WHAT TO DO
IF YOU HAVE AN ACCIDENT IN ITALY
A) AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT
It is not compulsory to call the police for an official report if there are only material damages or light injuries. However, if in doubt on how to act, and for proof, it may be useful to do so.
If there are injuries, call for an ambulance or go immediately to a hospital. This will also allow you to obtain a medical report of the damages.
Take detailed photos of the damages, of the veichles (showing the number plates) and of the immediate surroundings (e.g. To show that the accident is due to a pothole, lacking roadsign etc).
Take note of the name and surname of the other driver(s), of their number plates and of their insurance company (this is very important in order to ask for compensation).
It is possible to fill in an international accident report form, called “constatazione amichevole – constat amiable” (e.g. http://www.poliziamunicipale.comune.verona.it/media//Polizia%20locale/documenti/Constatazione_amichevole_di_incidente-Modulo_blu.pdf). Nowadays, it is even possible to use smartphone apps if you do not have a paper copy.
Of course, if you are the party who has caused the accident you will be liable to a request for damages from the counterpart.
Apart from this, there is nothing specific you have to do while you are in Italy.
B) AFTER THE ACCIDENT
It is important to act quickly if you intend to press criminal charges, as under Italian law the period of limitation (after which you loose your rights) is very short. Usually three months for.
Also it is important to act quickly in claiming compensation as the limitation period is also short. Usually 2 years.
Once you have retruned home (or while in Italy) you may ask for compensation through a representative of the insurance company in the UK, or directly to the company in Italy. Italian law on damages for road accidents is quite complicated.
Our law firm Studio Legale Stratta is competent and experienced in damages claims and can act on your behalf to claim compensation.
Usually the competent Court will be the Italian one, under EU law, as this is the place of the accident.
However, often damages claims do not arrive to court, as often a lawyer can arrange an out-of-court settlement.
Always take note of the following details concerning the accident:
date and place
all details about the veichles (number plate, model etc.)
insurance company of the veichles involved (most important)
name of the other people involved
wether the police made a report, specifying which police autohority (Carabinieri, Polizia Municipale, Polizia di Stato) and of which police office
details and medical reports of any injuries suffered
names of witnesses (any passanger in the car who did not suffer injuries may be a witness)
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CAR BREAKS DOWN IN ITALY
Verify if your insurance covers road assistance abroad and ask them for the company to call in Italy for assistance.
If you are not covered, instead, you may call the ACI (Automobile Club d'Italia) (www.aci.it 803.116 or 800.116.800 for foreign phone operators).