29 June 2015
Can I Claim Compensation For a Road Traffic Accident in Poland in the UK?
If you’re heading for a visit home to Poland, you might not be aware that, in the event of a road traffic accident, you may be able to pursue your case in England.
Osac’s 2015 Crime and Safety Report states that Poland is “one of the most dangerous places to drive in Europe.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Status Report revealed that, in 2011, approximately 4,200 people died in road traffic accidents in Poland. This translates as 110 deaths per one million citizens – comparable to Britain’s rate of 32, and double the European average.
The total number of road traffic accidents and injuries has gradually decreased due to Poland’s National Road Safety Programme, which hopes to achieve a 50% decrease in road traffic accident fatalities, and a 40% decrease in injuries by 2020.
Poland has one of the highest speed limits in Europe at 120 km/h on rural roads, and 140 km/h on motorways. Despite rigorous enforcement of drink-driving laws, 9% of all road traffic fatalities involve alcohol. The WHO list the cost of road traffic accidents in Poland as relatively high at approximately 2.0% - 2.5% of the country’s GDP.
It is a misconception that, if you have been involved in a road traffic accident in Poland, you cannot pursue a compensation claim in the UK – but this is not true.
Slater and Gordon Travel Litigation Lawyers have represented many people of other nationalities who were involved in road traffic accidents overseas yet living and working in the UK.
In one case, our client of Polish background who was living and working in England was travelling to Poland to visit family. Whilst there he was correctly proceeding down a road and was crossing a junction as the traffic light was green. A vehicle that failed to stop collided with the side of his car, resulting in injuries to his lower back.
He contacted Slater and Gordon and learned that he was able to pursue his case, against the Polish Defendant, in England, which was much easier for him given that he lived and worked here. The Defendant admitted liability for the accident, and the matter was settled for a total sum of £7,500.00.
Travelling Back to the UK from Poland
It is often the case that a claimant is travelling back to the UK from overseas Poland when an accident has unfortunately occurred.
In a previous case, a Polish couple were injured on their way back to the UK from Poland, in an accident that occurred in the Netherlands. We were again able to assist them to recover the compensation they were entitled to through the Courts here.
For more information on road traffic accidents abroad, see our previous blog here.
If you have been in a road traffic accident abroad in Poland, your next step should be to seek legal advice.
Slater and Gordon provide legal services in many foreign languages, including Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Czech, Slovak and Russian.
If you or a member of your family was injured in a road traffic accident overseas, Slater and Gordon No Win, No Fee Solicitors can help you with your claim for compensation. Call us on freephone 0800 916 9046, or from abroad on +44 20 7657 155, or contact us online.