In­juries

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL - By At­tor­ney Fa­jer Ahmed

How much do you think your body is worth? It might be very hard to an­swer this ques­tion, be­cause what could be more ex­pen­sive and more im­por­tant to you than your health? I would think that our bod­ies are price­less, but not by law. Kuwaiti law has put a price on our body parts - for in­stance, each arm and foot is worth KD 5,000.

Although it may sound ab­surd, the rea­son why leg­is­la­tions put prices on our body parts is be­cause when peo­ple are phys­i­cally hurt, they can ask to be com­pen­sated by court ac­cord­ingly. This makes it eas­ier for the courts to bring about jus­tice and cal­cu­late how much the com­pen­sa­tion should be.

To­day, I have looked into dif­fer­ent is­sues that my cur­rent clients have dealt with that in­volved phys­i­cal in­juries. But be­fore I go on to an­swer the ques­tions and ex­plain to you our rights when it comes to in­juries, I want you to know not ev­ery­thing needs to be taken to court. A lot of things can be set­tled am­i­ca­bly out­side of court. I think you should still use a lawyer to ne­go­ti­ate for you, but if your lawyer is great, they will know that they don’t al­ways have to take mat­ters to court.

I per­son­ally got in­volved in a car ac­ci­dent a few days ago, and although I was in­jured and I know my rights, I de­cided not to take the mat­ter to court. We set­tled things am­i­ca­bly and in very sim­ple terms. I hope we can all learn to be com­pas­sion­ate to­wards each other and learn how to fig­ure things out.

Com­pen­sa­tion

Ques­tion: I was driv­ing to my grand­dad’s house when I got hit from be­hind by an­other car. This ac­ci­dent caused me to break my arm. Can I get com­pen­sated for it?

Fa­jer: I will as­sume that there was no crim­i­nal in­tent and that it was just a reg­u­lar ac­ci­dent, which let’s be hon­est, hap­pens very of­ten in Kuwait. Then yes, you could go to court and get com­pen­sa­tion, but how much is your body worth? Ac­cord­ing to a de­cree, here are a few body parts and their worth (this is re­gard­less of the cause of the in­jury - the amounts be­low are what body parts are worth for un­in­ten­tional in­juries).

1. Scar - KD 500 2. Hand - KD 5,000 3. Leg - KD 5,000 4. Spinal cord - KD 10,000 5. Loss of thumb - KD 1,500 6. Ear or eye - KD 5,000

Work in­jury

Ques­tion: I work for an oil com­pany as an en­gi­neer and as I was out in the oil­fields, I slipped on the stairs and fell on the floor, hurt­ing my right shoul­der. I was wear­ing all my safety gear, but I don’t know why I slipped as it hap­pened very quickly. I was won­der­ing if I can file a law­suit and get com­pen­sated be­cause of the ac­ci­dent. Some of my col­leagues are say­ing no, I can’t get com­pen­sated be­cause it wasn’t my em­ployer’s fault and oth­ers are say­ing no as well, be­cause as em­ploy­ees of the oil in­dus­try, we are be­ing paid high salaries that should com­pen­sate us for putting our­selves in dan­ger ev­ery day. Is this true?

Fa­jer: Yes, you are en­ti­tled to com­pen­sa­tion for your work in­jury. In fact, not only are you com­pen­sated, but your em­ployer should pay for your health­care, and con­tinue pay­ing you your full salary for the first six months while you get treat­ment. If you re­quire more time off from work, then your em­ployer will con­tinue pay­ing you half your salary un­til you are bet­ter and get back to work. This is in ac­cor­dance to Kuwait la­bor law.

Un­for­tu­nately in Kuwait, there are a large num­ber of em­ploy­ers who do not take care for their em­ploy­ees and do not pro­vide them with safe work­ing en­vi­ron­ments, caus­ing a lot of work­ers to suf­fer and get in­jured. Please be care­ful and ask your em­ploy­ers to fol­low safety re­quire­ments.

There is a lot more that I would like to share with you about work-re­lated in­juries, so I will fo­cus on this topic next week too. Please email me if you have any con­cerns. Although I re­ally do think all hu­mans are price­less, I hope you un­der­stand how much you are worth by law and what your rights are.

For any le­gal ques­tions or queries, email ask@fa­jerthelawyer.com.

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