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Accidents Abroad – Road Traffic Accidents

19 | 08 | 13

By SheldonDavidsonSolicitors

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 today.


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  • You have done an outstanding job in dealing with my claim and treated both myself and my wife in a totally professional manner

    Mr P

  • I would like to thank you so much for all the hard work that you put into my case which was complex and challenging. You were always professional, polite, and efficient but also had that human touch which was most welcome, especially when having to discuss personal medical information.

    Mrs. C Earnshaw

  • David and I and all our family would like to thank you for your continued support, patience and hard work.  The past 5 years have been an extremely difficult time for us, and your advice and empathy has really helped us along the way.  We are so grateful to you because David can now move onto his next chapter.  Many Thanks.

    Mrs A

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