French Motorway Accident: Claim RTA Compensation From The UK
French Motorway Car Accident Victim Question
My wife and I were on a driving holiday stopping in various destinations across France having travelled over on the ferry in Calais with our car. I was driving on the A6 autoroute / motorway joining Paris to Lyon. We had passed through Reims and were approaching Lyon when the traffic started to slow. I slow also, but I noticed in my rear-view mirror a car approaching at speed.
I had nowhere to go so I shouted to my wife and suddenly our car was thrown forward with force. There appeared to be repeated impacts and both my wife and I were dazed.
As it was a motorway we initially stayed in our car, but we heard some form of siren and noticed the French police / gendarmerie had arrived as had an ambulance. It turns out that behind us there had been a multi car pile-up, so the emergency services were quick to attend and shut off the motorway.
My wife and I were assisted into the ambulance and so far as I understand the car driver behind us had accepted fault for the accident. We were given some paperwork in French to this effect from the police.
We were taken to hospital in Lyon and both my wife and I were diagnosed with various injuries. I suffered significant neck injury – an x-ray was taken which showed that I had a fracture of one of the vertebra in my neck as well as soft tissue bruising akin to whiplash.
My wife also had neck pain, she injured her lower back and banged her hand on the dashboard causing swelling and a possible fracture. Our car was very badly damaged and is most likely a write off.
We are now back in Manchester in the UK and are wondering if it is possible to commence a claim from the UK or whether we need to use a French lawyer.
European Road Accident Solicitor Response
The facts as you have presented them seem evidentially clear cut as to fault. Typically, the police in France produce a document at a road accident scene and in that document fault is determined. This is likely to be the document you received.
You were taken to hospital in France for treatment, so there is clear evidence as to your injuries. It would also be appropriate to seek assistance from the medical authorities in the UK not just for treatment of the diagnosed injuries, but also to ensure that other injuries have not been missed.
It would be helpful for both you and your wife to keep a diary of all the symptoms you are experiencing – both physical and psychological. Of course – it is important to include the most significant injuries: the fractured cervical vertebra in your neck, the fractured wrist and lower back problems for your wife, but also consider other perhaps lesser symptoms such as headaches, shock and any other secondary symptoms in other parts of the body. This diary will prove very valuable in relating to the doctors all of your respective symptoms, but also assist in helping jog your memory when you see a medical expert for the purpose of your claim.
Your accident occurred in France and as such EU law enacted by member states permits for claims to either be made from the country of residence in EU (so here in the UK) or from the country where the accident happened (in other words France).
Specialist UK solicitor help claiming compensation for injury in a French motorway accident
If you would like to pursue a claim or discuss your claim further – please either call me direct on 0161 8346776 or click French motorway road accident claims to receive online assistance.