The Fourth Motor Insurance Directive (2006/26/EC) provides that individuals injured within the EU have the right to issue proceedings on return to their home country against the insurance company of the liable party instead of having to issue proceedings quite possibly in a different language and in the country where the accident occurred.
The recent case of Kelly v Groupama was the first case in Ireland dealing with an accident which occurred abroad. In this case Mr Kelly was injured in Cannes, France and instituted proceedings against Groupama, the insurance company on return to Ireland. The court awarded €63,500 on hearing evidence from French expects. The award was lower than the value of the claim under Irish Law however was significantly higher than the amount suggested by the French experts in the case.
Awards for personal injuries claims are significantly lower in other European countries than Ireland. In applying the Directive it is seen from the case of Kelly v Groupama that the court must assess compensation based on the laws of the country in which the accident happened.
If you have had an accident abroad and wish to discuss please do not hesitate to contact us.
*First published April 11, 2013
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