Road Traffic Accident Claims Abroad
Being involved in a road traffic accident abroad is an upsetting experience, and could potentially cause you considerable stress and anxiety. You may not immediately have an understanding of the next steps, and cultural and language differences may make it more difficult for you to quickly access advice and help.
If you have had a car accident abroad that wasn’t your fault, whatever the nature of your accident, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Whether you were a driver or a passenger, our expert solicitors can help you through the claims process, providing excellent legal advice throughout so you can get on with what’s important - recovering from your accident.
To speak to a member of JMW’s team specialising in claims for car accidents abroad, get in touch by calling us on 0345 872 6666 or by filling in our online enquiry form and we will get back to you. If you are looking for information after a road traffic accident in the UK, please visit our dedicated service page.
What Our Clients Say
How JMW Can Help
Many people don’t realise that if you have been injured as a result of a road accident abroad, whether you were travelling in your car, a hire car, on a coach or if you were involved in an accident as a pedestrian or cyclist, you may be entitled to claim compensation for your injury and losses when you return home.
You must seek specialist expert advice from a solicitor as soon as you know you’d like to make a claim, as different rules can apply and they need to be navigated carefully. For example, the time limits for making a claim when a road traffic collision has happened overseas can be much shorter, even as little as one year. Additionally, in some European countries, unlike in England and Wales, the burden of proof is not as high to secure compensation. Our accidents abroad team is experienced in helping our clients to make compensation claims, and we will be able to guide you to ensure you receive the advice you need to make a claim.
The value of your case following a car accident abroad may be assessed under English law or may involve the local law, depending on the specific circumstances of your case. We have a network of reputable and experienced local experts and solicitors who we can call on when necessary to ensure you receive the best advice for your specific situation.
The team’s expertise means we understand how to put together the best possible case for you. It also means we can make the process as hassle-free as possible for you by providing practical and reliable legal advice throughout the claims process.
Making a Claim for a Road Traffic Accident Abroad
To make sure you get the best compensation for your injuries, there are various factors that need to be taken into account. These differ on a case-by-case basis, but include:
- The severity of your injuries
- Whether you are eligible to make a claim when you return home
- Whether fault has been admitted for your accident
Our solicitors will provide regular updates on the progress of your case, so that you understand what the timescale may look like, and how your claim is progressing. For example, if you have sustained a modest injury during a package holiday, your claim may be resolved in less than a year; however, if you have ongoing and complex injuries, or there are criminal proceedings related to your accident pending in a foreign country, it may take a number of years for your claim to reach a final settlement.
If your symptoms and rehabilitation are ongoing, we will tailor the case around recovery to ensure a settlement is only considered at the right time for you. We will do everything we can to make sure you aren't suffering financially as a result of your accident, including seeking interim payments for you.
How Much Compensation Will I Receive for a Road Traffic Accident Abroad Claim?
The amount of compensation you'll receive when you claim for a car accident abroad will depend on the factors listed above, but may also take into account loss of enjoyment if you were injured while on holiday, along with other financial losses you might incur.
What To Do If You’ve Had a Road Traffic Accident Abroad
If you have been involved in a road traffic accident abroad, here are some tips on what you should do. Some of these measures can help your solicitor to support your compensation claim.
- Make sure you take photographs of the vehicles/damage/location as soon as you can - if possible before the vehicles have been moved.
- Report the accident to the local police and ask for the police reference number, the name of the station they are from and the officers’ names to assist in obtaining the formal police report later.
- Complete any paperwork the police provide to you and ask for an interpreter if you cannot read or speak the local language.
- Ask if there is any available CCTV or dash cam footage and, if so, ask for a copy.
- Make a note of the details of the drivers involved; their names, addresses, contact details and registration plate numbers.
- Seek local medical advice if you are injured, and ask the hospital for a copy of your medical records and any X-rays or scans to assist you in seeking follow-up medical attention at home.
- Notify your travel and motor insurer as soon as you can - they may be able to provide you with assistance.
FAQs About Road Traffic Accidents Abroad
How much compensation will I receive for a road traffic accident abroad?
There are complex rules that determine the law that applies to making a claim for any accident that happens abroad. Sometimes English law will apply, so you will receive the same amount of compensation as if your accident had occurred in this country.
In other cases, the local law will apply, which may be more generous than English law in some cases, but less generous in others. We will work alongside expert local lawyers to ensure you receive tailored advice about the value of your case.
Our team will use their skills to ensure you receive the best possible compensation for your injuries and keep you informed as to what compensation you are likely to receive.
How long do I have to make a road traffic accident abroad claim?
The time limits differ depending on the circumstances of the case. Under the law of England and Wales, there is generally a three-year time limit in which to bring court proceedings; however, in some countries and for some types of accidents, the time limit is much shorter.
We would always recommend seeking expert legal advice as early as possible so you can decide how to proceed.
A-Z of Road Safety Abroad
If you are planning on driving or cycling while abroad, you should ensure that you do everything you can to familiarise yourself with the different driving rules and regulations within the country you are visiting.
To help you get started, we have shared some helpful advice that will keep you safe and save you time, money and stress.
Take a look at the interactive infographic here.
Driving in Western Europe: What You Need to Know
Each country in Western Europe has its own laws, and this also applies to the roads. To make sure you stay on the right side of the law and drive abroad with confidence, explore our guide, Driving in Western Europe: What You Need to Know.
As well as general advice for the continent, read detailed breakdowns for: