Claimants could see access to justice harmed further following government proposals

Britons who claim for injuries suffered from road traffic accidents while travelling in Europe will face greater difficulties in the event of a Brexit, personal injury lawyers have warned.

Currently, British tourists can claim for injuries through a UK-based law firm or pursue a case in the UK courts under the EU Motor Insurance Directives which give a direct right of action against the insurer in the injured person's home country.

However, a Brexit would leave tourists involved in accidents abroad struggling to recover damages for pain, suffering, and expenses. Victims could also face language barriers or incur huge travel expenses to enforce their rights, according to legal experts.

Martin Gwyther, foreign jurisdiction claims expert at Thompsons Solicitors said: 'For UK citizens injured in Europe, pulling out of the EU will mean a personal injury claim will be a lot harder. The agreements that are now in place making it possible to get compensation relatively easily after, say, a road crash on holiday could well be ripped up if we Brexit.

'Add to that the prospect of the Conservatives forcing through their proposal to raise the small claims limit in road accident cases, which will strip injured people of access to independent, free legal support, and you're looking at a potential double attack on justice.'

In his 2015 Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne announced government intentions to increase the small claims limit to £5,000 in road accidents which would lead to people either paying for a lawyer out of the damages or taking on insurers by themselves.

A consultation from the MoJ is expected in due course.


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