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What to do if you are involved in a road traffic accident abroad

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Limitation periods for accidents abroad

School holidays are just around the corner and many families will be embarking on driving holidays to explore various parts of Europe.

Whilst having a road accident abroad will be the last thing on your mind it is something that is not uncommon and although one would hope that this kind of incident would not happen, it is always better to be prepared.

So, as well as stocking your car up with all the holiday essentials, make sure you have a pen and paper in your glove box in the event an accident happens. Many foreign insurance companies are very strict when assessing claims and at the very least will require the following information:

  1. A completed and signed Constat Amiable: this is essentially a very basic form which provides information regarding the accident and the parties’ details. The form must be signed by those involved in the accident;
  2. A copy of the foreign drivers licence;
  3. Police log number – foreign insurers do request that any road accident is reported to the local police. Make a note of the name and address of the police station.

It will also be of great help if you take a photograph of the vehicle that has caused the accident and make sure that the picture does include the registration. A photograph of the driver would also help.

Hopefully, if you are injured in an accident abroad, your injuries will not be too serious but regardless of the severity, please always make sure that you are seen by a medical professional, preferably a qualified doctor, as quickly as possible after the accident. This is because in some countries, injury claims will not be dealt with if immediate (and in some countries that is literally within a few hours of the accident, but certainly no later than 24 hours later) medical treatment has not been sought. For example, in Spain, any person suffering a soft tissue injury must seek medical treatment/advice within 72 hours of the accident occurring as failure to do so can result in foreign insurers dealing with claims. This obviously differs greatly to what to do when you have an accident in the UK.

If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a road accident abroad, please do not hesitate to contact our road traffic accident specialists who will be more than happy to assist you and represent you in your case. Please call us on 01616 966 229 if you would like to speak to one of our personal injury specialists with regards to a potential compensation claim.