Compensation for moral damage under the law of the Russian Federation

The content of the article

When it comes to material damage, citizens are approximately aware of the principles for calculating compensation. Non-pecuniary damage, trial and evidence in court raise many questions. To find out for what physical and mental suffering compensation can be recovered, and in what order such cases are considered, it is worth turning to the legal norms of the Russian Federation.

What is moral harm?

In civil law, the concept of non-pecuniary damage involves causing the victim physical or mental suffering. If in the first case practically no one has a problem with interpretation, in the second case the harm lies in the moral experience of a person. The reasons may be related to work, interpersonal relationships and others. In accordance with civil law norms, psychological damage is considered to be actions that entailed the victim’s feeling of fear, humiliation or shame.

Man and woman

Laws and regulations of the Russian Federation

The ability of Russian citizens to demand monetary compensation is enshrined in the Civil Code (Civil Code of the Russian Federation), the Constitution and the Resolution of the Plenum of the Supreme Court. Legislative acts provide for liability for causing moral harm to the victim. In order to recover monetary compensation from the defendant in the course of consideration of a civil claim, it is necessary to prove that his actions or inaction constituted an infringement on the moral rights of the victim.

According to the legislation of the Russian Federation, intangible benefits include:

  • health;
  • business reputation of a person;
  • right to privacy;
  • the ability to choose a place of residence anywhere in the world;
  • dignity and authority;
  • copyrights;
  • the right to free movement;
  • the right to medical and family secret
  • legal reputation.

The harm is compensated by the causer in the following cases:

  1. The fact of the victim’s moral suffering due to a violation of his moral rights was established..
  2. The defendant’s action or inaction was found to entail the psychological suffering of the victim.
  3. During the investigation, the connection between the defendant’s actions or criminal inaction and the harm caused was established.
  4. The guilt of the person who caused the damage is proved in court.

In addition, the victim may claim damages, even if the defendant’s guilt is not proven, in the following cases:

  1. Damage was caused by a source of increased danger to others..
  2. The harm was caused to the citizen by illegal actions of the investigating authorities: illegal conviction, taking a recognizance not to leave the place, administrative arrest, detention of the victim in custody.
  3. Inaccurate information was disseminated about the victim, discrediting his honor and dignity, undermining his business reputation..

Arbitrage practice

Compared to property damage, it is much more difficult to prove moral damage. In order for the court to agree with the requirements of the plaintiff and award compensation, it is necessary to convince him that the physical deterioration of the health and mental problems of the victim are a consequence of the defendant’s activities. One of the high-profile cases was the meeting when the family from St. Petersburg received the largest compensation – 15 million rubles for the disability and subsequent death of the child.

Another striking example is the process of considering a claim from a German citizen to the Ukrainian government. She demands compensation for the moral damage caused by the death of her child in the crash of a Malaysian Boeing. The amount claimed by the woman is $ 1 million. The plaintiff’s lawyer believes that they have every chance to win the trial, because Ukraine had to close the airspace for the duration of the hostilities.

What moral compensation relies on

The penalty is awarded in case of violation of the moral rights of citizens. The victim of moral damage is compensated in the following cases:

  • physical suffering from injury and stress;
  • mental pain from the loss of a close relative;
  • loss of normal life due to acquired disability;
  • slander;
  • publicizing correspondence or conversation;
  • illegal dismissal from work;
  • insult;
  • deterioration of the psychological state;
  • disclosure of the victim’s medical, family or private secrets.

Physical suffering of a person and his relatives

Damage caused by physical harm (torture, bodily harm, infection with an infectious disease, attempt on the life of a person or their loved ones, causing ugliness) refers to the stress of the victim due to the actions of the perpetrator. The rules for the protection of intangible goods of Russians are reflected in the civil code (article No. 12 and No. 150, part 2). One of the measures to prevent the actions of the defendant in inflicting moral suffering associated with bodily harm, called monetary compensation.

Girl with a damaged arm

Moral suffering

The legislation of the Russian Federation under the moral damage refers to the moral suffering of the victim, expressed by discomfort, shame, humiliation, despair, a sense of personal inferiority, anger, irritability and depression. These feelings can be caused by the following actions of the perpetrator:

  • illegal restriction of freedom;
  • disclosure of personal or medical secrets of the victim;
  • copyright infringement;
  • slander;
  • violation of the secrecy of a telephone conversation or correspondence;
  • distribution of false information defaming the dignity and honor of the victim.

Compensation for non-pecuniary damage in civil law

In accordance with article GK 1064, the damage caused to the victim by the perpetrator must be fully compensated in the form of monetary amounts. The amount of compensation calculated by the court depending on individual circumstances. When considering a claim, not only the nature of the damage caused must be taken into account, but also the degree of guilt of the defendant. The final amount of compensation in civil law does not depend on the amount of property damage, if it was claimed by the plaintiff. Assessment of the nature of physical and moral suffering is carried out separately in each case..

Non-pecuniary damage in an accident

In case of accidents, in addition to compensation for property damage caused by damage to the vehicle, the applicant has the right to demand compensation for moral damage. Given the degree of guilt of the offender, the court determines the payment. As a rule, the declared amounts are reduced several times, but in such cases the plaintiffs often receive significant compensation. Statistics of court rulings show that in case of an accident it is possible to receive a payment of 100-800 thousand rubles for moral damage. Compensation may be required for the victims themselves or relatives of persons killed in the accident.

Compensation for property damage

Legislation under property damage means any derogation of the victim’s personal property. To recover compensation from the perpetrator, you need:

  1. To prove the fact of property consequences.
  2. Determine the amount of damage (requires mutual agreement of the parties or examination).
  3. Pretrial Claim.
  4. If there is no result, then you need to go to court.
  5. The statement of claim must contain the essence of the claimant’s claim and data on the damage caused..

Consumer abuse

Another administrative offense for which monetary compensation is provided is a violation of consumer rights. The penalty for improper provision of services or the quality of goods is calculated without taking into account the cost of the product. For such claims, compensation may be in the range of 5-50 thousand rubles. As a rule, the declared amounts are underestimated by the court. However, it is possible to recover the losses incurred by the consumer as a result of payment for medical services..

Caption - Consumer Protection


This kind of moral damage is not limited to the limitation period. Russians can file a lawsuit at any time against:

  • copyright recognition;
  • recognition of invalidity of state acts that violate the personal rights of the plaintiff;
  • restoration of honor and dignity of the victim.

The application of the law on the violation of moral rights in court is possible, if there are the following reasons:

  1. The defendant violated the plaintiff’s freedom of movement.
  2. Travel agency did not fulfill the terms of the contract with the client.
  3. Notary has broken the will.
  4. Unreliable information was disseminated defaming the honor of the victim.
  5. Doctor broke a medical secret.
  6. The author’s rights to any work (book or music), name, photographs or publication are violated.

Labor Compensation

The issue of compensation for moral damage by employers may be related to the following unlawful actions of the harm inflicter:

  • refusal to provide another vacation;
  • illegal dismissal;
  • injuring an employee in a workplace;
  • illegal demotion;
  • delay in wages;
  • discrimination (by age, gender) committed by the employer inaction;
  • violation of the property rights of the victim.

The court in such cases is guided by civil and labor codes for decision-making. The obligation of the employer is to create good working conditions, provide annual leave and pay salaries to employees on time. Otherwise, the employee is entitled to compensation for non-pecuniary damage. The reasons for this may be different. In addition to the above reasons, you can file a lawsuit for work in harmful conditions, which is also reimbursed to the employee.

How to prove moral damage in court

The presumption of innocence is valid on the territory of the Russian Federation, therefore, each plaintiff must prove the guilt of the defendant. In the event of circumstances that entailed material deprivation and moral suffering of the victim, he may file a claim at the place of registration (of his or her offender). The appeals of citizens by courts of general jurisdiction are considered. If one of the parties does not agree with the claim, then a cassation appeal may be filed.

Statement of claim

For the court to consider the case, the victim needs to file a statement of claim. It is important to:

  1. Indicate the correct details of the court;
  2. Indicate reliable data of the plaintiff and defendant;
  3. Confirm evidence of guilt of the defendant;
  4. Indicate your amount, which, according to the plaintiff, should be recoverable from the perpetrator.

Evidence of Negative Consequences

The fact that the defendant did not observe the intangible rights of the victim is established in court when examining evidence. To do this, submit one of the following documents:

  • certificate of incapacity for work resulting from injury;
  • an article in the media containing inaccurate information about the victim;
  • family photos;
  • personal correspondence.

In addition, the evidence is a forensic examination confirming the psychological state of the victim. The consequences of violations of moral rights may be the unbalanced state of the victim, caused by experienced feelings of shame, discomfort, irritation, humiliation, and inferiority. The result of such moral experiences can be a change in relations with colleagues and family, deterioration of business results, inability to conduct social activities, suicide.

Compensation for non-pecuniary damage

If during the court session moral harm was proved, the judge has the right to issue a resolution on compensation for harm, forcing the perpetrator to commit certain actions. The collection must occur in one of two ways:

  1. Cash payments. The size is determined by the court on an individual basis, taking into account the circumstances of the case, the degree of guilt of the defendant and the harm done. If the culprit cannot immediately pay the full amount, it will be restructured into several parts.
  2. Other elimination of the consequences of harm. Misunderstanding of the parties can lead to insults or libel, moral damage from which cannot be made up for financial benefits..

Material forms of compensation

Offenses of different categories, resulting in psychological suffering and harm to the victim, are compensated only in cash. Norms of material compensation do not exist, compensation is always calculated individually. The legislation does not provide for the possibility of compensation in other ways, because damage can only be measured by material payment. However, the parties may agree on a different form of compensation for harm, although the court will not be able to monitor the implementation of such obligations..

Refund Amount

The amount of compensation for non-pecuniary damage is determined by the court depending on the nature of the physical and moral suffering inflicted on the plaintiff, taking into account the degree of guilt of the defendant. The amount is established on the basis of reasonableness and justice (article of Civil Code No. 1101). Compensation in each case is different and has nothing to do with the amount of compensation for a claim for property damage, if any. The victim may file a claim with the amount already indicated, but the court has the right to reduce it at its discretion.

Cash Transfer

Statute of limitations for non-pecuniary damage

Many lawyers believe that cases of moral damages do not have a limitation period, while referring to article 208 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the Russian Federation. Claims for compensation for moral suffering are classified as non-property rights, lawsuits not subject to time restrictions. However, there are cases in which moral damage arises from the criminal liability of the accused (for example, causing grievous bodily harm to a close relative, robbery, physical abuse, etc.). In this case, the limitation period is provided..

The decision of the Supreme Court No. 10 of 12.20.1994 contains the most detailed explanation of the issue. Claims with claims for non-pecuniary damage are not subject to the limitation period if they are a consequence of a violation of the victim’s moral rights. In cases where compensation for psychological harm arises from offenses in respect of property and other things that have limitation, time limits are provided. For example, if a claim is required in the framework of a labor dispute, a three-month period must be observed for going to court..

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