Motorcycle Accident in France

Many British motorcyclists leave our crowded Island to head for the open roads of France and the remainder of Europe. If you are unlucky enough to have a motorcycle accident in France, or any other EU Member State, White Dalton Motorcycle Solicitors can help.

The French Law of Damages will apply to your claim. For serious injuries, French calculations carried out using percentage "disabilities" often result in awards higher than those you might receive in England & Wales.

The assessment of value of injuries in France is controlled much more by the doctors than the lawyers and judges. French medical reports have to be carefully written in order that they can be assessed against the Barème indicatif d'invalidité, the guidelines used to assess the value of injuries.

British agents for the French insurers will be appointed and they often seek to insist, wrongly, that they use their own medical experts to assess you, or that you travel to France to see their expert. They have no right to do this.

Making a Claim for a motorcycle accident in France

If you are thinking of making a claim for losses arising out of an accident in France, then you should seek advice as soon as possible.

France has its own rules in relation to how long you have to make a claim (referred to as limitation). Limitation for bringing a claim in France is the longest at 10 years. It is really important that if you do intend to make a claim, you action this as soon as possible to avoid missing any deadlines and securing any relevant documentation from the accident as this prevents documentation which could be very helpful in bringing your claim being lost or destroyed (for example by Police or hospitals.)

In some countries, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists have an automatic right to claim compensation for their injuries, even if nobody is at fault.

Implementation of directives from the European Union means that although the laws of France will apply, the procedural rules of England & Wales will apply and your claim can be brought here.

All insurers are obliged to appoint a representative in France. Those representatives are responsible for responding to your claim and paying them where necessary.

French Insurers can be located with a search at the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB), which we will use to locate the relevant party.

How will my injuries be valued?

Your claim will be dealt with according to the law in France. This will mean that liability may be dealt with differently to how it may have been dealt with if the accident occurred in the UK.

Whilst it is possible to agree that injuries and losses should be dealt with according to the law of England & Wales, more often than not the claim will proceed on the usual basis with your claim being valued according to the law in France.

France has its own system for valuing injuries, and therefore at the appropriate time, a foreign lawyer will be appointed to carry out a valuation of your injuries. In England & Wales, the starting point would be the Judicial College Guidelines, and most countries have something similar to this. For example, in Germany, this is known as the Schmerzensgeldtabellen.

You will need to see a medical expert who is familiar with the foreign Court rules to ensure that the medical report obtained can be used against the foreign systems for valuation of the injuries. A very particular style of medical reporting is required for French injuries, for example.

In addition, an expert in the law of France will be appointed, usually on a joint basis, to advise the English Judges on French law.

Why use us to bring your claim?

A number of our clients have been extraordinarily surprised with the speed in which settlements occur. This is simply because we are Court room lawyers, are familiar with this type of law, are happy to commence Court proceedings and invite the Judge in to decide how the case will be run, rather than wait at the insurers’ convenience.

If you are currently using another Solicitor to bring your claim for your accident in France and are unhappy with how things are proceeding, give us a call. We may be able to progress your case and identify losses peculiar to French law which your current solicitor has missed.

  • all of our solicitors ride motorcycles
  • qualified solicitors and barristers
  • established specialists in motorcycle accident claims
  • real trial experience at court
  • we take over claims from other solicitors
  • the best service totally dedicated to bikers
  • contact us on +44 1296 663 601

We regularly take over cases from other Solicitors. The most common mistake we see from other Solicitors is the apparent unwillingness or inability to start British court proceedings once negotiations have either slowed down, or the insurers are beginning to become awkward.

Unless your Solicitors are fully familiar with the Second Treaty of Rome and the European Directives, and the law of damages in France, then you would be well advised to change them. The Law is not particularly complicated, but applying it is.

The rules are simple. How they apply is not. For expert help call us on 0800 783 6191 anytime.

Senior Partner Andrew Dalton

Andrew Dalton is a highly experienced trial lawyer who delights in taking on difficult and demanding motorcycle cases. He has a tough and relentless litigation style and is utterly focussed on getting the best possible outcomes for his clients.

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The rules are simple. How they apply is not. For expert help call us on 0800 783 6191

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  • Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
  • The Law Society
  • Solicitors Regulation Authority
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