Tort Law — Traffic Accidents

Date Citation Note
30.11.2004 BGH VI ZR 335/03 III. Civil Senate VI ZR 335/03 The exemption from liability laid down by § 828(2)(1) BGB, which was introduced by the Second Law Reform (Delict) Act of 19 July 2002 (BGBl I p. 2674), applied only to cases in which the child has been placed in a typically difficult situation by the specific dangers of motorised traffic.
§ 823, § 828(2) BGB
11.10.1994 BGH NJW 1995, 452 VI. Civil Senate (VI ZR 303/93) Damages for pain and suffering in road accident under § 829 BGB (fairness liability) even though the driver causing harm is not at fault
Effect of the driver’s compulsory insurance
§ 829 BGB
06.06.1989 BGHZ 107, 359 VI. Civil Senate (VI ZR 241/88) Bluthochdruck -decision = NJW 1989, 2616 Claimant with high blood pressure driving wife's car collided with other car; suffered stroke caused by accusations of occupants
No claim against defendant insurer under § 3 no 1 PflVG: under § 823 I BGB, no damage to own property, and not causing stroke
Invasion of health by upset was a precondition of stroke
Claimant's weak health had to be accepted
But priority rule breached by other driver (§ 8 StVO) not intended to protect against stroke so caused
Conduct of car occupants not unlawful
No breach under § 823 II BGB of protective laws in §§ 164 and 185 et seq. StGB
No claim under §§ 7 I and 18 II StVG: invasion of health in context of operation of vehicle (§ 1 PflVG; § 10 I AKB), but not attributable to risks associated with operation of vehicle nor within protective scope
§ 823 BGB
§§ 7 I, 18 StVG
§ 8 StVO (1970)
27.05.1975 BGH NJW 1975, 1886 VI. Civil Senate (VI ZR 95/74) = VersR 1975, 945 Chicken feed supplied by lorry; delivered using compressor operated by lorry engine; hole blown in silo and feed fell on roof which collapsed; claim for damage to roof and livestock
Not in course of operation of vehicle within the meaning of § 7 I StVG
Operational installation of special vehicle not directly serving transport
Need for close connection in space and time with operational process, and loss within meaning and purpose of rule
Must be connected with purpose of vehicle as means of transport in traffic
Not caused by special construction of vehicle but by use as source of working power
Traffic orientated approach did not lead to different conclusion
§ 7 StVG
16.06.1959 BGHZ 30, 203 VI. Civil Senate (VI ZR 95/58) Motorrad -decision = NJW 1959, 1772 Claimant, riding a moped, forced to overtake first defendant's car which came out in front of him; struck by second defendant's car overtaking from opposite direction
Each defendant adequately caused and was liable for 1/5th of harm
Act not jointly committed (§ 830 I BGB)
1/5ths could not be added together (§ 840 BGB)
No several liability
First defendant liable under § 823 BGB and StVG, second only under StVG
Claimant's contributory fault under § 254 BGB assessed at 2/3rds of harm as against each defendant: liability of claimant and defendants split in ratio of 4:1:1 respectively inter se
But each defendant liable for 1/5th and sum recovered not exceed to 1/3rd of harm
§§ 254, 830 I 1, 840 BGB
§ 17 StVG
09.01.1959 BGHZ 29, 163 VI. Civil Senate (VI ZR 202/57) = NJW 1959, 627 Claimant left lit lorry on motorway due to engine damage; carrier drove into it
Heirs of carrier liable to claimant under §§ 823 and 1967 BGB
Because of huge increase in traffic, vehicles still in operation for the purpose of strict liability under § 7 StVG if could not be started quickly
Mechanical faults did not absolve under § 7 I StVG
Judges' duty under Art 20 I GG required treatment of operation as traffic, not mechanical, concept
Case law confirmed as StVG amended in other ways but not this
Liability for damage to claimant's lorry divided under § 17 StVG between keepers of both vehicles
Art. 20 GG
§ 7 StVG
13.04.1956 BGHZ 20, 259 VI. Civil Senate (VI ZR 347/54) Defendant's car, turning left, struck by claimant's motorbike
Not proved he was at fault, but accident still not unavoidable (§ 7 II StVG)
Danger attributable to his motorbike still to be taken into account; same applied to damages for pain and suffering (§ 17 I StVG and § 254 BGB analogous)
Responsibility for harm depends, as with contribution claims under § 17 StVG, on actual facts and not basis of liability
It is irrelevant whether harm was such that a third party could claim for it
§§ 254, 847 BGB
§ 17 I StVG
23.11.1955 BGHZ 19, 114 VI. Civil Senate (VI ZR 193/54) = NJW 1956, 217 = VersR 1956, 36, 126 Defendant told to take drunken employees home from party in firm's car; car struck by train on level crossing and employee killed; professional association reimbursed by Federal Railway (claimant) for payment to dependants under § 1542 RVO and Reichshaftpflichtgesetz
Claimant could not recover under § 17 StVG as deceased died in industrial accident (§§ 898, 899 RVO) for which liability arose under § 903 RVO, and defendant assimilated to firm due to his status
§§ 898 and 899 RVO not excluded by § 1 of 1943 Act as no participationin general traffic
Nor could claimant seek contribution as joint tortfeasor (§ 426 BGB, § 17 StVG), as exclusion of defendant's liability to dependants meant there was no joint debt
No liability under § 426 II BGB as claimant and defendant (under § 903 RVO) not liable to professional association as joint debtors
No claim under § 823 II BGB and §§ 315, 316 StGB (even though indirect damage recoverable when direct damage suffered) as general economic interests not protected
§ 421, 426, 823 II BGB
§ 1 II Gesetz über die erweiterte Zulassung von Schadensersatzansprüchenbei Dienst- und Arbeitsunfällen vom
7. Dezember 1943 (RGBl I, 674)
§§ 899, 903 ff., 1542 RVO