Personal injury in the Netherlands

The idea that personal injury claims are often dealt with through legal proceedings is an illusion.

The reality is that in the Netherlands the vast majority – probably more than 90% – of personal injury cases are actually settled out of court.

An amicable settlement offers several advantages: it is faster, easier, cheaper and less risky for both parties than going through legal proceedings. In this article, we discuss the (legal) process to determine a claim and an amicable settlement for a personal injury.

The personal injury process in 3 steps

1. Who is liable?

The first step to take is that of establishing liability for the injury.

In the case of occupational accidents and traffic accidents, it is often relatively easy to establish if there is a violation of the duty of care or of a traffic rule. In contrast, professional errors of doctors are more difficult to establish, and then it must be demonstrated that the individual has not acted as befits a good physician.

No matter what the cause, the person who suffers the damage must prove the damage.

2. What is the damage?

Once liability has been established, then an inventory of the damage related to the accident can be assembled.

Determining the damage is an extremely complicated process. The help and intervention of various specialists is necessary for this step: a medical advisor who can show the physical limitations, an actuary who can determine the loss of earning power and, when determining the immaterial damage (compensation for pain and suffering), case law should be consulted from similar cases.

The lawyer is the one who coordinates all these findings and makes a claim in consultation with their client.

3. What happens next?

After the inventory of damage has been made, negotiations with the other party (such as the insurer of the liable party) will follow. This may mean dealing with a personal injury specialist who represents the insurance company and their interests. In these circumstances, it is of vital importance that the injured party has a lawyer who will represent them and protect their interests.

In most cases, the parties will reach an amicable settlement through negotiations. This arrangement is determined by both parties in a determination agreement with a corresponding tax guarantee. Your lawyer will always present the settlement offer to you for your approval. Once agreed, the settlement offer can be accepted.


“Don’t let your fears keep you from holding the culprit accountable for their actions. Contact a personal injury attorney and discuss your case with them. “


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