- Intentionally degrading the honor, dignity or reputation of a person in the business community;
- Mental suffering due to damage to health;
- Harm caused by violation of a person’s property rights;
- Violation of all types of civil rights, including consumer rights;
- Moral harm as a result of being under illegal investigation or court;
- Suffering from the impossibility of leading a normal social life and relationships with people due to illegal actions;
- Suffering from the destruction of a person’s property;
- Other negative consequences of illegal actions.
Determination of the amount of moral damage
In order to calculate the damage caused, an examination is carried out. But in some cases, the amount of damage is determined by the court. For the calculation, the following factors are taken as a basis:
- The nature of the illegal actions and the degree of mental and physical suffering inflicted;
- Loss of a person’s abilities or limitation in the possibility of their use;
- The degree of guilt of the offender, provided that guilt is the basis for compensation for moral damage;
- Other circumstances of high importance.
To correctly determine the amount of compensation for moral damage, an expert psychologist must have special skills and knowledge that guarantee an objective assessment of the amount of compensation, taking into account the subjective personality traits of the victim. The purpose of the examination is to identify the individual psychological properties of a person and his emotional reactions under the influence of life circumstances.
It is worth noting that due to insufficient practice in cases of compensation for moral damage, the Ukrainian courts cannot always adequately and correctly determine the amount of compensation. There are cases when, with the same degree of disability, different courts have assigned different amounts of material compensation.
Drawing up a claim for compensation for moral damage
Drawing up a claim should be given special attention, since the success of the whole case depends on it. The document must contain clearly formulated requirements for the defendant and provide evidence of his guilt. In addition, it is necessary to provide all possible written evidence of the infliction of physical and mental suffering. These can be: hospital certificates, X-rays, protocols, and other documents.
The claim for compensation for moral damage must indicate:
- The name of the judicial institution to which the application is submitted;
- Name of the plaintiff, his address and contacts;
- Full name of the defendant;
- Description of illegal actions and harm caused to the plaintiff;
- Evidence and facts of receiving damage;
- If the claim is subject to assessment, its estimated value;
- List of the attached package of documents.
You can download a sample claim here. Still, it is worth noting that it is better not to rely only on yourself when drafting a claim. For a successful outcome of the event, it makes sense to consult with an experienced lawyer.