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Knocked off in France


I was on a riding holiday with friends in France over the Easter bank holiday when I was involved in an accident. I was riding at the rear of the group. A car was waiting to come out onto the road to my right. My friends all went past but he obviously didn’t see me, how I don’t know, and pulled out in front of me. I had no time to avoid the crash and went flying over his bonnet landing on the road. I spent 2 weeks in hospital in France before being allowed to go home. Can I claim against him for my injuries and lost income and my kit and bike?

James Smith, Orpington



The short answer is yes, you will be able to claim compensation. You will need advice on the correct jurisdiction for claiming compensation (be it France or in the UK) which will be fact specific and too detailed to be dealt with here. Different countries on the continent have different rules and different time periods in which to bring a claim. E.G. in England and Wales it is 3 years from the date of the accident, but in France it is 10 years from the date of consolidation which means when recovery from the injuries have plateaued. Compensation in France is fairly generous, compared to for example Switzerland where you need a devastating injury to receive compensation for injuries. It is likely your solicitor will instruct an agent law firm in France to assist with valuing the claim. These are complicated cases so make sure you instruct an expert.



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