Anyone who travels abroad by car must also expect to be involved in an accident. It is therefore important to know how to behave in the event of a traffic accident in other countries.
In the event of a traffic accident abroad, you often have to contend not only with possible communication problems, but also with the fact that the legal situation here is sometimes different from that in Germany. For a quick and unproblematic claim settlement, you should therefore consider some measures and rules of conduct in case of accidents abroad.
Who travels with the cars abroad should carry the "green card. It is proof that the car has a motor vehicle liability insurance policy suitable for the country of travel and is issued free of charge by the employee’s own motor vehicle insurer. The green card is required by the police in some states in case of accidents. In some countries, such as Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and Turkey, the Green Card is mandatory.
If the desired travel country or its country abbreviation is crossed out on the green card, you can ask your motor vehicle insurer to what extent sufficient insurance coverage can be included in the motor vehicle policy. It is also important to carry a European accident report. The uniformly structured form in eleven languages facilitates the recording of the most important accident data across language barriers and can be requested free of charge from GDV Dienstleistungs-GmbH.
Police should always be notified
In principle, it is important not to lose your nerve in the event of a traffic accident, whether at home or abroad. No matter where the accident occurs, the first thing to do is to secure the scene of the accident, i.e., turn on the hazard lights, put on the high-visibility vest and set up a warning triangle before getting out of the car. If there were injured, first aid is to be given and the rescue service is to be informed. In Europe, this is possible free of charge with the Europe-wide emergency number 112, both from a cell phone and from a landline, and sometimes even in different languages.
In some countries, such as Germany or France, the police should actually only be called in the event of high property damage or if people have been injured. In other countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary, it is important and in some cases obligatory to notify the police even in the case of minor damage. So as not to make a mistake, it is actually always right to call the police and ask for an accident report.
The police should be called in any case, even in the case of minor damage, if there is a dispute as to who was at fault for the accident, if the other party has committed a hit-and-run, is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or does not provide any further information about the vehicle insurance.
Document accident data completely
It is important to document the course of the accident and all necessary data for a quick and trouble-free claim settlement.
This includes the name, address and license plate number of the other party involved in the accident as well as his motor vehicle liability insurance with the name of the insurer and policy number, but also photos of the accident site from various angles and the name and address of any witnesses to the accident.
A brief description of the accident and a sketch of the accident site are also useful. In order not to forget any important data, it is helpful to fill out the aforementioned European Accident Report on the spot and have it signed by all parties involved in the accident.
Contact person in the event of damage
According to legal experts, anyone who has been injured in an accident should obtain a medical certificate from a doctor in the country they are traveling to in order to avoid difficulties with the foreign motor vehicle liability insurance company in the event of claims for compensation for pain and suffering. If your own car has been totaled in the accident, a motor vehicle expert should examine the vehicle before it is scrapped.
In the event of an accident within the EU or in Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, claims can be made against the other party to the accident, provided their vehicle is registered and insured in one of these countries, abroad, but also from Germany.
You can find out more from the central car insurance call center by calling 0800 2502600, online or by smartphone (mobile.central call.de) the necessary contact details of the opposing insurance company in order to be able to claim damages and/or compensation for pain and suffering. The damage report should be made promptly for a quick settlement of the claim.