What Happens If You Have A Road Accident, Abroad?
We are beginning to notice a stark increase in the number of individuals involved in road traffic accidents abroad.
Accidents which occur overseas come with their own complications, such as the language barrier, differences in the local laws, and uncertainty as to what should be done in terms of reporting, and in collating relevant evidence.
If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a road traffic accident whilst abroad or on holiday, you may find the following tips of some use.
- It is always advisable to contact the local police, they are independent and can complete a police report setting out what happened and who they believe to be at fault.
- We would urge you to obtain a copy of the police report and ensure that you fully understand its contents before signing.
- If you do not understand what you are signing, ask for an interpreter.
- Take the name and addresses for any independent witnesses, or anyone who offered assistance immediately following the accident. Their assistance could be invaluable at a later date if facts are disputed.
- When driving in Europe, your insurer will usually provide a form known as a European Accident Statement (EAS). Alternatively, the other driver may produce one. Ensure the EAS is completed, as this helps the involved parties to agree a statement of facts about the accident. Your insurer may also wish to see a copy to help them understand what happened.
- Do not sign the EAS if you are unhappy with its contents. Make sure you understand the situation and are happy with the form before agreeing to it. It will be difficult to argue this form at a later date should you wish to dispute the contents. All parties involved should retain copies of the signed and agreed EAS.
- Make sure that insurance details are exchanged at the scene of the accident.
- Note down the registration numbers or number plate details for the vehicles involved and record a basic breakdown of events.
- Take photographs at the scene of the accident. The photographs should show the actual damage to the vehicles, the position of the vehicles and the registration.
- Take exact details in respect of the location of where the accident occurred.
- If you are taken to the local hospital, ask for a copy of your medical report showing your attendance and treatment received, this will assist in proving any actual injuries sustained and the level of treatment received.
Reporting Your Accident
In addition to obtaining evidence in respect of your accident, you should ensure that you notify your insurance company. They can then make a log of the accident and note down the circumstances.
Your insurer should also be able to offer you guidance and assistance in respect of any car recovery, replacement vehicles, fees, medical fees, and potentially an interpreter depending on the type of policy you hold with them.
Your insurer should be able to assist you with your road traffic accident circumstances whilst overseas, but then continue such assistance upon your return to the UK.
If you fail to notify your insurers this could have damaging consequences and you may be restricted with recovering any outlay under the terms of your insurance policy.
In addition to any damaged vehicle costs, recovery costs and replacement vehicle costs, you could be entitled to compensation for any actual bodily injuries suffered as a result of the third parties negligence.Whilst a lot of legal firms in the UK only deal with accidents which have occurred within the UK, we have the specialism and expertise to deal with overseas accidents.