Road Traffic Accident Compensation claims can be very stressful for victims regardless of where they occur, but if such an incident happens abroad it is even more important to get expert advice from experienced solicitors.
The key issue here is where such a claim would be heard. For example, if you were to suffer an injury in a road accident in France, would the case for compensation be heard in a French or UK court?
For now, we will focus solely on cases such as this within the EU, as these have a clearly defined set of rules.
Road accidents in EU countries
An important factor here is the difference between claiming against the person ‘at fault’ and getting compensation from their insurance company.
The rules surrounding road traffic accidents within the EU are found in the Brussels I Regulation. They reveal that it is highly unlikely your claim against the individual responsible will be heard anywhere other than in the courts of the country where the incident took place. This can hold true even if neither victim nor defendant reside in that country.
There are two exceptions to this:
- If both the victim and defendant primarily reside in the same country, the case can be heard there rather than where the incident occurred
- If the circumstances clearly show that the laws of another country are “manifestly more closely connected” to the case at hand, then their laws can apply
When it comes to making a compensation claim against an insurer, the EU Fourth Motor Insurance Directive made it a requirement for all EU members to allow victims of road traffic accidents to claim directly against the at fault party’s insurer, and to have that claim heard in their own country of residence.
Ask Sheldon Davidson Solicitors
As you can see, the issue of road traffic accidents abroad is extremely complex, and each situation will need to be considered separately based on the circumstances.
Sheldon Davidson Solicitors can advise you on the likely success of any claim, and guide you throughout the process to provide both legal advice and reassurance during the process. We will also be on hand to assist should any urgent medical care be necessary.
To find out more about how we can help you, contact our team of expert personal injury solicitors.