Originally, the UK was meant to leave the EU on 31st March 2019, then it was 31st October and now, with an upcoming general election, the new proposed date to leave the EU is 31st January 2020.

However, this is an ever moving situation and no one can say for certain if the UK will leave with or without a deal on this date or, indeed, at all.

You may ask what has Brexit got to do with having a road traffic accident abroad?

Currently, if you are injured in a road traffic accident whilst in another EU country or European Economic State then you can make contact with a UK Representative of the foreign insurer of the defendant vehicle and also bring a claim for compensation in the UK Courts.

If the UK leaves the EU this will mean that we will no doubt lose the ability to rely on the Fourth Directive, which allows a person who has suffered injury in a road traffic accident whilst in the EU to make a claim through the Courts back at home.

If we leave the EU, this will make claiming compensation for an accident abroad much more difficult. This is for the following reasons:

  • You may have to directly communicate with a foreign insurer and legal representatives in a foreign language
  • You will need to understand the law of the country where the accident occurred
  • You will need to know the time limit to bring a claim for personal injury (for example, in Spain you have 1 year whereas in the UK it is 3 years)
  • It will be much more complex and very time consuming

It is worth noting that if the person at fault for the accident was uninsured or was untraced then you may have to contact the 'Guarantee Fund' for that particular country.

For now, we will have to await the result of the general election and we will update you of any new developments.

If you have had a road traffic accident abroad contact our professional team on 0300 303 3629 or find out more about road traffic accident claims here.

Article by Specters Senior Litigation Solicitor Paul Daniel