Is there a limitation period for financial claims, or filing a claim?

Yes. Deliver your claim for compensation to the Finnish Patient Insurance Centre no later than three years after you have received a positive compensation decision. If you are repeatedly compensated for various costs and losses, deliver your claim no later than three years after the loss has occurred.

How is compensation for pain and suffering determined?

The term "pain and suffering" was changed to "temporary incapacity" at the beginning of 2006. Compensation for temporary incapacity during the acute phase is included in the types of compensation payable under patient insurance. When deciding on the amount of compensation for temporary incapacity, the following criteria will be taken into account: the quality and degree of severity of the bodily injury sustained by the patient, the quality and degree of severity of the required treatment, and the time period of the disablement.

The amount of compensation is assessed according to the information available in case histories and other documentation. During determination, the norms and guidelines of the Traffic Accident Board are used as assistance, according to which in 2015, for example,

  • the scale for minor injuries was 200–1,200 euros, while
  • the scale for injuries more serious than minor was 1,000–3,800 euros, while

I received a lump sum settlement for permanent incapacity according to Disability Class 3. What does this mean?

Compensation for permanent incapacity is awarded to compensate for permanent functional incapacity. The incapacity may be manifested, for example, as weakened arm or leg functions. The term often used is 'disability'.

You may receive compensation under patient insurance only for additional incapacity that is due to the patient injury. If the patient's other illnesses or injuries are the cause of the incapacity, this cannot be compensated for. Compensation for permanent incapacity must be handled separately from compensation for loss of income. If the patient injury results in occupational disability and loss of income, the right to compensation for loss of income will be decided upon separately. Occupational disability does not affect the compensation paid for permanent incapacity.

The degree of permanent incapacity is determined in accordance with the Decision of the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (1012/1986) or the Decree (1649/2009). In it, the injuries and illnesses have been divided in classes 20–1 according to the severity category with class 20 indicating the most severe incapacity and class 1 the least severe incapacity.

Examples: Complete paralysis of the ulnar nerve in the better arm and the resulting incapacity falls under Class 5, while complete peroneal nerve paralysis falls under Class 3 and moderate circulatory insufficiency under Classes 6–10.

How is the amount of compensation paid for permanent incapacity determined?

The amount of compensation will be based on the norms and guidelines of the Traffic Accident Board that are generally applied when determining compensation for bodily injury. Compensation for each incapacity category is determined annually. In addition to incapacity, the age of the injured party affects the final compensation amount.

Why does the age of the injured party affect the compensation for permanent incapacity?

The purpose of the compensation for permanent incapacity is to compensate for the repercussions of a personal injury which will affect the injured party for the rest of his or her life.

A person who has received a permanent incapacity at a younger age is more likely to suffer from the injury longer than an older person. For this reason, a younger person is paid higher compensation for a permanent incapacity than an older person who has received a similar injury.

A cosmetic incapacity, such as excessive, deforming scarring, may entitle a person to compensation on the grounds of permanent cosmetic incapacity. The amount of this compensation is dependent on the age at which the injury is received.