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.
Sophie Davies Partner
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
"Osbornes always provides work of excellent quality and the advice is sound."
"The firm has the ability to handle the most sophisticated and complex matters."
"Osbornes is always client-focused and works tirelessly to obtain the best outcomes."
'The team deals with multi-million pound, often multifaceted claims, involving such factors as severe brain, psychiatric, gynaecological and spinal injury, major trauma, amputation and fatality.'
"They are a boutique firm with highly experienced partners who are well-respected in the industry."
"The team at Osbornes deals with catastrophic injury claims with the same professionalism as the largest firms, but provides a much more client-focused experience."
"A really first-rate team, well capable of dealing with the most serious and complex injuries."
"This team has carved out an exceptional reputation in catastrophic injury work."
"Osbornes has impressed me with their personal touch for clients whilst offering a first-class handling of catastrophic injury claims. The partners all have vast experience and are highly respected in their field."
"This is a really excellent personal injury team that can be regarded as one of the major players in the London claimant personal injury market."
"Osbornes have managed to recruit a team of outstanding catastrophic injury lawyers who are at the top of the game."
"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"
Ben Posford is fiercely bright, with an unrivalled passion for his clients’ cases. His encyclopaedic knowledge of all things PI is second to none. His foresight and commercial nous have propelled Osbornes into the highest echelons of the market where they rightly belong.
The firm has an excellent and innovative line in cases involving non-English speaking claimants, managed by recruiting paralegals with multi-language skills – an impressive route for expansion of the caseload.
Great expanding team with expertise and respect in the sector. Led by a commercially savvy and business minded team.
A really excellent group of PI solicitors, notable for their individual quality.’
A niche firm that punches well above its weight in the catastrophic injury sector, borne out by the quality of work they obtain.
This combination of experience and diligence reaps massive rewards for clients, Osbornes being well known in the industry as a fantastic firm.
The Osbornes personal injury team now comprises some of the most technically adept and hard hitting lawyers in the business.
Ben Posford is one of London’s best catastrophic injury lawyers, in my view. He is a real brain injury specialist.
Excellent coverage of personal injury, and traumatic brain injury. There is a real specialism in claimants who do not speak English as a first language.
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.
To complement its strong reputation for high-value and complex personal injury work, the firm continues to develop its 'excellent and innovative line in cases involving non-English speaking claimants'
"Osbornes comprises some of the most technically adept and hard hitting lawyers in the business"
"A small but high-powered team, dealing with cases of significant value and complexity."
"An excellent firm which achieves fantastic outcomes for clients."
"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."
"Really good at dealing with people who have suffered a serious injury."
"Affable and charming with very good client-handling skills."
"superb firm with consummate professionals and a human touch."
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.
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.
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.
A firm going from strength-to strength-which retains its client care whilst being able to offer a full personal injury service.
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.
"Clients say he is very impressive, in terms of both his experience and his management of the personal injury team."
"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."
"Solid personal injury practice well equipped to advise on high-value and high-profile claims arising from fatalities and severe head and spinal injuries."
"Offers specialist expertise in cycling-related injury claims."
"Offers specialist expertise in cauda equina syndrome cases."
"An exceptional outfit. They take on difficult cases, fight hard and win."
"Stuart Kightley is an incredibly empathetic solicitor who is very knowledgeable about traumatic brain injury."
"They are an outstanding firm to work with. They are consistently impressive in their work."
"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 hard-working, thorough and committed Robert Aylott, who brings significant heavyweight personal injury experience."
"Key team members include the energetic and personable Stuart Kightley who is head of the personal injury department."
"Osbornes has a growing influence and impressive work load and is gaining a reputation for handling complex catastrophic work."
"Catastrophic injury cases head Ben Posford is an excellent practical litigator who offers exceptional service."
"Stuart is also very experienced in advising on fatal accidents and workplace accidents."
Thank you for the hard work and patience and for being so patient with my constant questions.
"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".
Very good efficient service. Would not hesitate to use again.
I will use Osbornes for any future needs.
I don't think I could have asked for anything more. One of the best dealings I've had with the legal profession.
Sam was excellent and very professional in dealing with our claim.
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.
As a real specialist in spinal cord injuries, Ben Posford is always looking at new angles on how to maximise his cases.
Ben Posford is one of the best catastrophic injury lawyers around.
They provide exceptional service, great knowledge and understanding of the law, excellent client care and tactical nous
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.
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.
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.
Ben Posford … is ‘tactically astute’ and ‘one of the best personal injury solicitors around’.
Ben Posford ‘knows how to maximise the value of the claim for his clients’.
Related InsightsVIEW ALL
Case Law: Dementia-Induced Mild Cognitive Impairment
Dementia is a harsh reality for increasing numbers of families. Sadly, it means the disputed wills solicitors at Osbornes Law...Read more
Declaration of Trust for Property
If you are buying a property jointly, you may want to consider making a declaration of trust to record your...Read more
Lease Extension Negligence
What is Lease Extension Negligence? Solicitors Negligence when a Tenant claims a new lease of a flat under the Leasehold...Read more
Overlooking Nuisance Claims
Overlooking Nuisance Claims – net curtains not necessarily! I refer to the article https://osborneslaw.com/blog/overlooking-nuisance-claims-buy-some-net-curtains/ which concerned the...Read more
Rent Repayment Order: Rakusen v Jepsen
Rakusen v Jepsen & Others 2023 Judgement was given in this case on the 1st March 2023 and when it was settled...Read more
Leasehold Reform expected by end of 2023
The government announced in 2021 the introduction of various leasehold reforms which will affect the leasehold system for properties in England...Read more
Cycling Accident Claims: Client Stories
GP Awarded £1m Settlement Kate Milton, a Senior Associate at Osbornes Law settled a cycling accident claim for a 52-year-old...Read more
German Court Rules on EU Succession Regulation
Succession laws vary from country to country which historically made the administration of cross-border estates potentially complex. Since 17 August 2015, the...Read more
Success in Court of Appeal in child disability...
The Court of Appeal has today handed judgment in the case of Harrington v Secretary of State for Work and...Read more
£250,000 settlement for client injured in forklift truck accident
Sophie Davies, a specialist personal injury lawyer at Osbornes Law, recently represented a client who suffered life-changing injuries following a...Read more
Osbornes Instructed After Local Authority Data Breach
Osbornes Law have recently negotiated a settlement on behalf of two clients who had their personal information inadvertently released to...Read more
Accident at Work Client Stories
£20,000 for Industrial Injury Claim Enviro-Strip (UK) Ltd have been ordered to pay £20,000 in accident at work compensation after a worker...Read more
Parenting Talk With Noël Janis-Norton
Osbornes Law are delighted to be hosting internationally known parenting expert, Noël Janis-Norton, who will be delivering the talk:...Read more
Is England/Wales the Right Jurisdiction for Your Divorce? When it comes to getting divorced, London has a lot of...Read more
Private Pregnancy Scans and Substandard Care
In the news, it has been reported that private clinics that offer pregnancy scans to women are not meeting the...Read more
Unmarried couples who live together do not have the same legal protection as married couples and civil partners when they...Read more
Does it matter if you’re a breadwinner...
When it comes to deciding how wealth is split, English courts do not discriminate based on your role within the...Read more
Understanding Parental Responsibility Parental responsibility is the legal term used to describe the duties and responsibilities that parents have for...Read more
Are trusts protected from divorce?
Can trusts protect an inheritance from your spouse? A trust is a separate legal entity. Neither spouse owns its assets. ...Read more
Is a limited company protected from divorce?
Is my spouse entitled to half of my business? If you are involved in running a limited company, then it...Read more
How is a pension split in a divorce?
Pensions and Divorce In a divorce, pensions are taken into account together with all other financial assets. Once all assets...Read more
Who gets the house in a divorce?
How is a house divided in a UK divorce? For most people contemplating divorce, one of the main concerns will...Read more
5-figure settlement for infusion leak to mother
Elline Demetriou has reached another successful outcome for a Claimant, who pursued a post C-section birth injury to mother claim...Read more
What is legal parenthood and how is it...
This issue was in the news recently, when a married Oklahoma same-sex couple were in court over a dispute about...Read more