Accidents abroad and applicable law – recent Court of Appeal decision

Just over a year ago, the High Court delivered its decision in Pickard and Marshall v Generali and others. The case involved a road traffic accident in France in which two English residents, Marshall and Pickard, were injured (Mr Marshall died from his injuries) in a collision caused by an uninsured French driver colliding with Mr Pickard’s stationary car (insured with RSA) and forcing it against another French vehicle (insured with Generali). The question of the applicable law was appealed and a decision on the point was given on 19 January 2017.

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Motor accidents abroad: “compensation on a consistent basis, by reference to the law of the state of the accident” – Lord Mance

In its judgment today in Moreno v The Motor Insurers’ Bureau, it could be argued that the Supreme Court used its decision in a case about interpreting a regulation specific to the MIB to make a wider point. That point is that English law (and Scottish & Northern Irish laws) should approach the arrangements in the European Motor Insurance Directives for compensating victims so as to provide compensation on a consistent basis regardless of how any particular claim might be pursued.

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London, Paris, Rome: another key case on applicable law

A decision of the High Court in London in late November in a claim arising from an accident in Paris further develops our understanding of Rome II, the EU regulation which sets out the rules for deciding which substantive national law should apply to tort claims involving foreign elements.

In this case, the judge had to decide on the law applying to claims arising from a fatal motorway traffic accident outside Paris in summer 2012 that involved a French uninsured driver (and hence the UK MIB as proxy for its French counterpart), the English owner and passenger (who was killed in the accident) of a broken-down English-registered Fiesta, and a French recovery truck.

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