Road accidents abroad

One of the most likely accidents to occur abroad is a car accident, or some kind of incident that is concerned with the roads. Foreign roads are often much more dangerous than roads in Britain, because of low driving standards and bad road conditions. In fact, the statistics speak for themselves: in mainland Europe the number of road accidents double, and the number is tripled in Greece and Portugal.

There is help, however, with the introduction of the Fourth EU Motor Directive. The Directive, introduced in 2003, means that all insured cars in the European Union are registered on a database. Essentially this means that, if there is a road accident and the driver that caused it does not stop, as long as their registration number is seen they can be tracked down on the database. Once the perpetrator is found, they are responsible and the payment for damages will come out of their insurance, meaning that the victim will have no claims of their own policy. The driver who caused the crash then has to hire a lawyer from the home country of the person whose car they crashed into, instead of one from their own country.

One drawback to the system is that only cars that are insured are registered on the database, so if an irresponsible driver has a crash without insurance it may be more difficult for him or her to be tracked down. However, if their registration number is noted then they are likely to be found anyway, and in this case they will be charged with driving without insurance as well as having to take responsibility for the crash.

Another benefit is that bringing a claim against an irresponsible driver abroad will not cost the claimant anything, as even if they lose the insurance company will cover the costs. The legal advice that is given before the claimant decided whether to pursue a case is also free, so there is no obligation to continue.

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Get free help after a non-fault road traffic accident in the UK