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his injury. In all cases, if the criminal proceedings are dropped because of death or pardon, the civil liability proceedings may nevertheless be carried on.


Broadly speaking the Italian law is based upon a system of compulsion to insure though the method of insurance is not prescribed and there are a great many exceptions to the compulsion. Establishments operated by the state, provincial, or communal governments, or by private persons by franchise from the Government, must insure their employees in the National Accident Insurance Institution unless they are provided with special compensation acts, when they are exempt from all insurance. Other employers may insure their employees with authorized private insurance companies.

The following substitutes for insurance in the national or private insurance companies are permitted: Private establishments funds organized by the employer (or by several employers in the same locality) and authorized by the Government, having a membership of more than 500, or employers' mutual accident insurance associations, organized by employers and authorized by the minister, and insuring at least 4,000 employees.

In addition to these employers' voluntary mutual associations, compulsory associations may be established by the Government if it finds after consultation with the chambers of commerce, provincial councils, and the state council that such an association is necessary or advantageous to secure better compliance with the provisions of the law. An employers' compulsory mutual accident insurance association must include at least 15,000 employees.

Finally, the railways to which the law applies are exempt from the obligation of insurance, provided they adjust the pension and benefit fund to the requirements of this law without interfering with the acquired rights of the members of the funds. These adjustments must be approved by the minister.

The detailed provisions of the law concerning the regulations of insurance institutions are given subsequently in connection with the discussion of the various classes of these institutions.


The special guarantee fund completes the complicated arrangements made for securing the payment of indemnity to the injured person. It is mainly intended to provide a source for paying compensation to injured workmen of employers who have failed to comply with the requirements for insurance and who have become insolvent, so that civil procedure against them is useless. It also has other subsidiary functions, namely, (1) to subsidize benefit funds which undertake to assist injured workmen during the first five days of disability, (2) to grant prizes to inventors of new safety devices, and (3) to subsidize associations or institutions granting medical help to the injured employees. The income of the fund is derived (1) from the compensation due for fatal accidents to employees having no dependent relatives entitled to compensation under the law and (2) from the fines and penalties imposed for noncompliance with the law or regulations.

The bank of deposits and loans must notify the ministry at the end of each year as to the amount credited to this fund, and only when the fund exceeds 20,000 lire ($3,860) may appropriations be made for subsidiary purposes.

The subsidies to societies granting relief during the first five days of disability may be made with intervals of at least five years' duration. Such distribution is made among societies applying for it and presenting detailed evidence of their activities; the other functions depend upon the judgment of the minister.


Explicit regulations are provided for enforcing compliance with the insurance requirement in all its details. The owners or managers of new establishments must insure their employees before the beginning of operations or as soon as possible thereafter, and in no case later than five days after the beginning of operations. If any accidents happen before insurance had been effected the employer is personally responsible for the compensation according to the law.

Within ten days after the beginning of operations the prefect of the Province must be notified as to the nature of the establishment and number of employees and apprentices employed. A similar report must be made of each insurance contract, giving the date, length of contract, and the number of workmen and apprentices insured. The discontinuance of work in the establishment must also be reported to the prefect. The prefect must compile the data in regard to all the insured establishments.

In each establishment or undertaking an easily legible notice must be posted, stating the name of the insurance institution with which such insurance has been contracted for and the date of termination of the insurance. The original contract or a copy thereof must be in the possession of the employer at the establishment, and must be shown, with necessary explanations, to the injured workman or his legal representative, who shall be allowed to copy it. For noncompliance with this regulation the employer is subject to a fine of at least 50 lire ($9.65).

For noncompliance with the insurance requirements, such as failure to insure or to renew insurance, or to increase it with the increase of the number of employees, the employer is subject to a fine of 5 lire (97 cents) per employee and per day, up to 2,000 lire ($386). In addition, the employer is not only liable in case of an accident for the legal amount of compensation but he must pay an equal amount into the special guarantee fund. The same penal provisions are made for those who cause the insurance to lapse through a culpable failure to pay the premiums due.

A complete register of all employees must be kept in every establishment subject to this law. This register must contain information as to the name, conjugal condition, date and place of birth, the date of entering service, and the usual occupation and the amount of daily wages. In addition a general wage book is required to be kept containing the accounts of each individual worker. It must be kept up to date, showing the earnings of each employee and payments made to him. These books must be bound, with pages consecutively numbered, and they must be examined by the insurance office before they may be used. The entries must be made in ink, and without erasures. Employees whose names are not entered in the wage book are not considered insured, and for their omission the employer is subject to the penalties provided. But until the fact of such noncompliance has been established by a court the insurance company is not relieved from the obligation of paying compensation provisionally, with the right of suing to recover these payments from the delinquent employer.

The employee who receives piece wages, and who employs and pays his helpers, must also keep a register and a pay book. The register and wage books must always be open for inspection by government inspectors and agents of the insurance companies, who may copy extracts from them.

Railroad companies and other public institutions, having regular pay rolls or temporary undertakings of very short duration, may be exempt from the obligation of keeping registers and wage books.

Individual wage books of uniform pattern for all branches of industry are made obligatory and must be supplied by the employer to all the workmen. The same book may be used by the employee even in different establishments, and it must contain all information necessary for the administration of the accident insurance law.

If the inspector finds that an establishment employs a greater number of workmen than is insured against accidents, he must prosecute the owner or manager of the establishment before the local judiciary authorities. The employer may be fined for giving wrong or misleading information, irrespective of the right of the ministry to contract for the additional insurance at the expense of the delinquent employer.


REPORT AND INVESTIGATION OF ACCIDENTS.—A satisfactory administration of an accident insurance or compensation act is impossible without a careful system of reporting accidents. The law requires that each accident resulting in disability lasting over five days or in death must be reported to the local police authorities by the manager of the establishment or undertaking, under penalty of a fine of from 50 to 100 lire ($9.65 to $19.30). The reports must be made to the prefect of the Province in which the establishment is located; they are required from all undertakings and establishments, whether or not covered by the accident insurance law, and they must be made within three days from the accident or the day on which information concerning the accident reached the manager of the establishment. To make such reports possible all accidents, no matter how slight, must be reported by the injured employee to the person in charge of the establishment. In case of failure to do so, the injured person may lose the right to compensation for the days elapsing between the date of the accident and the report to the manager. Only accidents causing disability of over five days' duration must be reported by the manager, so that evidently an estimate must be made as to the probable length of disability, which may not prove correct. If an accident had not been reported because the disability was not expected to last five days but subsequently did extend into the sixth day, it must be reported within three days thereafter.

Similar reports of accidents must be made to the respective insurance institutions by managers of establishments subject to the law.

Reports of accidents must include the name of employer, place and time of the accident, and its cause and description; name, conjugal condition, age, address, and occupation of the injured employee; his condition, probable duration of the disability (to be certified by the physician), and names and addresses of witnesses. The police and other authorities must keep lists of accidents reported. Failure to make reports of accidents must be brought to the attention of the court by the police.

In all fatal cases, or such cases as are likely to lead to disability for over thirty days, or to death, the police must forward a copy of the accident report, together with the medical certificate to the local magistrate (pretor), who is required to make an investigation within four days after the receipt of the report, ascertaining the following facts: The cause, the conditions of the accident, the nature and condition of the injury, the daily wages and the annual earnings of the injured; the relatives of the killed employee and their place of residence, and the fact and method of insurance of the victim.

The time and place of such investigation must be communicated in advance by the magistrate (pretor) to the employer or his representative and to the particular insurance institution concerned. The investigation must be conducted in the presence of representatives of all parties concerned, and a physician and other experts invited by the magistrate. In the absence of the injured person or his representatives the magistrate may select two workmen of the same establishment to represent his interest. The purpose of this investigation is to establish the actual facts as to the cause of the accident. Only in establishments where the work is done in secrecy for considerations of state may such investigation be substituted by a written report of the management. The investigation must be concluded within a few days and the facts stated in an official report signed by the magistrate. In fatal cases copies of this report must be forwarded to the ministry.

The report must remain for five days in the office of the magistrate, after which it is transferred to the proper judicial authority, which may take any legal steps it finds necessary; the report is also transmitted to the civil tribunal of the district.

The magistrates, witnesses, physician, and other experts called in to the investigation receive compensation for their work.

DETERMINATION OF DISABILITY.—The insurance institution has the right to subject the injured person to a medical examination in the presence of the attending physician, and the injured employee has no right to decline such examination whenever the insurance institution demands it, provided the insurer meets the cost; nor can the injured employee decline to go to a hospital or a clinic for a determination of the consequences of the injury. When any dispute arises as to the nature of the results of the accident, the decision may be intrusted to a medical arbitration board of three members, of whom two are nominated by the respective parties and the third by these parties together or by a president of a court. The president of the court determines the compensation of the physicians, at any figure from 5 to 200 lire (97 cents to $38.60), and the distribution of this cost between the insurance institution and the injured employee.

Sanitary officers and communal physicians may not decline their services necessary to determine the results of accidents. A scale of payment for their services is established in the regulations. Hospitals must permit medical representatives of the insurance companies to examine the patient.


TEMPORARY DISABILITY.-The insurance company must make the first compensation payment for temporary disability as soon possible after receiving notice of an accident and the physician's

soon as

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