Consolation money for a dead victim

A responsible party in a traffic accident has a legal duty to compensate for a victim’s all the losses. If their property is damaged or they’re injured, the responsible party has to compensate for the expenses. See this article on what cost items can be compensated by the at-fault party.

Compensation is made mainly based on the victim’s actual loss. However, if it comes to the cases of human injury traffic accidents or fatal accidents, a responsible party has to pay consolation money for the victim's pain and suffering as part of compensation. (If it comes to property damage traffic accident, consolation money is not paid in Japan.) In this article, we focus on how to calculate the consolation money for a dead victim. Consolation money is not for your actual losses but for your pain and suffering caused by the traffic accident. In fatal accident cases, not only a dead victim but also a bereaved family has the legal right to claim consolation money to the responsible party. In the following, you can find the standardized consolation money for a dead victim and his/her bereaved family respectively.

Fatal Accident

Consolation money for a dead victim

(Unit: JPY1,000)

Dead victim CALI’s standard Attorney’s standard
The main breadwinner of the family JPY3,500 JPY28,000-36,000
Homekeeper JPY3,500 PY28,000-32,000
Single person JPY3,500 PY28,000-30,000
Children JPY3,500 PY18,000-26,000
Elderly JPY3,500 PY18,000-24,000

This is just a standard cost. The cost depends on each case in actual cases.

There are two standards for calculating consolation money for a dead victim: CALI’s standard and Attorney’s standard. CALI’s payout for a dead victim is JPY30,000,000 at the maximum, but it doesn’t mean this amount will surely be paid to the victim. The payout of CALI is based on the calculation of the actual losses and consolation money. CALI’s standard is used for calculating the consolation money as part of all the compensation.

Attorney’s standard is the amount based on past precedents. So, if the victim files a suit against the responsible party, the court might possibly admit the amount and the responsible party has to comply with the court’s decision. So, it's better to use the Attorney's standard if you claim consolation money to the at-fault party. If the amount suggested by the at-fault party is way lower than your calculation, filing a suit with the amount using the attorney’s standard can be one option.

Consolation money for a bereaved family

A bereaved family has also a legal right to claim consolation money when a victim was dead. It is according to the Japanese Civil Code.

Article 711 A person who has taken the life of another must compensate for damages to the father, mother, spouse and children of the victim, even in cases where the property rights of the same have not been infringed.

More practically, consolation money is not only for the above-indicated family members but sometimes also for the dead victim’s siblings and common-law partner only when their relationship is admitted as especially close like parents, partner, and child.

And also, in car accident cases in Japan, consolation money for a bereaved family is not individually calculated but already included in the consolation money for the dead victim. That’s the reason why the consolation money for a breadwinner of the family is much higher than a single person having a less bereaved family if using the attorney’s standard.

However, CALI has its own standard of consolation money for a bereaved family as the following.

(Unit: JPY1,000)

Number of claimer CALI’s standard
One 5,500
Two 6,500
More than three 7,500

Claimers can be the dead victim's parents, partner or child, basically. If the dead victim has any other dependents, JPY2,000,000 will be added to the above amount.

In any case, when it comes to a fatal accident case, consolation money will be increased more than the standards, if the responsible party has profoundly negligent — for example, drunken driving, speeding, unlicensed driving, jumping the light or hit-and-run. On the contrary, sometimes consolation money will be decreased if the victim is also negligent in a traffic accident. So, if you need accurate calculation considering all the factors, it is wise to contact attorneys or Certified Administrative Procedures Legal Specialists who try car accident cases in Japan.