Steps to be taken in the event of a road accident abroad
If you can, complete an accident report that will help you get an idea of the accident, damage and responsibilities of each. The finding is a means of proof not to be neglected and the forms of the amicable report are identical throughout Europe. You must complete it in French to avoid any difficulty.
If you can not complete such a finding, you must gather as much evidence as possible to determine the materiality and responsibilities in the accident.
The photocopy of the report of the report prepared by police, gendarmerie or investigation present at the scene of the accident, testimonies, photos … In case of hit and run, file a complaint immediately and keep the original document attesting to the filing of the complaint.
Notify your insurer immediately and especially keep the documents justifying your damage during the road accident abroad.
If the opposing driver refuses to issue a report, call the services of the order, try to obtain as much information as possible about the name, address and registration number of the vehicle, as well as the contact details of the opposing insurer. Call your support company for emergency measures such as repatriation.
It is also indicated that in some countries the police issue a report only if there are wounded. The police can very well intervene on the spot and regulate only the circulation without having to establish minutes. This is important since the insurance companies request the report of the report and the investigation procedure in the absence of a friendly report. As a result, do not hesitate to take the identity of the witnesses who witnessed the accident abroad and their contact details . Take pictures to determine vehicle crash points and even videos with your mobile.
The different cases of road accidents abroad
The most frequent cases are:
- An accident abroad involving a person having a common nationality or a habitual residence in France or in a third state.
- A victim of such an accident who wishes to be judicially compensated will be faced with a double problem:
- That of the competent court,
- The applicable law as to liability and the applicable law as to the liquidation of its damage.
Should a procedure be implemented in the foreign country where the accident occurred or the procedure for liability for compensation may be in the country where the victim usually resides?
The 4th European Automotive Directive has clarified the difficulties by introducing an international insurance system called “Green Card”.
The cases may also concern an expatriate domiciled abroad but having kept French nationality.
It may also be an accident abroad caused by an uninsured driver.
There unfor reu ment often dramatic situations in the light of serious accidents, particularly when the perpetrators fled or are not sure, or if the country of origin law protects so totally ridiculous the rights of accident victims.
The applicable law and the rules of international law
The Hague Convention of 4 May 1971 determines the law applicable to road traffic accidents which entered into force on 3 June 1975.
Article 3 of the Hague Convention states that: “The applicable law is the internal law of the State in whose territory the accident occurred”.
If the traffic accident occurred in a country of the European Economic Area or in Switzerland, or if the accident occurred in a member country of the “Carte Verte” system and was caused by a vehicle registered in a country of the European Economic Area or in Switzerland; insurers in this country must appoint a local representative with whom the victim can initiate the procedure.
- Countries of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia (Cyprus), Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Spain, Spain, Malta Low, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Portugal, United Kingdom, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden.
- Countries of the European Economic Area: the 28 members of the European Union plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
- Associated countries: Switzerland.
- Green Card Countries: The aforementioned countries as well as: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Israel, Iran, Macedonia, Morocco, Moldova, Serbia Montenegro, Tunisia, Ukraine.
- Third country: the other countries.
The claim for compensation directly submitted to the foreign insurer or its representative or to the representative of the insurer in France, is subject to the law of the country where the accident occurred, unless the two parties involved reside in the country. same state. In this case it is the law of this state that applies.
French law will only be applicable if the vehicle is the only one involved or if the road accident abroad involves only vehicles registered in France. Not to mention the causes of exemption and limitation of compensation.
Other cases also occur:
- The insurer of the vehicle responsible for the car accident abroad has not appointed a representative in France,
- The responsible vehicle could not be identified,
- The insurer refuses compensation or his representative makes no offer.