Consultation seeks to streamline limitation periods for European road traffic accidents

Posted: 14/12/2012


The majority of Europeans holidaying in another European Union country will use a car or motorbike at some stage during their holiday. Some will find themselves involved in road traffic accidents and, as a result, wish to bring a claim for personal injury.

Presently, there are many different limitation periods around Europe, so ensuring a claim is protected from becoming time barred can be far from straightforward.

The European Commission has launched a public consultation to consider ways to simplify the diverse regimes regarding RTA limitation periods throughout the EU.

The contrasting domestic laws can be confusing for visitors and holidaymakers. This can and does lead to limitation periods being missed which means the claimant is prevented from recovering damages. Limitation periods can vary from between one and ten years (and sometimes longer if minors are involved). Some countries also have different limitation periods for a claim against an insurer as opposed to a claim against the responsible individual.

The purpose of the consultation is to assess the scale of the problem and consider viable alternatives. These include improving the information provided/available to victims of road traffic accidents or perhaps having an identical law throughout EU member states for limitation periods.

The report following the consultation is due to be presented next May.


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