In cases where a person suffers an injury or illness (傷病 or “shobyo”) as a result of an accident, and despite receiving treatment, they have not fully recovered to the condition they were in prior to the accident, the problems remaining are referred to as “permanent disability” (後遺障害 or “koi shogai”) or “aftereffects” (後遺症 or “koisho”).
In Japan “permanent disability” is classified into 14 grades (等級 or “tokyu”) based on the condition and severity of the disability.
Depending on the grade of the permanent disability, the victim (被害者 or “higaisha”) of the traffic accident is entitled to claim consolation money (慰謝料 or “isharyo”) for permanent disability, and damages for loss of profits (逸失利益 or “isshitsu rieki”) (compensation for lost profits that were expected to be earned in the future but can longer be earned due to a loss of working capacity) from the responsible party (加害者 or “kagaisha”).
The grades or severity of permanent disability are set forth in the appendix of the Order for Enforcement of the Act on Securing Compensation for Automobile Accidents.
The procedures for certification (認定 or “nintei”) of permanent disability grade or severity are separated into prior certification (事前認定 or “jizen nintei”), into which the necessary documents such as a medical certificate of permanent disability (後遺障害診断書 or “koi shogai shindansho”) is submitted to the insurance company (保険会社 or “hoken gaisha”), and a victim’s claim (被害者請求 or “higaisha seikyu”), in which the victim of the traffic accident submits the necessary documents directly to the mandatory liability insurance company (自賠責保険会社 or “jibaiseki hoken gaisha”).
If the permanent disability grade or severity certification is rejected, an appeal can be filed.
The final amount of compensation (賠償 or “baisho”) payable will vary greatly depending on whether or not the grade or severity of permanent disability is certified. Therefore, if you have any residual or permanent disability after a traffic accident, it is highly recommended to apply for certification.