Zut Alors! What to Do When You Have an Accident Abroad

Driving abroad can be a nerve-wracking experience. You’re on unfamiliar roads, with new laws and signs in a language you might not speak. You’re also likely to be driving on the other side of the road than usual, and you might even be in a country where the locals don’t care much for the rules. So if you have an accident, it can be a frightening and stressful time. Getting into a road traffic accident at home is worrying enough, but if it happens in another country it could make things more complicated. If you have had experienced a car crash abroad, or you want to prepare yourself for going away, read these tips on how to deal with the fallout.

When the Accident Occurs

Although you might be feeling shocked at the scene of the crash, there are several things you can do if you feel able. Firstly, you should call the police. This will help in the event that you can’t communicate with the other party because you can ask them for an interpreter and receive an official record of what happened. You should make your own notes about what happened, get photographs of the accident and exchange insurance details with the other driver. If you can, get the names and addresses of any witnesses. It’s also important that you don’t admit liability, as this could affect an insurance claim.

After the Incident

After you have left the scene, you should contact your insurance providers as soon as possible. You might be driving either your car or a hire car, and which one it is will affect your next actions. If you were driving your own vehicle, make sure that you tell your insurer about the accident as soon as you can. If you want to make an accident claim, you must make a report within the timeframe that your insurance provider lays out. Give the firm as much information as you can, using the evidence you gathered at the scene.

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Before travelling, you should have checked that your insurance would cover you while you were abroad. The best thing to do is to contact your provider to check, as many offer third-party insurance overseas, which may not be ideal. In this case, you may need extra insurance for driving abroad. Outside of the EU, it’s a good idea to get a Green Card, which proves you have the minimum third-party liability insurance.

If you were driving a hire car, it’s important that you report the accident to the hire company and the local police before you leave the country. Give the firm as much information as you can, and send them a detailed written report once you get home. Make sure you don’t admit liability, as it could affect any insurance claims. You should never get a hire car repaired without checking with the insurance company first.

Finally, if you want to make a personal injury claim, it’s best to seek legal advice first. It can be a complicated process when you experience an accident in another country.

 

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