Car accidents can be emotionally and physically trying for all parties involved. While you may already know what to do after a car accident in the UK, it is vital to know what to do if you are abroad, as there may be different rules to adhere to.
Here, the experts in car accidents abroad at JMW Solicitors detail what the protocol is following the collision, calling the police, exchanging details, and what should be recorded at the scene of the accident.
If you have been involved in a car accident abroad, JMW Solicitors can help. Call our expert team on 0345 872 6666 or fill out our online contact form to arrange a call back at a time convenient for you.
After the accident has occurred, it is vital that you stop the car as soon as possible. The car engine should be switched off and the hazard lights should be on to alert other drivers on the road.
Check if you or any other passengers in the vehicle have sustained any injuries. If anyone has been injured, call for the ambulance service as soon as possible to ensure that those injured can be treated in a timely manner. Make note of any injuries that you or others have sustained and their severity.
Try to remain calm. We know that car accidents can be both emotionally and physically traumatic, but it is in your best interests to remain as calm as you can. Losing your temper can lead to rash decisions. Take a few deep breaths and try to take stock of the situation as best as you can.
Do not apologise or admit responsibility for the accident, as this could protect you from liability later on if the incident was not your fault.
If you are involved in an accident abroad, it is imperative that you call the police as soon as possible and that you get a copy of the police report. If you do not understand what is being said by the police, it is possible for you to ask for an interpreter. If possible:
As soon as you can, get in touch with your insurer. Whether the car you were driving was rented will determine what occurs next, as will the type of insurance you have secured.
If you have an accident abroad in your own car, even if you don't want to file a claim with your insurer, make sure to notify your insurance as quickly as you can about the accident. If you miss the deadline for reporting an accident under your insurance policy, you risk losing your insurance cover. Provide as much information about the accident as you can to your insurance company, to assist their process of your claim. Your insurer may be able to give you advice and help.
Before departing on holiday, make sure your car insurance is still in effect abroad. Ideally, get in touch with your insurance provider a month or more before you take your car abroad. You might not have the same level of insurance as you do at home if you haven't verified your coverage. Rather than complete coverage, several insurers provide third-party protection while travelling. If your car is damaged, you can be left with no money. If you plan to drive outside of the EU, you should also apply for a Green Card, which demonstrates that you have the bare minimum amount of third-party liability insurance required by law. Typically, your insurer can provide you with a Green Card for a modest price.
If you have an accident while driving a hire car, it is extremely crucial to report even minor incidents to the local police immediately. Accident reporting may be required by car rental companies, but doing so once you leave the country might be quite challenging.
A liability admission for a road accident could negatively impact your claim for car rental insurance, so be careful. As soon as you can, get in touch with your car rental company. You should be able to find the assistance number for some car rental companies in your contract. Make sure you provide the organisation with as much information about the accident as you can. Never have a rental car fixed without first gaining the rental company's approval.
To find out what fees you might be responsible for, review the terms and conditions of the insurance you purchased when you rented the vehicle.
If the incident took place in:
and was caused by an uninsured motorist, you might be eligible to receive compensation through the local Motor Insurers' Bureau in the country where your accident occurred, but we recommend you seek legal advice.
If you require assistance claiming for personal injury following a car accident that happened abroad, we are here to help. Call a member of our experienced team on 0345 872 6666 or fill out our online contact form to arrange a callback at a time convenient for you.