Ard van der Steur (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/VVD/Matthijs Idema) - Credit: Ard van der Steur (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/VVD/Matthijs Idema)
Monday, 20 July 2015 - 15:15
Victims' relatives could claim compensation for emotional loss
Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice has submitted a legislative proposal that would allow compensation to be paid for emotional loss to relatives of victims that were killed or suffered permanent injuries in an event that was someone else's fault - such as victims of an accident, violent crime or medical malpractice. The Minister sent the legislative proposal to the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, on Monday. Van der Steur understands that compensation can not take away pain, but the intent is that the compensation can offer these relatives recognition and reparation to help process their loss and pain. The amounts that can be paid out vary between 12,500 euros and 20 thousand euros, based on the personal circumstances of the claimants. The compensation is payable by the person responsible for the crime, accident or malpractice. If that person is unable to pay the amount, the state can take over the payment and later retrieve it from the person involved. The Minister expects that the costs of this emotional compensation will amount to a few million euros per year, but that a large part of it will be retrieved from those who caused the emotional loss. This is not the first time that such a proposal has been submitted to the Tweede Kamer. In 2010 a similar proposal was shot down by the Eerste Kamer, or Senate, NRC reports. The new proposal takes objections to the previous one into account. For this reason the Minister has increased the amount of the compensation and made it more variable. He also extended the circle of relatives who can come into account for such compensation - the victim's partner, children and parents. Paying compensation for emotional loss is already an established practice in almost all European countries.