What to do if you’re involved in a road traffic accident abroad

The last thing anyone wants to be involved in when they are on holiday is a road accident, and it is important that you know what to do if this happens. Never drive abroad without insurance, just as you wouldn’t at home, to avoid finding yourself out of pocket.

Call the police if appropriate

In some countries, the police will only attend the scene of a road accident if one or more parties is injured. Find out this information before you travel, as well as the non-emergency number for the police. Police officers will take down details of the accident, but for your security and insurance claim, it is key that you do the same.

Gather as much information as possible

This is all down to you so try to keep yourself calm and note down as much of the following as you can:

  • The name and contact details of the other party
  • The date, time and place that the accident occurred
  • The name and details of the other party’s third party liability insurer
  • Registration of the other vehicle or vehicles
  • Police details and and reference numbers
  • Many people like to take photographs of the scene as this can be very useful when making your claim in proving the circumstances of the accident. Similarly, if you and the other party are able to agree on who was at fault for the accident, try to get a rough statement down at the scene and all sign it.

Submit an insurance claim

If your accident was in Europe, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland or Liechtenstein, you can make your road traffic accident abroad claim in your own country, thanks to European Motor Insurance Directives. In other countries, you will need to make your claim in the country that the accident occurred, and the time limits may be different from what you are used to, so it makes sense to claim early.

In this case, you need to apply for compensation directly from the foreign insurer, and you should be able to find details through the information centre in your own country. Alternatively, you can send details of your claim to the national compensation body for the country in which you had your accident.

You can find out more and get help and advice from Mackrell & Thomas Solicitors, where highly trained, professional solicitors can get your claim started as quickly as possible.