Road Traffic Accident Abroad Claims

How to Claim for Road Traffic Accident in The EU

If you are involved in a road accident in a European Union state, you may be entitled to bring a claim for your injuries and damage to your vehicle.

Contact

  • “A niche firm that punches well above its weight in the catastrophic injury sector, borne out by the quality of work they obtain.”

  • “They have quality and depth and provide an excellent service.”

     

Driving is relatively safe in most EU countries, but accidents do happen and there are rules in place to help you get the compensation you are entitled to.

This page explains what you should do at the scene of the accident and explains how you can start a road traffic accident abroad claim when you return home.

What should I do if I have a road accident in the EU?

If you’re involved in a road accident in the European Union, call the police and ask for a copy of their report or reference number. Ask for an interpreter if you don’t understand what the officer is saying. You should also seek any medical attention you need.

Fill out the European Accident Statement (EAS) if you have one. Your insurance company may have given you this form or one may be produced at the scene of the accident. This form has different names in different countries such as the Constat Amiable in France and the DAA in Spain.

The EAS is a standard form that establishes an agreed set of facts about the accident to help with insurance claims. You can use it to record the date and place of the accident, vehicle registration numbers, driver contact details and your version of events. Only sign the EAS when you’re sure that you understand the situation. Make sure you’re given a copy.

Whether you have an EAS or not, it’s a good idea to:

  • Make notes about what happened in as much detail as you can
  • Get photographs of the scene (licence plates, vehicle damage, injuries, pictures of the road and driving conditions)
  • Exchange insurance details with the other driver
  • Take the names and contact details of any witnesses
  • Don’t admit liability as this could void your insurance and harm your personal injury claim

Do I have to report the incident to my insurer?

Yes, you should contact your insurer as soon as possible. Certain policies have a time limit for reporting incidents, even if you are making the report for ‘information only’ and do not wish to make a claim.

If you were driving a hire car, contact the hire company as soon as possible. Rental companies have their own procedures for dealing with insurance companies and anyone else involved in the accident. Once you are home, write to the company with a full report of the incident.

Which law is applicable to European Union road accidents?

It depends on how you booked your holiday. If the accident happened while you were travelling in a hire car that was included as part of a package holiday, and the accident was not your fault, you can make a holiday accident claim against the tour operator under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations 1992.

This means you can make your claim in the Courts of England and Wales, even though the accident occurred in the EU.

If you booked your car hire independently, or you were travelling in your own car, then different rules apply. You may still be able to start a personal injury claim in England and Wales, regardless of the nationality of the other driver or where the accident occurred. However, your claim will be governed by the law of the country where the accident happened. Sometimes, it may be beneficial to make your claim abroad.

Overseas accidents can be complicated, so it is important to get help from an experienced personal injury solicitor to ensure the claim is managed effectively from the outset.

Who can I claim against?

The claim will be against the person whose actions or negligence caused the accident. This will depend on the circumstances, but could include:

  • The tour operator, for road accidents that occurred as part of a package holiday
  • The other driver and their insurers, for collisions where the other driver was at fault
  • The authority responsible for road maintenance, where your accident was caused by the condition of the roads

What if my accident was a hit and run?

As the victim of an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run, you may be able to claim compensation through the foreign equivalent of the Motor Insurers Bureau. Your solicitor will explore this possibility with you when deciding whether you are able to make a claim.

Claims must be brought in the EU country where you had your accident. The laws of that country will also determine how much compensation you receive.

How do I make a claim for a car accident in Europe?

The first step is to seek legal advice from a solicitor who is experienced in European traffic accident claims. Do this as soon as possible after you get home. Your claim may be under a different time limit to the UK, so it is really important to act quickly.

You can only claim compensation for your EU traffic accident if you can prove that you were not the person at fault. This can be complicated. Often, the other driver’s insurers will seek to prove that you were wholly or partially responsible for the accident because you did not understand the driving laws in the country.

As specialist EU traffic accident solicitors, we can go through your case and tell you if you have a claim, and alert you to any pitfalls you may encounter. We can also make a rough estimate of what you could potentially be owed. Get in touch with our friendly solicitors and we will be happy to advise you further.

 

Speak to us about a Road Traffic Accident Abroad Claim

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you






    • "They punch well above their weight. The quality of service they provide equals that of any of the larger top-name firms in this area"

      Chambers UK 2022

    • The group is noted for its expertise in matters relating to cycling injuries, and is the official legal partner of the London Cycling Campaign charity.

      Legal 500 2022

    • "A small but high-powered team, dealing with cases of significant value and complexity."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "An excellent firm which achieves fantastic outcomes for clients."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "Osbornes Law have captured the magic of keeping the customer service levels of a smaller firm whilst having all the expertise and power of the biggest firms."

    • "A superb boutique catastrophic injury firm."

      Legal 500 2021

    • "Really good at dealing with people who have suffered a serious injury."

      Chambers UK 2021

    • "Affable and charming with very good client-handling skills."

      Chambers UK 2021

    • "superb firm with consummate professionals and a human touch."

      Chambers UK 2021

    • Osbornes now has a team of highly experienced personal injury lawyers; particularly strong on high-value quantum cases, workplace accidents and claims involving foreign workers injured in the UK.

      Legal 500 2020 - Personal Injury

    • The team provides fantastic strength-in-depth for personal injury claims. It is also particularly well placed to service clients from Eastern Europe with specialist native language speakers. From the smallest case to a multimillion-pound spinal injury case, Osbornes has the right staff to manage every claim.

      Legal 500 2020 - Personal Injury

    • Ben Posford remains pre-eminent in his field with expert understanding of litigating cases of the upmost severity. His experience builds on Stuart Kightley’s running of the firm with recent partner additions of Rob Aylott making a fantastic addition.

      Legal 500 2020 - Personal Injury

    • A firm going from strength-to strength-which retains its client care whilst being able to offer a full personal injury service.

      Legal 500 2020 - Personal Injury

    • Beneath Ben Posford’s calm and reassuring presence, which clients love, lies a formidable tactical and legal brain. His experience tells and he gets it right at every stage of the process from arranging the best possible rehabilitation, to ensuring, so far as possible, a polite relationship with those acting for the defendant in order to ensure best and early resolution of the claim.

      Legal 500

    • "Clients say he is very impressive, in terms of both his experience and his management of the personal injury team."

      Chambers UK

    • "They have an expanding profile in personal injury and clinical negligence and offer a superb, broad service in accidents abroad, enabled by their recruitment of bilingual legal executives who can guide non-English speakers through complex litigation."

      Chambers & Partners Directory 2020, Personal Injury

    • "Solid personal injury practice well equipped to advise on high-value and high-profile claims arising from fatalities and severe head and spinal injuries."

      Chambers UK

    • "Offers specialist expertise in cycling-related injury claims."

      Chambers UK

    • "Offers specialist expertise in cauda equina syndrome cases."

      Chambers UK

    • "An exceptional outfit. They take on difficult cases, fight hard and win."

      Chambers UK

    • "Stuart Kightley is an incredibly empathetic solicitor who is very knowledgeable about traumatic brain injury."

      Chambers UK

    • "They are an outstanding firm to work with. They are consistently impressive in their work."

      Chambers UK

    • "Osbornes has a growing influence and impressive work load and is gaining a reputation for handling complex catastrophic work."

      The Legal 500

    • "Osbornes often handles claims valued at over £1m, particularly relating to severe brain and spinal cord injuries and niche areas such as cauda equina syndrome and cycling accidents."

      The Legal 500

    • "The hard-working, thorough and committed Robert Aylott, who brings significant heavyweight personal injury experience."

      Legal 500 2019

    • "Key team members include the energetic and personable Stuart Kightley who is head of the personal injury department."

      The Legal 500

    • "Catastrophic injury cases head Ben Posford is an excellent practical litigator who offers exceptional service."

      The Legal 500

    • Thank you for the hard work and patience and for being so patient with my constant questions.

      Personal Injury Client

    • "I have found Osbornes to be thorough, clear and understanding from the initial call. They do exactly what they say they will and with passion! I would recommend them to anyone".

      Client Review

    • Very good efficient service. Would not hesitate to use again.

      Personal Injury Client

    • I will use Osbornes for any future needs.

      Personal Injury Client

    • I don't think I could have asked for anything more. One of the best dealings I've had with the legal profession.

      Personal Injury Client

    • Sam was excellent and very professional in dealing with our claim.

      Personal Injury Client

    • Head of the personal injury department, Stuart Kightley is a first-rate practitioner, wholly focused on getting his client the best outcome in a pragmatic, sensible and consensual manner.

      Chambers UK

    • As a real specialist in spinal cord injuries, Ben Posford is always looking at new angles on how to maximise his cases.

      Chambers UK

    • Ben Posford is one of the best catastrophic injury lawyers around.

      Chambers UK

    • They provide exceptional service, great knowledge and understanding of the law, excellent client care and tactical nous

      Chambers UK

    • Stuart Kightley is praised for his expertise in catastrophic and fatal claims. Clients say he is very impressive, in terms of both his experience and his management of the personal injury team.

      Chambers UK

    • My claim was dealt with efficiently and professionally. Communication was excellent, and timely. Shrewd and sound advice was provided at every stage of the claim from beginning through to completion. On the basis of my personal experience I would strongly recommend Osbornes.

      Personal Injury Department Client

    • I just wish to thank you for your hard work and successful outcome. I am pleased with the result and would recommend you and your firm to anyone in the future.

      Personal injury department client

    • Ben Posford … is ‘tactically astute’ and ‘one of the best personal injury solicitors around’.

      Legal 500

    • Ben Posford ‘knows how to maximise the value of the claim for his clients’.

      Legal 500

    Related InsightsVIEW ALL

    1. 15.1.2020

      Package Holidays – be prepared!

      Now that Christmas is over and we are moving swiftly through January, thoughts turn to the next big holiday, and...

      Read more
    2. accidents on cruise ship
      19.8.2019

      Going Abroad and Boating Accidents

      Whether you are on the water for travel, work or pleasure, it is good to know that safety is the...

      Read more
    3. aeroplane
      25.4.2019

      What should I do If I Have An...

      Specialist Holiday Accident Claim Solicitors Before you go away Please remember to organise your travel insurance. Medical insurance alone is...

      Read more
    4. 22.6.2015

      Holiday Claims: Getting more than you ‘Packaged’ for!

      For many of us a holiday is something that we have booked many months or even years in advance and...

      Read more

    VIEW ALL