Q. In my opinion, in recent years there has been a noticeable increase on British roads of foreign cars. I would be grateful if you could give some advice in case I have an accident with a foreign driver. In the event of any kind of accident involving a motorcycle and a foreign vehicle driven on UK roads, does a foreign driver legally have to provide a UK contact address? Also, how would insurance claims be progressed with perhaps just a record of a foreign number plate taken after an accident? Is it advisable to involve the police in such an occurrence?
A. Practically, it is not as straight forward to bring a claim against a foreign driver as a UK driver but it is far from impossible. Firstly, following an accident involving personal injury/damage, every driver in England and Wales has a duty to stop and exchange details if requested. However, that is all well and good, but can you imagine having a smack up in Greece whilst on holiday? Would you know what you should do? (My Dad’s approach of shouting louder and slower in English probably won’t help!) As such, Mr Foreign Driver might not have a UK contact address to hand. So it’s easier to give you some practical advice…
Firstly, yes I would involve the police. Secondly, European road traffic insurers will have a UK Representative and helpfully there’s a database, so you can track them down. Probably the most important information to obtain is the registration number of the vehicle. Armed with that you can find out who insured it, and crack on with progressing a claim through the UK Representative. However, be aware that some foreign lorries have different trailer numbers to vehicle registration numbers so take a note of all the plates. Again, being practical, if possible get your phone out and take photos.
If possible, ideally you should also get the owner or policyholder’s name, the negligent driver’s name and address and contact details and a copy of the insurance policy or green card number.
White Dalton Solicitors is Britain’s most specialist motorcycle law practice. Managing partner Andrew ‘Chef’ Prendergast and his bike riding barristers compile Motor Cycle Monthly’s legal column. www.whitedalton.co.uk
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