Car Accident in Japan

When you are involved in a car accident in Japan as the victim of the accident, you are likely to receive a contact from the insurance company of the other party (the driver).

The insurance company will offer you some compensation, but you should know that there are 3 types of “stanadrd”s.

(1) Mandatory Insurance (Jibaiseki Hoken) standard

The insurance company sometimes offers to the victim according to the “mandatory insurance” (Jibaiseki) standard. This is the minimum insurance forced by law.

(2) Voluntary Insurance (Nin-i Hoken) standard

When the driver has an additional insurance (voluntary insurance), the insurance company might increase the offer to the level of “voluntary insurance” standard , which is higer than (1), but lower than (3).

(3) Court standard

If the settlement cannot be made by (2), then the victim will have to file a lawsuit. The court will decide according to the “court standard”. This standard is higher than (2), and if you get a final court order about your damage, the court will also order the driver to pay 10% attorney fee and annual 5 % interest.

Negotiation with the insurance company

When you directly speak to the insurance company, they are likely to offer you (1) or (2) and say “this is the maximum”. If you want to claim what you are supposed to be paid, you will have to explain about your damage and claim it legally.

So it is very important to consult an attorney (lawyer) before making the settlement with the insurance company. When the attorney is involved, the insurance companies often change their offer to the amount which is closer to (3).

See also
Car Accident

Published by

Kei Sumikawa

Attorney at Law (Sumikawa Law Office), Kawasaki city, Japan