Criminal Law - Road Traffic Injury in the United Arab Emirates

Being involved in a road traffic accident can leave you with anything from whiplash and bruising to serious head and spinal injuries. If you are uncomfortable enough to be involved in a horrific road accident, which was not your fault, then you may be entitled for a personal injury compensation claim. If you were a party travelling in a taxi, or a bus, then you may be entitled for a claim from an insurance company. These kinds of claims are commonly known as a personal injury claim. The crux of the issue lies in claiming the compensation amount. One cannot overlook the emotional distress, or psychological harm Victim has gone through; however, it does boil down to the damages claimed and the gravity of harm by victim.

Action against the Perpetrator

According to UAE laws, road accidents causing personal injury will fall under tortuous liability. The damages are calculated based solely on the direct or indirect connection between the doers act and injury inflicted. The victim becomes entitled to damages/losses borne as a result of the accident; which may include any damages to clothing, property, loss of earnings, moral and psychological harm.

The harm caused by the perpetrator or doer may fall under Tort law by reason of collision of vehicles and court may rule compensation. It is indeed sufficient if the Claimant establishes that tortfeasor violated legal obligation to take reasonable care, whether intentionally or not. The UAE laws are fairly straightforward when it comes to establishing harm and a link that caused damages to the victim.

In general, particularly with compensation cases. The Claimant can ask for damages in relation to:

1. The expenses which he paid for the medical recovery.

2. The Maturity losses.

3. Moral damages subject to the Federal Civil Law No.5/1985 Article No.293.

The amount of compensation or damages varies from case by case basis and it depends on factors such as:

1. Income of the victim and the amount he/she spent on supporting his family;

2. How old was he/she at the time of accident;

3. The limit of harm inflicted to the aggrieved person;

4. The moral sufferings he/she faced;

5. The amount he/she spent on the medical reports and treatment.

Tortuous liability consists of three elements: fault, damage and link between the damage and fault. Link between the fault and damage by itself is not sufficient to create legal liability. There should be a correlation between the fault and damage. The link may be broken by an intervention of a foreign element such as a third party's act, or victim's contribution. Alternatively, a defendant will not be liable if the damage would, or could on the balance of probabilities, have occurred anyway, regardless of his/her act.


In general, particularly with compensation cases, the laws of UAE do not restrict Claimant to recover losses for injuries in a defined order. The court has discretionary power to award damages to claimant for all/or every kind of injury sustained by the Claimant.

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