Road Accident Abroad Claims

Motor Vehicle Accidents in Foreign Countries

Our holiday accident solicitors can handle compensation claims for injuries sustained in car accidents in the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or in road traffic accidents (RTA) in the USA – provided the road accident abroad was not your fault.

Since the introduction of the 4th and 5th EU Motor Insurance Directives and the Rome II Convention, making a claim for a road accident in the EU or EEA is as simple as making a claim for an RTA in the UK.

If you have been injured in a road accident abroad, it is important that you make a compensation claim as soon as possible, as time limits for making a claim vary between countries.

Road with a car in a layby on holiday

Types of RTA Claims

There are different types of RTA which you may be able to claim compensation for if you sustained an injury and the accident was not your fault, such as:

  • Bicycle
  • Car, taxi, jeep
  • Caravan or mobile home
  • Coach or minibus
  • Moped, motorbike
  • Pedestrian

It is important to know your legal rights if you are hiring a vehicle on holiday.

Location and the Law

If the road accident occurred in the EU or the EEA and was caused by a driver from the EEA, you are protected by EU laws – which may entitle you to claim significant compensation if you were injured as a driver, passenger or pedestrian.

The 4th and 5th EU Motor Insurance Directives have also made it compulsory for EU insurers to appoint UK representatives to handle any claims for compensation involving UK holidaymakers injured in RTAs through no fault of their own.

Why Choose Us?

  • Network of associate companies and lawyers in all EU countries, USA and Canada
  • Your case will handled to the highest possible standards
  • We will fight to make sure you receive the best settlement possible

Talk to a specialist Road Accident Abroad Compensation Lawyer at Simpson Millar LLP and start your holiday claim today on Freephone: 0808 145 1353 or use our online enquiry form

Top Tips

What to do if you are Involved in a Road Accident Abroad

It is important to keep calm if you have a road traffic accident abroad, to enable you to assess the situation properly:

  • If anyone has been injured, call the emergency services and also the Police – make sure you have the numbers of the emergency services abroad stored on your phone if you are driving
  • Contact your insurer or their representatives in the country immediately, as they will be able to advise you what to do – keep your insurer’s emergency contact details to hand if you are driving overseas
  • Contact your holiday representative, as they will be able to help you
  • When the Police arrive, remain calm and co-operate
  • Insurance details of EEA vehicles following car accidents abroad can be obtained from a central database – the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) will provide information.

Dealing with the Police in RTAs abroad

  • Say as little as possible and do not admit liability for the road accident, as the Police in most other countries have to attend road accidents involving an overseas vehicle and may have to assess who was at fault at the scene
  • Ask for an interpreter if you do not understand what the Police are saying
  • You will be asked to produce the following documentation :
    • Your driving licence
    • The vehicle’s registration document to prove ownership
    • Your insurance certificate or Green Card
  • Keep all the documents the police give you – you will need these later to contact the Police for help in pursuing a claim for holiday road accident compensation
  • The only paper you should agree to sign is the European Accident Statement or 'Constat Amiable' (see below), which is a legally binding written statement in which both drivers state their version of events and exchange information – make sure you receive a copy. Do not sign if you do not understand – or are not happy with – what has been said
  • If the Police have to carry out an investigation into the RTA to determine fault, drivers might be arrested and their vehicles impounded – If you are arrested, contact the British Consul or equivalent (keep the number to hand if you are driving abroad)
  • Try to keep calm when dealing with local Police – the Police abroad may have different methods of operation compared with the UK Police and may arrest you without warning if you become angry
  • In countries outside the European Union , the Police could also be in charge of deciding fault at the scene of a road traffic accident, so do not admit liability or sign anything. If arrested, contact the British Consul, who can arrange an English-speaking legal representative for you

The European Accident Statement or 'Constat Amiable'

The European Accident Statement or 'Constat Amiable' is a vitally important legal document widely used in Europe when there has been an RTA accident and you can obtain a copy from your insurer.

It is perfectly safe for you to complete and sign the European Accident Statement or 'Constat Amiable' – but make sure that you are given a copy and that you understand the information written by the other party before you sign it.

The form is intended to help holidaymakers involved in RTAs as a driver to exchange information about what happened while the accident is still fresh in their minds – and if possible agree on exactly what happened to cause the accident, so that claims can be settled as quickly as possible.

Drivers involved in the road traffic accident should keep a copy of the completed document and make sure that they are happy with the statement which both drivers have made.

If you don't understand what has been said, or if you are not happy with what has been said, do not sign it as it's a legally binding document.

Get In Touch

Nick Harris - Head of International Travel Law - Manchester

Nick Harris
Head of Holiday Travel Claims (Consumer)

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