Being involved in a road traffic accident on holiday can be an even more traumatic experience than being involved in one in the UK. The differences in culture, coupled with the fact you may not speak the language could place you in a tricky situation. Below we have outlined what you should do in the event of an accident abroad.
In the immediate aftermath of the accident, don’t admit liability or apologise for the accident. This advice should also be followed if you have an accident in this country. You should then call the police, and an ambulance if any person involved in the accident has injuries which require immediate medical attention.
After the accident has occurred you should try to collect as much information as possible. This evidence will all help, should you decide to make a claim for compensation, or if you need to prove the accident was not your fault. You should try to:
- Make your own notes about what happened at the time of the accident;
- Take photographs of the scene. Try to get pictures of the registration plates of the other vehicles involved, their positions. Also try to take pictures of road markings or signs, if they may have played a part in the accident;
- Exchange insurance details with the other parties in the crash;
- If there were any witnesses to the crash. Try to make a note of their name, address and contact details.
If you were driving your own car, ensure you inform your insurance company. Even if you are not going to be making a claim. If you fail to inform your insurance company you may not be covered by them. As many companies have a time limit for informing them of an accident. Before you travel, ensure your insurance policy covers you to drive abroad. Many policies only provide third party cover, this could leave you liable for damages in the event of an accident.
The Police should always be called if you have an accident while driving a hire car. This is because many hire companies require all accidents to be recorded. This becomes increasingly difficult if you are no longer in the country the accident occurred in. Contact your hire company as soon as possible after the accident. The larger firms will have an assistance number you can call. This number will put you through to a person in the UK who will record the details of the accident. When you get home you may need to write a full report for the hire company. Remember, do not get the hire car repaired without first talking to the company you hired the car from.
Before the police leave the scene make sure you get a copy of the police report. You may also be asked to sign a European Accident Statement (EAS). An EAS will help to establish the facts of the accident, and may be used to decide liability for the accident. With both these documents it is vital you understand what you are signing. If you don’t agree with what is on the statement or don’t understand what is written. Do not sign it. You are allowed to ask for an interpreter in these situations.
If you are injured as a result of a road traffic accident on holiday make sure you seek medical attention. Whether you are going to be making a claim for personal injury compensation, or just claiming money back though holiday insurance. Medical records will make it much easier for you to prove your injuries.
Had A Road Traffic Accident On Holiday?
We hope you never suffer an injury due to a road traffic accident on holiday. If you do, it’s good to know what your rights are, and how to act following the accident. If you would like to discuss an accident you may have had. Call our expert claims advisers on 0800 098 7925. You can also contact us here to find out for free if you are eligible to make a no win no fee compensation claim.