Many people are unaware that if you are involved in a road traffic accident abroad you may be entitled to take proceedings in Ireland for personal injuries suffered. There are three legal regimes, all of which contain a choice of law rules, which can be applied for a cross border road traffic accident in the EU.
The Motor Insurance Directives are significant in this area as the majority of claims are dealt with by Motor Insurers. In particular third party liability is recognised throughout the EU and the directives allow EU citizens to access justice in their home state following an accident abroad. The EU Fourth Motor Directive (2000/26/EC) details a number of factors that have to be assessed when bringing a claim here in Ireland resulting from an accident abroad. The most important issues being the following:
- The time period to bring a claim is limited to that applicable in country where the accident happened.
- The level of compensation that may be awarded is limited to the awards that are made in the country where the accident happened.
Separately the Rome II Regulation (EC) No 864/2007 assists where there is a conflict of law between two EU countries on non-contractual issues, including road traffic accidents. The regulation states that the law shall apply based on the following list of priority:
- The law of the country in which the accident happened or damage occurred.
- The law of the country where both parties were habitually resident
- The law of the country in which the case is manifestly more closely connected.
If you have been involved in an accident in another EU country you may be entitled to take action in Ireland. The making of a cross border claim can be complex and you should contact a solicitor to find out your entitlements.
If you have any further queries, please contact any of the following from our general litigation group:
08 August 2016