Sooner or later it will happen to most of us – whether you live here in Spain on a permenant basis, visiting relatives, or just here on Holiday
Sooner or later it will happen to most of us – whether you live here in Spain on a permenant basis, visiting relatives, or just here on Holiday.
When an accident takes place (even if nobody is injured) there are certain things that you should and should not do.
If you have been involved in a minor collision, whether it was your fault or not, you and the other driver can decide to settle the matter between yourselves. If you do not reach any agreement, or if somebody has been injured, you should call the police (Guardia Civil), who will issue a report of the accident.
If the responsiblility for the accident lies with the other party or the other driver involved in the car accident refuses to co-operate, you should take note of any details that you can identify him with, the vehicles number plate and description ( In case it has been stolen and re-plated), and the contact details of any witnesses to the accident.
Make sure that you get the name of the insurance company of the other driver. Your insurance agent in Spain will then guide you through the process. Take Photographs if this is in any way Possible!
If you or any of the passengers have been injured in a car accident, medical attention should always be sought, as any injuries detailed in the medical report will state that the injuries were caused as a consequence of the car accident, which will be required for any claim arising from the Insurance process.
Contact your insurance company straight away
You have 7 days to report the accident to your insurance company in Spain. Your indemnity will depend on the type of Policy that you have contracted to.
The accident report (As Issued by the Guardia) is required by your Insurance provider to determin who they believe to be responsible for the Accident. You should attach a copy of this report when you claim for the damages suffered - Include copies of any photographs that you may have taken.
If you or any of the passengers have been injured, you should also attach a copy of the medical report to claim for compensation from the insurance company.
It is strongly recommended to obtain professional Legal advice before accepting any compensation from insurance companies.
If you have been the victim of a car accident in Spain
If you belive that the accident was caused by the other party you may make a report to the Spanish authorities within 6 months of the accident taking place . By doing this you would be starting a criminal procedure, and as such the other driver could be charged with commiting an offence.
If the judicial authorities do not consider that the other driver has committed an offence, you may still bring suit and therefore initiate civil procedure within 1 year after the date of the accident.
All victims of a car accident, regardless the injuries or damages they have suffered, are entitled to an indemnity. Applications for compensation may be made to the court within whose jurisdiction the accident took place.
When physical injury is involved, an examination by the Court's Doctor will be necessary. The Examining Magistrate will decide whether compensation should be applicable and the amount to be paid.
You may settle the dispute out of court: Your Lawyer may negotiate the amount of your compensation directly with the insurance company.
You will need an experienced Lawyer in each case. A Spanish Lawyer will advise you on whether or not to bring legal action, about the amount you should claim... and any other questions related to your particular case. Cases that involve serious injuries always require legal help.