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France Car Accident Claims Guide – How To Claim Injury Compensation For A Car Crash In France

France has always been a popular destination for British tourists whether it be a day trip, camping holiday, sightseeing trip or even as a gateway into the rest of Europe. It has many picturesque towns and villages that draw tourists in and more and more of them are driving themselves around France rather than using public transport.

Car accident claims France

Car accident claims France

Driving is relatively safe in most regions, but car accident claims in France are sometimes needed when a collision happens which isn’t your fault.

Legal Expert have worked with many clients over many years and we specialise in personal injury claims. After assessing any car accident claim, if we believe it has a good chance of success, we always offer our clients a no win no fee agreement.

This guide will explain what you need to do when a road traffic accident in France occurs, how much compensation you might receive and includes loads of useful information should you ever need to make a claim.

If you’re ready to begin a claim with Legal Expert, then please call us today on 0800 073 8804. If you’d like to know more first, then please continue reading this handy guide.

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A Guide To Claiming Compensation For A Car Accident In France

To successfully make car accident claims in France a personal injury solicitor will need to provide evidence that supports the claim that the other driver was at fault and caused the accident and any subsequent injuries.

This guide will explain what you should do (as there are some specific local policies to adhere to), how to contact the emergency services and how to fill in the relevant paperwork in the event of an accident.

As well as knowing what to do in the event of a car accident in France there are a few things you need to do when driving there to avoid a penalty:

  • Ensure you have your drivers’ licence, insurance documents, V5 document and proof of ID at all times
  • Equip your car with a warning triangle, first aid kit, headlight deflector (unless you can manually adjust yours), a GB sticker, spare bulbs, snow chains and a breathalyser kit.

These things are all required by law but the breathalyser law has failed which means that although you are legally required to carry one, you won’t be fined if caught without one (at the time of writing this guide).

If, after reading the whole of this guide, you still have questions about car accident claims in France then it is important to get the correct information, so please get in touch with one of our specialists who’ll happily advise you on what your next steps should be.

There are strict time limits when making compensation claims in France. The table below shows when you have to have made your claim by:

Type of holiday where the French car accident happenedTime Limit
If the holiday was booked by a UK Tour provider3 years ( Can very )
If the trip was booked independentalyCan be up to 10 years - Varies

How To Contact The Emergency Services In France

France operates a single emergency number, in the same way that the UK does, that will connect you to the relevant service. Call 112 in the event of an emergency that requires police, fire or ambulance service attendance.

Logging a call with the police, in emergency situations, is a good way of having your accident logged which can help with insurance claims and any subsequent compensation claim.

As well as the emergency services, British citizens can contact the British embassy in severe emergencies (such as fatalities, robberies or assaults). We’ve included the contact details for the British Embassy in Paris at the end of this guide for your information.

How To Get Medical Treatment After A Car Accident In France

One of the key things to do following a car accident in France is to get medical treatment or assessment for anybody who’s been injured. This can be via the emergency services, a hospital or doctor’s practice in less severe cases.

Prior to travelling to France, or anywhere else in Europe, British tourists can apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC card means that you’ll receive the same level of healthcare as a French national for free including hospital treatment and doctor’s assessments.

The EHIC doesn’t cover everything though and it is still worth considering travel insurance that covers healthcare as it is likely to cover private healthcare and also repatriation to the UK if you need to adjust your travel plans due to your accident.

We’d advise that whichever option you take, EHIC or travel insurance, you should carry your paperwork with you at all times so that when you arrive at the healthcare provider, you can provide evidence of your eligibility for treatment.

What Should You Do After Being Involved In A Car Accident In France

Following a car accident in France we’d recommend you take the following steps immediately following the collision:

  • Pull to the side of the road if you’re able to and put your hazard warning lights on.
  • Dial 112, the emergency number, and let the operator know exactly what’s happened, where it occurred and details of any injuries (including to passengers or drivers of other cars)
  • Put your warning triangle at least 50 meters away from the car to give other road users plenty of warning and enabling them to pass safely. On faster roads you should aim for around 100 meter placement of the warning triangle.
  • Where it is safe to do so, try to photograph the immediate aftermath of the accident in case anything gets moved and it becomes harder to secure evidence that the accident happened.

If you’re able to, and feel confident enough, administer first aid to others if needed.

What Steps Should You Take After Any Accident Abroad

In the event of any accident abroad, including car accidents, there are a number of steps you can take to make claiming for compensation easier when you return to the UK:

  • Ensure that everybody involves receives medical treatment where required
  • Photograph the scene of the accident to use as supporting evidence. Try to get as much detail as possible and ensure that the root cause of the accident is included (such as the other vehicle involved in the case of a car accident).
  • Ask any witnesses for their details and, if possible, ask them to provide a written statement of what they saw while it is still fresh in their minds.
  • If there is a way to report the accident then do so, whether it be to the police or the owner of the property where the accident happened.

It may seem quite a chore to gather evidence while trying to enjoy your holiday and move on from your accident, but it will greatly help with any personal injury claim made at a later date.

How To Complete A Constat Amiable D’Accident Automobile Form

A Constat Amiable D’Accident Automobile form is used to aid car accident claims in France and provides basic details of what happened during a car crash. There are sections on the form for both drivers to explain, briefly, what happened but importantly they do not require either party to admit liability for the accident and we recommend that you don’t make any statements which could be seen to admit you’d caused the accident.

The form is completed by both parties and then the insurance companies work out who was to blame.

You should not sign the form if the other driver has completed any part of your section of the form and, again, write concisely and accurately but don’t accept liability for the accident.

Claims For Whiplash In A Vehicle Accident In France

Whiplash occurs when the head is jerked or moved, in any direction, suddenly. It is a common accident during a car crash as the body is secured with a seatbelt, but the head isn’t.

It may not be obvious immediately that you are suffering from whiplash because of the adrenaline flowing following a collision. It is therefore essential that you seek medical assessment following a collision so that a doctor can assess if you’re suffering whiplash injuries or not.

Common symptoms of whiplash, according to the NHS, include:

  • Headaches
  • Neck tenderness and pain
  • Stiffness of the neck and difficulty moving the head
  • Pain around the shoulders and upper arms
  • Muscle spasms

If you experience any of these symptoms following a car crash you seek medical attention while still in France and you’ll probably be assessed again in the UK as part of compensation claim to see if the symptoms are receding or worsening.

What Can My Claim For Injuries In A Road Traffic Accident In France Include?

As with claims in the UK, car accident claims in France are made up of a number of parts, or elements, and make up the whole claim. If you’ve had a France road traffic accident, then your claim can include:

  • General damages: These are the compensation amounts that payout for injuries caused during the accident and the pain caused. They are pre-defined amounts and it is why you’ll need a good personal injury lawyer as they need to prove how severe your injuries were to be able to secure the higher compensation amounts within the given range.
  • Personal property compensation: If any of your personal items were damaged during the car crash then you are able to claim back the cost of replacement or repair.
  • Travel costs: If, because of your accident, you incur any travel costs then you can claim these back as part of your compensation claim. This can include travelling too and from treatment as well as the cost of returning to the UK if it is delayed.
  • Care costs: Sometimes, following an injury, claimants require support while recovering. The costs of carers can be claimed back if it is a direct result of the accident and subsequent injuries
  • Loss of earnings: If your employer doesn’t pay full sick pay while you’re recovering from receiving treatment or absent from work then your claim can include the lost earnings. The claim an also include future loss of earnings for ongoing conditions.

A solicitor needs to ensure that each element has supporting evidence which means you should retain any receipts to support your claim and you should aim to give your solicitor as much time as possible to submit the claim so that they have time to collect as much information as possible.

Compensation Calculator For Car Accident Claims In France

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a compensation calculator as every single accident and injury is different. We can however provide the table below which shows how much compensation, under the general damage’s element of a claim, may be paid for specific injury types:

Injury TypeRange of compensation payment
Loss of both legs following a car crash£211,150 to £247,280
Simple Fracture of a Femur£7,990 to £12,350
Minor Brain or Head Injury£1,940 to £11,200
Minor neck injury, recovery within a 3 month time periodUp to £2,150
Severe neck injuryIn the region of £130,060
Serious or severe back injury£79,890 to £141,150
Severe ankle injury£27,450 to £43,900

This is only a sample of the compensation ranges available, if your injury is not listed then please contact our team for further advice. Once we’ve assessed your claim we should be able to provide a more accurate estimate of your compensation amount.

No Win No Fee Car Accident Claims In France

No win no fee agreements, as offered by Legal Expert, are a lot less stressful than other agreements as, if your case is lost, you don’t have to pay the solicitor any fees at all.

There is no up front fee or hourly rates because the solicitor is only paid an agreed percentage of the compensation if the case is won, and this would be simplydeducted from the actual compensation awarded.

How Legal Expert Can Help The Victims Of A Road Traffic Accident In France

At Legal Expert we’ve been dealing with car accident and personal injury claims for many years. We always offer a no win no fee service for our clients which means we have to work as hard as possible for clients otherwise we don’t get paid.

Our team are friendly, professional and available to help with any queries you may have throughout the claim process.

How To Start Your Claim Today

Now that you’ve read this guide about car accident claims in France we hope you’re ready to engage with Legal Expert to make your claim for you. If that’s the case then please get in touch with us using one of the following methods:

When you get in touch, we’ll assess your claim for free and advise you if there’s a good chance of winning compensation for you.

Helpful Resources

British Embassy France
35, Rue du Faubourg St Honore
Paris Cedex 08
75383 Paris
France
Tel +33 (0) 1 44513100
Web: http://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-paris

NHS Whiplash – a useful guide regarding the symptoms and treatment of whiplash.

French Hotel Claims – Information on how to claim for accidents in a French hotel.

Accident In France Claims – A guide to claim for accidents in France, not just for car accident claims.

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