Damages law plays an important role in the Austrian legal system. It determines the conditions under which an injured party can demand damages from an injuring party, and aims at ensuring that the liability shifts from the one who has suffered damage to the one that caused it.
The condition is that an injuring party acted unlawfully and culpably and was thus the cause of the damage.
The unlawfulness of a person's conduct may result from a violation against an agreement or a general rule (a regulation or a law); their culpability may lie in carelessness/negligence or even in wilful conduct that caused damage to a third party.
We can tap into a wealth of experience in damages and liability lawsuits, which we can make available to our clients in all areas of this particular legal field. We regularly deal with constellations of a possible medical liability and the pertinent factual and legal issues of the treatment contract, the physician's information obligation, and medical documentation obligations.
As a result of our continuous work on this special legal field, we can act as reliable helpers and consultants of those individuals involved in medical liability lawsuits (physicians, patients, hospital operators, civil liability insurers).
An injured party, however, can only seek compensation for damages if they attempted - where admissible or possible - to avert the impending damage through legal remedies.
The Public Liability Act (AHG) applies to damages caused in the course of sovereign administration by members of the federal, regional, district, and municipal authorities as legal entities under public law, as well as by social insurance companies. According to Section 1 AHG, public liability requires that the individuals acting as members of the legal representatives cause financial or physical damage to a third party due to unlawful conduct during the execution of the law.
Public liability is a complex legal topic which our firm approaches both from the perspective of the claimants and from that of the legal entities. We can support our clients in connection with the requesting procedures (Section 8 AHG), and also in the enforcement of justified public liability claims or the defence against unjustified ones.
Anyone who surrenders goods to another against payment warrants that the goods correspond to the agreement (Section 922 para.1, first sentence Austrian Civil Code - ABGB).
Warranty means that the provider of goods is responsible for any material and legal defects that these goods may present upon delivery. The essential element here is the agreement concluded between the provider and the recipient of the goods. According to the case law, goods or services are deemed defective if their quality, quantity, or legal properties fall short of those pledged under the agreement.
It must be made clear, however, that properties usually expected from goods/services by the relevant consumers do not require an express commitment in the agreement; instead, such properties are considered implicitly promised.
A warranty is all the more relevant when the delivered goods/services lack expressly pledged properties.
In this case, the recipient of these is entitled to various warranty claims, of which he can first (primarily) demand the improvement or replacement of the goods affected. Where such improvement or replacement is not effected within an appropriate period, or when it is impossible or would involve a disproportionate effort for those subject to the warranty, the recipient of the goods/services is entitled to a price reduction, or, in the event of a significant defect, to the rescission of the agreement.
Warranty-related cases often require a detailed examination of the underlying agreements, the relevance of any warranty waivers, a clarification of the question whether a defect is still or no longer regarded as minor, etc., so as to enable the beneficiary of a warranty to enforce their claims, and those unjustifiably facing such claims to defend themselves against these.
In addition to warranty rights, the recipients of goods/services may often be entitled to claims for damage. When addressing such questions, our clients can resort to our year-long experience and our special expertise for help.