What to do in Spain in the case of road traffic accidents

By Velasco Lawyers

A recent survey made in different countries from a consortium of insurance companies came to the conclusion that on average 60 per cent of European car drivers do not know how to use the standard ‘European accident statement form’ (in Spanish ‘parte de declaración amistosa de accidentes’).

In Spain the relationship between the insured and the motor insurance companies is regulated by Royal Decree 8/2004 (law on civil responsibility and insurance in the usage of motor vehicles). Article 8 states that in order to speed up the compensation of the material damages by the insurers, the companies will have to provide the insured with European accident statement forms and the drivers will have to use them in case of accident. Failure to fill in the form will greatly increase the length of the administrative procedures that from a few weeks can then last up to several months.

Physical injury

If the accident involves physical injury, it is always recommended to call the emergency number 112 or alternatively the Policia National (telephone number 091) if the accident was in a urban area, or the Guardia Civil (telephone number 062) if the accident happened on a national road. The police or the Guardia Civil report will have priority over any other form.

If you don’t speak Spanish your insurance company can provide you with forms in English. Except for the language, the Spanish and English forms are strictly identical.

Once the form is filled in, each party should keep a copy and send it to their insurance company.

The important data

In the ‘European accident statement form’ it is fundamental to fill in the details of the drivers and the insurance policy numbers.

If there are witnesses, get their details, as they will be called to testify in case of a dispute. It’s particularly important to take extra care in ticking the right boxes in point number 12 and to make a clear drawing of the accident in point number 13 as the insurance companies will determine the party responsibility based on this information. Number 14, the space reserved for extra information, can be completed in English as well and will be used to complement information from points 12 and 13.

Unless there is disagreement between the two parties related to the information on the accident statement form, the document will have to be signed by the two parties. If no agreement can be reached, it is a good idea to call the Guardia Civil or the police, which will help to determine how the accident happened.

Take pictures of the cars at the accident scene and a close-up of the damage. Make sure the registration plates are shown in the photos.

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    • m stoddart

      02 August 2015 • 19:43

      I had a crash in Spain and the guardia civil were called the other driver attacked my car, by climbing on the bonnet, kicking my door panels, trying to break my window, kicking my wing mirror off and causing me actual bodily harm by pulling at my shoulder through a partly open window. The guardia did not supply me with an interperuter, should they have done, and did they break my civil rights by not doing this. Somebody please let me know. Mal

    • Roy Peters

      03 August 2015 • 10:05

      The Spanish Police almost always automatically assume that you as a foreigner are at fault.
      I barely touched the back of a car in Puerto Banus causing no damage, but when we stopped there was a round dent obviously caused by a towing hook in the rear bumper of the wormans car.
      A Policeman was nearby and helped her fill in the form and he blamed the damage on us despite the fact there are NO protusions on the front of our Seat.
      Despite us telling the insurance the truth, they paid out because they cannot go against the police.
      Its always the same, if you are not Spanish its always your fault.

    • Mike

      03 August 2015 • 16:49

      The Guardia Civil used to be a ‘proper’ police force but over the last 8 to 10 years they appear to have gone down hill rapidly. The last couple of times I have had encounters with them one of the officers was screaming at me as if he was out of his mind! He was a young officer but his attitude actually made me wonder if the bloke had been drinking or taking something, it was definitely not the attitude you expect from a Police officer.

      I speak Spanish although obviously a foreigner but on my last encounter the officers only interest was the Spanish person who caused the issue, once that person actually admitted they where at fault and the office could not get him to make complaint it was ‘right on your way as we are causing an obstruction’, my rights where not important nor the fact he was thumping my car.

      I am now fully convinced that the Local Police and the Guardia Civil have quite a few racist officers, if someone had asked my if I though that 10 years ago I would have defended them to the hilt but now it seems clear to see there are quite a few racist officers.

      It really surprises me that Police officers do not get some sort of public relations teachings here as part of their policing education. I find if you ask an officer something generally they appear to have a slightly uneasy responce, verging on the wanting to be unhelpful or ‘I will tell him so he leaves me alone attitude’ when they should be a lot more friendly and not behave like they are dealing with a creature from another planet, in fact I find this same attitude from almost anyone that wares a uniform here, maybe they feel a uniform gives them some sort of superiority. 😉


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