French citizens have RTC in UK

If French citizens (on holiday in French car) are involved in an RTC in UK & are injured, should the British offender not be taken to court (i.e. say he pleads guilty to part of the offence so no actual court case is actually required) will this affect the French citizens’ insurances both vehicle and health related? There seems to be an expectation from the French that a court case is the only solution whereby in the UK a court case is only required when the offender is pleading ‘not guilty’. They don’t think they will get any payouts if a court case does not occur. Any help would be useful.

Hello Helene and welcome to the Forum.

Could you please fill in your full name on the Registration as per our T&C’s


Have the French folk contacted their own Insurance Company… and how is their Insurance Company handling things…???

Thanks; they are all elderly French folk who visited an elderly friend in the UK; none of them understand the differences between UK v France and because the friend is elderly, non IT savvy they have asked me to help them. I thought I’d ask generally to see if a court case in France is an expectation in order to get some compensation. It isn’t here and trying to gauge the difference isn’t getting across so I thought I’d find out what people on this site know about this.

Helene… we’re pleased to help in any way we can.

As I have said… they/someone should be in touch with their French Insurance folk… the document with phone numbers should in the car/handbag and there is usually a number marked… to contact in emergency…

I’m no expert… @fabien can you shed any light on this please… ?

Helene, If you like to give me your full name, I can amend your Registration for you.

Thank you Stella; I’ve been trying to find a place to ‘tick the box’ for T&C but with no luck. I’ll amend my profile to show fuller details.

1 Like

Helene … have the police taken/got all the details of the accident, so that the information will be available to both parties (French and English) Insurance Companies et al … ??

and is it clear who is to blame, for what… ???

Thanks Stella; I work with the police and it’s all going through over here but in the event the offender pleads guilty (to some if not all offences) he would not necessarily go to court. It would only be if the plead bargaining fails and he pleads NG to something we consider he should be convicted for. The blame is entirely on the UK driver’s side. Their concern is solely that if it’s not heard in court, they don’t get insurance compensation either for their vehicle or their ill-health caused by the crash.

cheers Helene… I had an inkling you were a guardian angel…:wink:

It must be very worrying for the folk, not understanding what goes on in a foreign country. It’s one thing to visit… to come and go… but it’s quite another to fall foul of accident/injury or whatever.

I have put a call-out for our “insurance expert”… @fabien and hope he will be able to help with info.

If the folk are given full details of the Insurance of the defendant… and all the info is with the police for future reference/support of any claim…will that be enough… I’ve no idea…

Can the injured folk claim directly, for the car and injuries, through the Defendant’s Insurance Company… is that how it works in UK ??

Hi everyone, thank Stella for tagging me in but unfortunately I won’t be of much help here as we’re talking about foreign laws and my knowledge stops at the border for this :wink: Joke aside, if French citizens are involved in a crash abroad, their policy WILL cover damages caused to third parties at the very minimum (because this is mandatory). Then, it will depend on their policy and the situation. If I read correctly they were at fault in this so they’ll need to have a fully comprehensive policy to get anything from their insurance company but if they have such policy that will be ok for both them and the third parties involved. In regard to the trial, as I said earlier I’m not competent to answer because we are talking to a much different level then. Cheers,

@fabien Fabien… it seems the UK driver was totally to blame… is there likely to be something in a French contract which says nothing is paid out unless the case goes to court?? which is what this French couple seem worried about…

would you agree the French couple should be speaking with their own Insurance Company ?? though the UK guy and his Insurance will presumably payout in the end…

EDIT: I’ve checked my French Policy and it says to contact them if an accident occurs… so @helene that is “best advice” for this French Couple… phone their Insurer… :hugs:

If the other driver is to blame then it’s the French insurance who should be dealing with the foreign insurer. Court is never on the table in France (I mean, that’s not something that could stop the victim from being refunded). Court is used to settle high level issues (like corporal damages, etc.) and ask an extra compensation (on top of the insurance’s). But as Stella advised the rule of thumb in France is ALWAYS to call the insurer first (through the assistance usually).


Fabien & Stella; this is really useful thank you. I will speak to the UK friend again and explain what you have offered not least that the court case is as it is here, not something to be guaranteed upon (even if it came to a court case, he may not get a conviction anyway). I genuinely think they are brand new to all this and I am truly sorry it has happened to an innocent group of people on holiday in the UK. Let’s hope it doesn’t put them coming back. Thank you again.


The only experience I can offer is the reverse scenario, with UK reg vehicle involved in an accident in France with a French vehicle. The french vehicle being at fault. It did all get sorted out eventually, with the imsurer’s of the vehicle at fault paying out. However it took forever (over a year as I sent the insurance company a birthday card) which the insurers blamed on different systems between France and the UK. Within that year the exchange rate also changed, so I was well out of pocket as what I received in Euros a year after I had paid for repairs in pounds was not an equivalent sum any more.

So positives in that the insurance companies sorted thing between themselves with no court cases. But negatives in that it was so slow.

Gosh, that sounds complicated… although I’m not sure why you paid out of your own pocket… why weren’t the Insurance folk dealing with it all…???

Incidentally, for those who may be reading this thread…

It’s worth considering the “Protection Juridique Vie Quotidienne” policy … costs only a few euros per year… and I’ve seen (at first hand) what can be achieved when the PJ Expert goes into battle for the client (injured party) …

Because in two different countries, the insurance companies were not communicating as they should. And since I didn’t want to wait for months (and as it turned out it would have been a year) for the repair then this was the only option.

Goodness… doesn’t say much for the Insurance Companies involved…:zipper_mouth_face::upside_down_face:

Needless to say, I no longer use them. But both big names, and one with a presence on both sides of the Channel!

that makes it even worse… arrrrgh :upside_down_face: