An introduction to road accident claims in the EU
Produced in partnership with Andrew Wilson
An introduction to road accident claims in the EU

The following PI & Clinical Negligence practice note Produced in partnership with Andrew Wilson provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • An introduction to road accident claims in the EU
  • Introduction
  • Identifying the defendant
  • Jurisdiction
  • Importance of Regulation (EU) 1215/2012 - Brussels I (recast)
  • The general rule on jurisdiction
  • Domicile
  • Where defendant is not domiciled in England and Wales
  • Applicable law
  • Matters of procedure
  • More...

Brexit: The UK's departure from the EU on exit day, ie 31 January 2020, has implications for practitioners considering road traffic accident claims in the EU. For guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—considerations for personal injury claims.


The purpose of these Practice Notes is to provide a guide to the main issues and challenges facing the practitioner when dealing with a claim arising from a road accident which occurred in the European Union. Claimant practitioners are often approached by potential clients who have had accidents resulting in personal injuries while travelling on the roads of the European Union. Typically, though not without exception, the client will have been a passenger travelling in a car driven by a family member or friend.

  1. jurisdiction—whether the courts of England and Wales have jurisdiction over the claim; and if so

  2. applicable law—the laws of which country are to be applied to the various issues arising

This first Practice Note sets out, in general terms, the principles applied to determination of these fundamental issues in European accident cases, while the second Practice Note: Applicable law for road accidents claims in the EU focuses on the application of rules more specific to road accident cases.

Identifying the defendant

As will be set out below, the first step to addressing both questions is the identification of the correct defendant. Often, this will seem a straightforward matter,

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