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Bulgaria Car Accident Claims Guide – How Much Compensation Can I Claim For Car Accident In Bulgaria?

Car accident claims Bulgaria

Car accident claims Bulgaria

You may have been visiting this beautiful country or working there but the last thing you probably expected was to be hurt in a car accident in Bulgaria. A Balkan nation with diverse terrain and a coastline bordering the Black Sea, it’s no wonder that Bulgaria is a great place to visit. But if you were involved in a car crash in Bulgaria, and were hurt, you may be wondering how you go about making a claim for personal injury compensation.

The solution is to find a personal injury lawyer who has extensive experience of helping clients to make road traffic compensation claims, including those car accidents that have taken place abroad. You may think claiming compensation after a car crash in Bulgaria is complicated, but it needn’t be if you have the right information and support to make your claim.

And this is where Legal Expert comes in. You can read on or if you want to start your claim today, you can call the Legal Expert team on 0800 073 8804.

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A Guide to Claiming Compensation for Car Accidents in Bulgaria

This guide covers every aspect of making a claim after a car accident in Bulgaria, from time limits to the evidence needed to make a claim, as well as more detail on what is involved in making a claim. It can also be a great source of information if you are planning on visiting this beautiful country because knowing what to do should the worst happen you are in a far better position for making sure you can claim the compensation to which you are entitled to.
In fact, the time limits for compensation are contained in the below table for your ease of reference:

Claim TypeLimit (Time)
Package tour - you're covered on the flight, pre booked excursions and in your hotel) 3 years from date of incident may very
Privately booked - Not with UK tour operator as a packageVaries - please get in touch for clarification
Privately booked flight claims/ flights from or to Varna, Burgas, Sofia Plovdiv etcIn the majority of cases, 2 years may very

Please note time limits can vary.

Being involved in a car accident is never welcome nor expected but accidents can and do happen. Unfortunately, the Bulgarian road accident statistics paint a rather gloomy picture. According to the Ministry of Interiors in Bulgaria, in 2017 there were 678 fatalities on their roads. Although significantly reduced from the previous year, compared to EU statistics, the road accident fatality rate in Bulgaria is double that of the EU average.

There were 6846 road traffic accidents on Bulgarian roads during 2017, with 8630 people hurt as a result. Although road safety in the country is improving, it pays to be prepared when travelling in this country.

What should you do if you are involved in a road traffic accident in Bulgaria? Who do you need to tell? What do you need to do when you return to the UK? Is claiming compensation after a car accident abroad complicated? We answer these questions and more.

Emergency Assistance Phone Numbers in Bulgaria

If you suffer an accident in Bulgaria, contacting the emergency services is done by dialling certain numbers;

  • 112 – this emergency number can be dialled from most EU countries on the continent. Answered in around 9 seconds, operators can speak a number of languages including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Greek Romanian, Turkish and Russian.
  • 150 – if you or someone else is injured in a car accident in Bulgaria, dial 150 for an ambulance
  • 166 – alert the police to the accident by calling this number
  • 160 – is the number to call for the fire brigade.

When driving in Bulgaria, you also need to carry your driving licence. If it doesn’t have your photo on it, you will need an international driving permit. Also, make sure you have your passport with you for ID purposes too. Check what other documents you may need to produce or have on you whilst driving in Bulgaria.

If you use an NHIF registered pharmacy for prescriptions, you may be able to get your medicine for free or at a reduced cost. In emergency situations, an ambulance is usually free.

Tourist and Visitor Healthcare in Bulgaria

Every country has a different healthcare system and so some of the treatments you get for free here in the UK may be supplied with a fee in Bulgaria.

Before you travel, make sure you have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), although you will need to check arrangement post-Brexit. This card enables you to access state-provided healthcare in Bulgaria at a reduced rate.

You will need to check that the clinic, hospital, doctor or dentist is registered with the Bulgarian National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) as this means you will either receive some treatment for free or at a reduced cost. Most doctors in Bulgaria – around 90% – are registered with the NHIF as are most dentists and hospitals. You may need to pay a ‘contribution cost’ but it may be possible to claim this as part of your personal injury compensation. If you do pay for any treatment, make sure you received a detailed receipt.

What Steps Should People Take After A Car Accident in Bulgaria

Like healthcare provision, how accidents on Bulgarian roads are dealt with will vary from how we are used to dealing with them here in the UK. You need to ensure you have the right car insurance in Bulgaria, as well as the correct driving licence. If you are planning on driving in Bulgaria, you also need to know the rules of driving in Bulgaria. You may, of course, be a passenger in a car or bus involved in a road accident. What to do in a car accident in Bulgaria is something anyone visiting the country should know.

How car accidents are dealt with depends on their severity;

  • If possible, get away from the scene but remain close by – don’t remain in the vehicle on a busy road and if you can, move the vehicle to the side of the road. Stay with it but don’t sit in it.
  • Call the emergency services – call the police on 166 or phone for an ambulance on 150 if someone is hurt. You can also call 112 and ask to speak to an English-speaking operator for more help and advice.
  • Witnesses – make sure witnesses stay at the scene too or get their full contact details.
  • Take photos – if you can, take photos of the scene and the damage to vehicles.
  • Phone your car or travel insurers – as soon as you can, phone your insurers to let them know you have had an accident, who was involved and so on. You may need to swap car insurance details with the other drivers too.
  • Car accident report form – in Bulgaria, in the case of a minor collision, every driver will need to complete a car accident report form. This details everything from who was involved, what happened, the damage and so on. If you want to claim compensation, you will need to make sure you have this form completed.

What Should People Do If Involved in Car Accidents Abroad?

Being involved in a car accident at home or abroad is an unpleasant experience. Being away from home, dealing with unfamiliar protocols and struggling with language barriers can make dealing with a car accident in Bulgaria feel more complicated.

Remain calm and try to think logically about what you can do – this is important if you think you may have grounds for a personal injury compensation claim, a process you can start as soon as you return to the UK.

  • Don’t admit fault or liability – in the shock after a car accident, it is easy to admit you were to blame, especially when you feel pressure from others. Don’t admit liability!
  • Medical help – seek medical assistance, dial 112 for help.
  • Evidence – from taking photos to witness statements and contact details, collect as much evidence at the time as you can.
  • Insurance – phone your insurers as soon as you can.
  • Consular help – if you feel you need more help, you can contact the UK Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria for help. For urgent assistance call them on (+359) 2 933 9222.

Don’t sign anything unless you are confident you know what it is you are signing!

How to Report Road Traffic Accidents in Bulgaria?

Car accidents may be common occurrences on Bulgarian roads if statistics are anything to go by, with fatalities also being much higher than other EU countries. Although road safety in the country is improving, if you are involved in a serious car accident in Bulgaria, or come across one, it is good to know what to do;

  • All collisions, from minor to serious car accidents in Bulgaria must be reported and documented using an official ‘Car Accident Report Form’.
  • In the case of a serious accident, the police will complete this form, making sure all parties receive a copy of the report. In minor accidents, you and the other driver(s) may complete it yourselves.
  • Remove yourself to safety after the accident but remain with your vehicle.
  • Call the police either by dialling 166 or by using the EU wide emergency number 112.
  • Inform your insurers as soon as possible but always receive medical treatment if you need it.
  • Collect as much evidence as possible, including photographing the scene, if you can.
  • Finally, never admit you were at fault and don’t sign anything unless you know what the document is and why you need to sign it.

Whiplash Caused by A Road Accident Abroad

Modern cars boast a much safer design and safety record meaning that even in high speed smashes, the body of the car protects the occupants as much as possible. Injuries, however, can still be life-changing and life-threatening too.

A common injury from a car accident is whiplash, a painful injury to the neck and shoulders. Research has found that the quick snapping forwards and back of the neck and upper spine can happen during low-speed car accidents too.

In most cases, whiplash is a soft tissue injury and one that is temporary. Most people fully recover from whiplash. However, in more severe cases, whiplash can lead to fracture vertebrae in the spine and long-lasting damage across the neck and shoulders.

Taking care of your neck with a whiplash injury means gentle movement, as well as medication such as painkillers. In more severe cases, someone may need physiotherapy or further treatment.

What Can Road or Car Accident Abroad Claims Include?

Personal injury compensation claims are generally split into two parts;

  • Special damages – this part relates to things that are easily quantifiable, such as taxi fares, medical expenses, prescription costs, loss of earnings and so on. It is important that you keep receipts and other information relating to such expenses as they will form an important part of your claim. Car costs will also come under this category.
  • General damages – these are more difficult to quantify as it relates to the effect of the car accident in Bulgaria on you. In other words, this is the part of the compensation settlement that relates to your injuries, both the physical injuries and psychological impact too. It will also be ‘future-proofed’ too, taking into account how long your injuries will last or if you will fully recuperate from your injuries after the accidents. It also covers potential future loss of earnings.

Road Traffic and Car Accident in Bulgaria Compensation Claim Calculator

General damages are for the physical and psychological injuries you may have suffered as a result of a road traffic accident in Bulgaria. Providing you are not at fault and are making your claim within the time limit, you may have a successful claim. How much you can claim depends on your injuries, the severity of them and the likely future impact.

Type/kind of injuryMore informationTypical bracket for award
Minor arm InjuryMuscle damage and fracture which will heal quickly and with no complicationsMaximum £4,200
Serious arm injuryMultiple broken bones may need further surgery and possibly leave the client with disabilities£82,000
(amputation will see a higher award of up to £192,000)
Minor back injuryIncapacity may last several years although surgery is not neededUp to £8,000
Serious back injuryDebilitating injuries, surgery required now and in the future£8,000 to £25,000
Severe back injuryInjuries from which the client will not fully recoverFrom £25,000 to £110,00
Broken collarboneFull recovery£2,000 to £3,500
Broken noseFrom simple fracture to serious multiple fractures, loss of smell etc. will attract the higher award£1,000 to £21,000
Minor facial scarring£1,000 to £2,200
Facial scarringVisible from a short distance£6,000 to £11,000
Severe scarringUp to a maximum of £62,000
Minor head injuryFull recovery within weeks£1,400
Minor head injury with minor brain damage£1,400 to £8,000
Debilitating brain damageCare required with basic everyday functions£10,000 to £180,000
Serious brain injury£180,000 to £260,000

This compensation calculator table is a snapshot of what you could claim in terms of general damages for physical and psychological injuries. Your specialist personal injury lawyer will be able to give you more detailed information relating specifically to your case. If your injury is not listed in this table, don’t worry – it will be covered as part of your compensation claim.

No Win No Fee Car Accident in Bulgaria Claims

No win, no fee is beneficial to anyone seeking to make a claim for personal injury compensation, including if you have been hurt after a car crash in Bulgaria. In effect, it allows you to make a claim without facing a huge financial risk.

In the event that you don’t win your case, the no win, no fee agreement could mean you don’t face a hefty legal bill. In other words, you will only pay if you win your case.

Prior to a change in the law in 2013, the costs of the winning side were met by the losing side. But now, the successful claimant is expected to pay a percentage of their damages for their legal teams success fee.

You will need to check with your personal injury lawyer what their fees are and how they charge for their time and expertise. It may be possible to insure your claim.

Ask your personal injury lawyer for more information on every aspect of how much making a personal injury compensation claim after a car accident in Bulgaria will cost you. At Legal Expert, we offer all potential clients a no win, no fee service.

Why Trust Us to Handle Your Bulgarian Car Crash Claim?

There are many lawyers who profess to be the right one when it comes to making personal injury compensation claims and with such a choice, why should you use Legal Expert?

A long-established company, we work with some of the most experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyers in the UK. Not only that, we make sure that we work with personal injury solicitors who have a range of experience when it comes to compensation claims, including making claims after car accidents abroad.

As well as offering their services on a genuine no win, no fee basis, we also work with UK solicitors who are committed to getting the best for their clients.

We do everything we can to make the process streamlined and efficient, making sure you are fully informed every step of the way. We understand the importance and the difference compensation can make to someone injured in an accident that was not their fault.

Top 10 biggest cities in Bulgaria

Sofia

Plovdiv

Varna

Burgas

Ruse

Stara Zagora

Pleven

Dobrich

Silven

Shumen

Speak to Us Today

To find out more or to start your compensation claim for personal injury after a car accident in Bulgaria, contact our team today.

We are open 7 days a week, from 9 am to 9 pm – call us on 0800 073 8804. If you would like to speak to a solicitor, let our team know and they will arrange a callback.

You can also use our live chat facility on the website or you can begin your claim online too by completing the form.

Advice and Guides for British Visitors to Bulgaria

The British Embassy Sofia

9, Moskovska St
1000 Sofia
Bulgaria

Telephone(+359) 2 933 9222

Fax(+359) 2 933 9250

Email: BritishEmbassySofia@fco.gov.uk

Healthcare in Bulgaria – Find out more by reading this NHS guide.

There are also many useful links on our website:

Claiming compensation after an injury in Bulgaria -This guide gives more details on how to make a claim.

Claiming after road traffic accidents – Find out more about what to do after a road traffic accident and other helpful information.

Edited by Melissa.

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