Car accident caused by an animal in Spain

Car accident caused by an animal in Spain

Wild animals, escaped farm or pet animals can be a real danger to road users as well as the animal. As drivers you should be vigilant, especially if you see road signage that warns you that wild animals might be in the area and potentially crossing the road.

Car accident caused by an animal in Spain

Animals are not always alone either so if you see one near the road others may well be nearby. You should adjust your speed and remain vigilant. Despite our best efforts animals are unpredictable and accidents do occur.

What should you do if you suddenly come across an animal in your way on the road?

Avoid using the car horn.

If driving at night switch the lights to dipped so as not to dazzle the animal.

Try and avoid swerving. This could cause you to involve other vehicles coming the other way.

Push down on the brake firmly or progressively depending on your speed and the road conditions.

Just before impact lift off the brake to raise the front of the car. This should reduce the chances of the animal hitting the windscreen.

Do not look at the animal and focus on where you can stop your car safely.

Who is responsible if I hit an animal?

If you are involved in an accident with a wild animal, then the responsibility for the accident nearly always is yours. If not a wild animal and the animal is on the road because of a poorly maintained fence, for example, or the animal is a pet then the owner of the animal may be responsible.

Car accident caused by an animal in Spain

Does my car insurance in Spain cover me for accidents with animals?

That depends on which company and what actions you take after the incident. Some Spanish insurance companies include the cover as standard. With other companies it is an optional extra. The additional cost is often minimal. The protection against accidents with animals is not only available to people taking fully comprehensive insurance in Spain. It can often be included or added to third party fire and theft policies as well.

It is important to remember that insurance companies will need you to provide a police report. So make sure you call the Police/Guardia Civil out to the incident.

You may need to call roadside assistance if your car is badly damaged to have it taken to a local garage. Do not forget to report the accident to your insurance company and get a copy of the police report at the time if possible.

Source: www.dgt.es

He hit me from a side road on my right. How is that my fault?

There are several common misunderstandings related to car insurance claims in Spain and this is one of them.

“I was driving along near where I live, when someone pulled out from a road to the right and hit my car.  I checked the other driver was OK. Then we looked at the damage to each other’s vehicles. Finally, as we began to complete the accident report form details and talk about what had happened and I was astonished when he said to me that the accident was my fault!”

“So we rang the local police who came to attend the incident and I said that I was travelling along the road and he pulled out from a side road to my right.”

car hit me from the right

“The policeman had a look at the exit of the side road and then advised me that the other driver was in fact correct. I couldn’t believe it and thought the policeman must have had it in for me!”

How can it by my fault when he came out of the road to my right as I was driving straight ahead?

According to Article 57 Unmarked intersections, you must give way to vehicles that are approaching from your right. The exceptions to this are:

  1. Vehicles on a paved road will have priority over those on a non-paved road.
  2. Vehicles on rails have a priority over other road users.
  3. Roundabouts. Those already on the roundabout have priority over those intending to enter the roundabout.
  4. Vehicles travelling on a motorway have priority over those intending to enter the motorway.

Violations of these rules are a serious traffic offence. You may receive a fine.

Be careful if hit by a car coming from a side road on your right. The default position of your insurance company in Spain and that of the company of the other driver will be it is your fault. The insurance companies have certain agreements between them (convenios) that are in place to speed up claims so that victims are dealt with swiftly.

All the same, the default position may not always be correct. Look for road markings and signage. Take photos of the cars positions (if safe to do so) and the road you are on and the one the other car came out of. If there is a sign saying that the other driver should give way or stop then take a photo of it. The people who deal with your and the other driver’s claim are in an office possible 1,000s of kilometres away they won’t know the street or perhaps even the town.

Without this proof your insurance company will almost certainly have to accept responsibility.

Personal accident cover car insurance Spain

Car insurance Spain can include the added protection of personal accident cover for the driver and/or passengers. Some companies include an amount as standard whilst others will allow you to pick and choose the level of cover you want to contract.

Personal accident cover for passengers

Accidental death as a result of a traffic accident or as a result of the injuries sustained from that accident. This could include the immediate release of some of the funds to help the family with the expenses incurred as a result of the death.

The cover could also include Accidental permanent disability. This element of the insurance will provide some financial respite in the event of the loss of a limb or an accident resulting in the permanent disability of a limb or organ.

The amount paid out depends on the type of disability suffered and whether it is a total permanent disability or partial.

Health care expenses may also be included in your car insurance in Spain. A typical scheme may provide financial help for up to 12 months from the date of the accident.

Personal accident cover for the driver

If the driver of the vehicle was to pass away as a result of the accident then with this cover the car insurance company in Spain would provide the contracted lump sum in case of death to the heirs of the driver.

In addition, the cover may include a monthly indemnity amount over an agreed period of months or years that is also paid to the heirs.

A similar lump sum could be included in the car insurance in Spain for permanent and total disability of the driver as a result of a road traffic accident. Again there may also be an annuity over an agreed period whereby a monthly sum is also made to the injured party.

You car insurance in Spain contains other useful benefits such as breakdown and accident recovery.

How to complete the accident report form in Spain

How to complete the accident report form in Spain

If you have an accident, your car insurance in Spain enables you to deal with a collision between two or more drivers by just completing an accident report form. It is called a Declaración Amistosa de accidente . The form is usually included in the pack that your car insurance in Spain comes with. If not, you can ask your broker for one.

Once complete you take a copy and so does the other party and then send it to your respective insurance companies. The form is universal across the insurance companies and completing this form can really speed up the settlement of a claim.

However, it only Works if both parties involved agree.  Neither you or the other party are obliged to complete it.

It is also not compulsory to sign the form and if you have any doubts as to what has been written on the form then do not sign it. This form carries a huge amount of weight in settling a claim and if you have signed it then you have basically agreed to what has been indicated on it.

Never alter the form once each person has a separate copy

Also, it is important to remember never change the form once you have separated it and given one copy to the other party involved in the accident.

If you remember something afterwards that you wish you had written on the form, then put it on a separate piece of paper. Don’t ever alter the declaración amistosa de accidente, once it has been divided between the two parties.

Just before we get into how to complete the document, what do you do if the other person doesn’t want to complete the declaración?  You can’t insist they complete or sign the document. If you have any doubt, then you should call the police to attend the incident and they will make a report.

To make a claim the minimum you need to obtain is the registration number of the car. However, without a declaración or a police report it might be more difficult to get a favourable result.

Remember, if it is safe to do so then take some photographs of the damage to the vehicles involved on your mobile phone and send them to the broker.

How to complete the Declaración Amistosa de Accidente

The form is divided into three columns with some global information at the top. There is a grid near the bottom for drawing the vehicles and their movement to help show what happened, near the bottom. It doesn’t matter if you complete the form as vehicle A or vehicle B. This is what you need to put in each of the numbered boxes. (You might not be able to complete all of them, it is not an exam, but give as much information as you can):

  1. Enter the date and the time
  2. Pais means country. So if you are outside Spain put the country here. Lugar means place. Here enter the name of the road and kilometre number if you can locate it and you are on a motorway for example.
  3. In this area you should indicate if anyone was injured, regardless of how lightly.
  4. In this box you can mark whether damage was also done to other vehicles, perhaps parked at the side of the road, or to other objects, for example a road sign or lamp post.
  5. Here you can enter the contact name and details for any witnesses to the accident.
  6. Put your name, surname, address, post code and telephone number or email details.
  7. Enter the details of your vehicle. Make, model and importantly the registration number. (Make sure the registration number of the other party is also added to their part of the form correctly).
  8. Enter the details of your vehicle. Make, model and importantly the registration number. (Make sure the registration number of the other party is also added to their part of the form correctly).
  9. The driver details go here. It might be that the car insurance in Spain is in the name of one person but someone else is driving the vehicle. In which case these details should also be completed. Name, surname, date of birth (fecha de nacimiento) address and contact telephone number. If the driving licence details are to hand you can add them but at this stage it is not fundamental.
  10. You will see drawings of a motorcycle, a car and a van in this box. Draw an arrow showing where the initial impact was with your particular type of vehicle.
  11. Write a list of the damage to your vehicle.
  12. This large central area in White lists the common incidents that occur on the road. Tick the box(es) for your vehicle (vehicle A or Vehicle B) that describe what was happening. For a translated list see the English version of the form.
  13. Here you draw the road layout and the vehicles showing how the accident occurred. You can use arrows to indicate the direction of the vehicle, their positions. Add names of the streets if you think it important and useful.
  14. In this box you can add anything else you think is relevant.
  15. This is where both parties sign.

Once completed and signed keep one copy and hand the other to the other driver involved in the incident. It doesn’t matter who has which (but I suggest as it is sensistised try and get the original copy as it will be easier to read).

Whether you complete a declaración Amistosa de Accidente or not, please contact your broker or insurance Company promptly after an incident.

Remember, if you believe you or anyone travelling with you might have an injury, regardless of how minor, then make sure you or they go promptly to a medical centre or hospital to be checked out. Ask for a medical report stating that you might need it for insurance purposes. Copies of these reports should be sent to your insurance company or broker.

Finally, if you did use the Declarcion Amistosa de Accidente then remember to ask your broker for a replacement one, just in case.

You can download a copy of the accident report form / Declaración Amistosa de Accidente here. Here is a version in English to help you complete the Spanish form. We live in Spain so if you have an accident chances are it will be with a Spanish speaking person and to make life easier for everyone then use this English version to help you complete the Spanish form. Why would a Spanish speaker want to sign a form in English in his/her country?

How has driving in Spain improved in the last 40 years?

This year Spain celebrates the 40th year of its constitution and the Directorate General de Trafico (DGT) has been looking back over that period at the evolution in numbers of traffic and how road deaths have fallen.

In 1978 the new constitution for the country was approved. That same year 6,967 people died on Spanish roads.  The number fell significantly when the wearing of a helmet on a motorcycle was made legally compulsory in 1982. However, that improvement disappeared as by 1989, the worse year on record, road deaths had reached 9,344.

In 2017 the figure was down by 83% to 1,830 but the DGT is not content. It has been running a campaign for a while now with the aim of reducing the number of deaths to zero. Is it realistic? It is an honourable objective and if not possible, if the authorities are aiming for that figure then surely we will see further improvements.

Over the years a number of factors have helped reduced road deaths. The authorities made ABS braking system compulsory on cars. They set up a commission  to specifically look at road safety. Points were added to driving licences and taken away for infractions, which perhaps surprisingly only started in 2006. Tougher penalties are in place for speeding.

In 1978 there were just under 9 million vehicles on Spain’s roads. By the end of 2017, this had grown to almost 33 million. Whilst last year saw a small increase in the number of road deaths the drop of 83% over this time is still quite an achievement bearing in mind the huge increase in the fleet of vehicles on the roads.

Perhaps one factor that may have contributed to the small rise in deaths is the age of the vehicles. In 2005 the average age of vehicles on Spanish roads was just 6.7 years. In 2007 the economic crash hit Spain and it hit hard. Many people haven’t seen any real growth in their income since then and the average age of vehicles has risen to 10.8 years. Newer vehicles have better safety features. However, many ordinary motorists are not able to take advantage of those.

Speeding is still the main road traffic infraction but surprisingly not wearing a seat belt also features highly, even nowadays.

Vehicle manufacturers and Government can introduce measures and police them but ultimately we all have a responsibility to ourselves, our families and other road users to use our common sense.

What to do if you have an accident in Spain

Car Insurance Spain Car Accident

If you are involved in an accident in Spain then it is best to know the procedures in order to avoid complicating or jeopardising any claim that you might have against another driver.

Firstly, if you are involved in an accident you must stop. Thinking, “oh well, it’s only a small scratch” and driving on could land you in trouble.

What to do if you have an accident in Spain

With your car insurance Spain policy you should have a form known as a ‘declaration amistosa de accidente de automóvil’.

This is a two part from where the drivers of the vehicles involved can complete their details and the circumstances of the accident. It is important to use a ball point pen and press hard so that the copy of the document can be read.

Being in Spain the form is usually printed in Spanish but below we have provided you with a copy in English. Obviously, if the other driver is Spanish and the accident occurs in Spain you can’t really insist they complete an English version, but it will help you understand what information to put where.

The ‘declaración amistosa’ should be signed by both parties and one copy given to each. However, if you are unsure what has been written or disagree with who is at fault then don’t sign it unless you are clear what it says and agree with it. Take a copy of the form and discuss it with your insurance broker or company.

The document is really important. Once signed you have basically agreed to what is on it. If later you want to add to the document or dispute it then it is very important not to alter your copy. You must add extra information on a separate sheet of paper. Remember the other party has a copy too, so yours must match theirs. If you alter it then you could cause yourself a lot of difficulties.

Call the police

You can call the police and they will make a report of the incident and clearly if someone has been injured you need to contact an ambulance.

If your vehicle is damaged you can contact your insurer’s breakdown service and get your vehicle towed to your destination, your home or a local garage depending on the policy you have.

If the other party is reluctant to complete a form or refuses to provide you with details of their insurance company note the car registration, the make, model and colour of the car. If no one is seriously injured and you are not in too much shock take a series of photos on your mobile phone showing the damage and vehicle positions.

If you or one of your passengers needs to attend hospital as a result of the accident, make sure you/they get a discharge certificate. If the police attend the incident try to ascertain whether it is Guardia Civil, or the Local Police and from which police station or town they are from so you can provide this information to your insurer.

Witnesses

If there are witnesses then get their names and contact numbers, although if the police are involved they will hopefully deal with this.

If as a result of the accident you feel it is justified to seek a claim for injuries suffered as a result of the accident, then either a court appointed doctor or a specialist private doctor can prepare a valuation report.

Please keep all receipts related to treatment as a result of any accident then these could possibly be included along with a claim for loss of earnings. Loss of earnings is calculated on the basis of the number of says you are forced to spend off work, with a calculation made based on your usual earnings.

In Spain it might be that after an accident, where you weren’t at fault, the other parties insurance company offers to carry out your treatment for injuries you suffered.  The insurance company of the other party may send their appointee to assess your injuries and offer a programme of treatment. However, remember who they work for. Get independent advice on the treatment you need and the time you need to recover.

If you have any doubt, then talk to your insurance company or your insurance broker to ensure your best interests are being looked after.

Car Insurance Spain Accient report form in English