How to say damage in French

Accident in France: you need to know that

When the police come, how the damage is settled, whether the green card is required and how the ADAC members help: Answers to important questions after an accident in France as well as tips from ADAC lawyers.

  • Write down the data of the other party involved in the accident or fill out the European accident report and call the police if necessary

  • Claims for damages can be asserted with the opposing motor vehicle liability insurance company or the regulatory officer of the insurance company in Germany

  • If the opposing insurance company does not respond in due time, the compensation office for road traffic victim assistance can be called in

What to do in the event of an accident in France?

After an accident, you must stop immediately, put on the safety vest, secure the scene of the accident and help the injured. In the event of personal injury, the police or the ambulance must always be called (see important telephone numbers). The police do not come in the event of minor sheet metal damage, but in the event of major damage or a dispute with those involved in the accident, you should call the police. Make a note of the license plate number, name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicles involved, as well as their liability insurance and insurance number. Look for witnesses who are as neutral as possible and take photos of the scene of the accident.

You are on the safe side with a multilingual European accident report. Under no circumstances should you sign documents that you do not understand. When organizing a towing service or looking for a workshop, Plus Club members can contact the ADAC emergency call center after an accident (see important telephone numbers). Carrying the green card is no longer compulsory. However, it can still contribute to the communication at the scene of the accident and to simpler claims processing.

important phone number

Police in France: 17
Rescue workers in France: 15
Towing service of the ADAC: +49 89 22 22 22
Central call of the car insurers: 0800 2 50 26 00 (from Germany) or +49 403 00 33 03 00 (from abroad)

Who pays the damage?

You must register claims for damages directly with the opposing insurance company in France or at home with the regulator of the French liability insurance in Germany. You can find out who the regulatory officer is via the central phone number of the car insurer (see important telephone numbers). Keyword motor vehicle liability: Your own insurance company only needs to be informed if claims by the other party in the accident are conceivable.

Beware of the statute of limitations: In France, claims for damages for personal injury expire after ten years. In the case of purely material claims, the statute of limitations is five years. The French insurance company and the regulator in Germany, in turn, have to deal with the case no later than three months after reporting. Otherwise, they have to give a reasoned answer if the settlement cannot take place.

If the insurance company does not respond in due time, you can call in the compensation office for traffic victim assistance *, which will investigate the matter and, under certain conditions, regulate it itself. If a dispute does nevertheless arise, the European Court of Justice has ruled that the opposing insurance company can be sued not only abroad but also in the victim's country of residence regarding the question of liability or the amount of damage.

How do we help?

ADAC legal advice is exclusive and free of charge for members. In addition, there is a list of German-speaking ADAC trust lawyers for members online or in all ADAC offices. A lawyer of trust is recommended, especially in the case of high levels of property damage and personal injury, who can sue on site if necessary. The following applies to ADAC Plus members: A grant of up to 52 euros can be granted for an initial consultation by a foreign lawyer. The club lawyers can also check whether legal assistance for accidents ABROAD can be considered in a suitable individual case. In order to be able to record the course of the accident precisely, we provide multilingual European accident reports for download.

What damage to property will be replaced after an accident in France?

Since the accident happened in France, French law applies.

Be replaced:

  • Repair costs: upon presentation of the acknowledged repair invoice. In the case of property damage of around € 1,000 or more, an expert report is often required. Many insurance companies also pay compensation if only an expert report is presented. At most, cost estimates are sufficient for minor damage.

  • Total loss: the current value of the vehicle, as evidenced by an appraisal, minus the residual value. The total loss must be proven by an expert report, which should be drawn up in France if possible. When using a German expert opinion as a basis, compromises are sometimes made.

  • Rental car costs: for the duration of the repair, if it can be proven that the vehicle is absolutely necessary for the exercise of the profession (use for trips to the workplace is not sufficient on its own); 25–35% deduction due to saved own costs.

  • Loss of use: around € 10 to € 20 per repair day; in the event of a total loss for about 10 days.

  • Towing costs: if the vehicle is no longer drivable to the next workshop.

  • Expert costs: are often, but not always, reimbursed.

  • Depreciation: no depreciation after carrying out a proper repair. The mercantile depreciation is also not replaced.

  • Comprehensive deductible: upon presentation of a statement from the fully comprehensive insurance.

  • Accommodation / meals / return travel costs: only costs that are directly related to the accident, less personal savings.

  • Legal fees: the extrajudicial as well as the procedural legal fees have to be borne by the injured party (except in the case of traffic legal protection insurance); If the process is successful, a lump sum for process costs is occasionally awarded.

Are rarely replaced:

  • Legal fees, credit costs

  • other accident-related ancillary costs.

What is reimbursed in the event of personal injury following an accident in France?

  • Medical, medical and nursing costs: if they are not reimbursed by your own health insurance company.

  • Loss of earnings: against proof

  • Compensation for pain and suffering and compensation for other immaterial damage (such as disfiguring scars, lost zest for life, etc.): Are granted relatively generously. Because of the different evaluation criteria, a French doctor should prepare the medical report.

Information in the event of an accident in other European countries or the USA or Russia

* By clicking on the links you will be redirected to an external website, for the content of which the respective website operator is responsible.

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