Brexit Blitz on European Injury Claims

30th June 2016
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How injury claims post-Brexit will be more difficult in mainland Europe

post-Brexit injury claims image by Alex Skopje.

Image by Alex Skopje (via Shutterstock).

Say you had a road traffic accident in Spain. At present you have two ways of pursuing your claim. You can either contact a law firm like ours, or you can pursue a claim in the UK courts. You can do the latter under the EU Motor Insurance Directive (2009/103/EC, issued on the 16 September 2009). Imagine pursuing the same claim if we weren’t an EU Member State. With Britons narrowly favouring a Brexit in last Thursday’s EU Referendum, things could be more difficult.

Should Article 50 (The Treaty of Lisbon) be invoked, Britons will be deprived of this EU-wide framework, resulting in lengthy cases. This would also mean language barriers and higher travel costs, the latter by way of acquiring visas as well as distance. These concerns were stressed in a Solicitors Journal piece two days before the referendum.

The EU Motor Insurance Directive ensures that:

“Each Member State must take all appropriate measures to ensure that civil liability in respect of the use of vehicles normally based in its territory is covered by insurance. The extent of the liability covered and the terms and conditions of the insurance cover are to be determined on the basis of those measures.”

Package holiday claims

Post-Brexit, injured motorists won’t be the only ones to lose out. This is also true with package holidays. Future changes to the EU’s Package Travel Directive would see increased consumer rights and compensation options. If the holiday doesn’t meet their expectations, they can be compensated. If their holiday rises in price by 8% or more, s/he will be able to cancel their break without financial risk.

Whether you travel to an EU Member State or otherwise, the Montreal Convention of 1999 (for the Unification of certain Rules for International Carriage by Air) will apply. Likewise with the Convention of 1980 regarding International Carriage by Rail (COTIF), and the Athens Convention of 1974 (the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea).

European Health Insurance Card and injury claims

The EHIC replaced the E111 card in 2006 and, is at present, available to all UK citizens aged 16 upwards outside of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. It ensures health treatment within the EU’s Member States, either free at the point of delivery or at heavily subsidised rates at publicly-funded hospitals and clinics.

Should Britain take the Brexit route, your EHIC [European Health Insurance Card] will no longer be valid. In future, Britons falling ill in Germany may be required to pay for their healthcare like other non-EU citizens. If the UK decides to maintain its membership with the European Economic Area (also a prerequisite of EU membership), you can still use your EEA card. Even in non-EU countries within the EEA like Iceland and Switzerland.

Whether we stay in the European Union or not, Personal Injury Overseas will be there to help you if the worst happens. To find out more about our No Win No Fee compensation packages, why not call us on 0333 006 4099. Or, send us an email to info@personalinjuryoverseas.co.uk. We shall get back to you as soon as possible.

Personal Injury Overseas, 30 June 2016.

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