Do I carry a declare in France or suck up the losses?

The Gendarmerie turned up. I converse fundamental French and managed to get throughout to the officer what had occurred earlier than I used to be taken away in an ambulance. My helmet digicam caught a number of the motion however all it actually reveals is me approaching an empty roundabout; the precise collision was not recorded.

My journey insurance coverage dealt very well with all of the French paperwork however I’ve needed to have 12 weeks off work, six of them on half pay and I’ve been left with everlasting however not disastrous accidents.

I’ve contacted a lot of English solicitors who all stated the identical factor – they’ll do nothing to assist. I acquired in contact with a few French legal professionals who desire a good few thousand Euros up entrance and after I urged “no win, no charge” one truly laughed, the opposite stated it was not doable in France.

Am I caught having to carry a declare in France and paying for it or sucking it up?


You sum up your two selections with readability. Since leaving the European Union, the proper to sue one other EU insurer (it was at all times the insurer and never the person) in your house jurisdiction in your personal language is not accessible to British residents.

The French place is particularly exhausting line. Underneath French regulation, the French Courts won’t recognise a judgement from a overseas nation if the case may have correctly been introduced in France. Pre-Brexlt, the French insurer had no selection as France and the UK have been each certain by an EU treaty (Rome II). I point out this as when you trawl the web, you may get false hope from outdated pre-Brexit net pages.

You’re going to should pay a French lawyer to begin a declare in France, in French in opposition to the insurer, I’ve a familiarity with French regulation – however I’m not a French certified lawyer – and France has some fairly particular person strands of regulation.

The primary is that the place insurers can’t agree who was responsible (your insurers are English and so they occur to have overseas claims crew) you then get to sue the driving force of the automobile and he or she will get to sue you, and your insurers have to satisfy her declare and her insurers should meet yours. So that you’ll get a restoration.

You’ll virtually actually should go to France for a specialised French judicial-medical examination which could have a particularly skilled judicial health worker assess your accidents. This professional is impartial and authorised by the French courts. French circumstances proceed fairly slowly as France has a ten-year limitation course of however the ‘knock-for-knock’ precept (loi Badinter) means legal responsibility tends to settle fairly rapidly.

The video is unfortunately typical of an motion digicam – they have a tendency to lose the previous few seconds earlier than a collision in the event that they take a tough knock. Nevertheless, it does present you going onto a big and empty roundabout, and thereafter the crash images present your bike on its facet and a automobile parked on the exit, so I believe your model of occasions is supported by the images and photographs.

Nevertheless, I’ve no simple reply for you as to funding this declare. Except your French immediately improves, you will want a lawyer. No-win, no-fee is a critical skilled misconduct within the French legal professionals’ code of conduct and no respectable lawyer will entertain it. Any French lawyer who did so can be fairly mad. If you happen to have been sad with the case, you possibly can go to their skilled physique and have them struck off.

The presumption in French regulation is you’ll pay your lawyer your self with a modest contribution from the insurers of some thousand Euros. You do have a 3rd selection, if the French insurers play ball. In France, insurers have a tendency to simply accept that if they’re on the hook to pay for the hurt their insured car has carried out, they’re fairly open to coping with you immediately. Because the consultants are courtroom appointed, if they’re ready to cope with you in English, you possibly can do that your self. You’ll need an English translation of the harm tariff system (barème) and your lack of earnings and equipment are recoverable as in the identical means as beneath English regulation.

Andrew Dalton

RiDE Journal July 2022