Have you had an accident in France?


Accidents abroad can be particularly unpleasant. Differences in language and medical culture can aggravate an already unpleasant and stressful situation.

Nevertheless, if the accident was caused through the negligence of someone else, whether an individual or an organisation it may be possible to obtain compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity you have suffered. If you were injured in France, the action you take will depend upon the circumstances of the accident.

The type of accident you might have suffered

If you were injured in the course of your ordinary life, whilst doing something that a French citizen would do, then you will have to seek compensation through the French legal system.

If, however, you were injured during a holiday activity, arranged and supplied by a company based in the UK, it may be possible to make your claim under English law. This is unusual however and most claims abroad will take place within the legal system of the country where the accident occurred.

In fact, most cases never get to court. In France, most organisations are insured against causing personal injury and their insurance companies will make a decision as to how much to pay out based on what they think the French legal system would award if the matter came before a tribunal.

Ensuring the best chance of a successful claim

It is still important to seek legal advice however, to make sure that you receive the right amount of compensation. There are also other steps you can take to maximise your chances:

  • Take photographs of the area the accident occurred
  • Report the accident immediately – do not wait until the end of your holiday
  • Carefully keep any medical receipts or doctors’ notes for any injuries suffered
  • Carefully keep any other receipts for expenses you incurred as a result of the accident

Should the insurance company refuse to pay out, you may need to take the matter to court. The French legal system is different to the one used in England, with more decisions being made by the judges than the parties involved. You will need to instruct a lawyer who is qualified to practice in it.

If you have suffered an injury in France then Contact Law can put you in touch with a specialist personal injury lawyer who is either knowledgeable in French law or who practices in France. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above to speak to one of our advisors.

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