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									                                      hospitalisation then on leaving the    of the claim in the Court.
                                      hospital ensure that you obtain a      The Claim
                                      discharge certificate, which will      After the review of the Police
                                      set out the injuries that you have     report and legal proceedings
                                      suffered, the amount of days           the victims injuries should be
                                      in hospital and the treatment          valued to assess the amount of
                                      prescribed.                            compensation that will be sought.
                                      The Police                             The valuation can either be
                                      Usually after a road accident the      based on the hospital discharge
Anyone who switches on the            Police will visit the scene, prepare   report or on a report prepared
Spanish news from time to             a report and then send it to the       by a Court appointed doctor.
time will be alarmed to see that      local Court. The report will contain   The value of the claim will be
after each holiday weekend or         details of the drivers insurance       assessed using what are known
fiesta there is always a high         companies, names of the drivers,       as the Baremo tables. These
death toll on the Spanish roads.      witnesses, if any, statement           tables split the valuation of the
Whilst steps are being taken          from the parties involved and an       claim into two. The first part is for
by the Spanish authorities to         objective assessment of how the        loss of earnings, time spent in
clamp down on drunken drivers         accident occurred.                     hospital and recovering for which
and reckless driving which are        Post-accident                          a fixed daily amount is awarded.
welcome, enforcement of the           Once you have been discharged          The second part is for long
traffic laws is not yet having a      or in the event of a death after       lasting injury and physical loss. In
direct impact on reducing the high    the funeral, the relatives or victim   addition if the victim has receipts
number of deaths on Spanish           should seek legal advice as the        for the costs incurred then these
roads as compared to the UK.          claim has to be brought within 1       can also be claimed so long as
If you have been involved or          year of the accident. If you have      they were incurred by the victim
know someone who has been             a valid motor or other insurance       or on behalf of the victim. Flights
involved in a road traffic accident   policy then read the policy            for visits by relatives will usually
then set out below is some            carefully to see if you have legal     not be recoverable.
general advice on how to recover      expenses cover. If you do then         Once the value of the claim has
compensation. However it is           contact the insurance company,         been prepared and agreed with
always advisable to instruct a        notify them of the claim (if they      the victims or relatives then a
lawyer, preferably someone who        have not already been notified)        settlement can be negotiated
speaks your language, as soon         and ask them how much cover            with the other side, usually
as possible after the accident.       you have and whether or not you        their insurance company also
The accident                          are permitted under the terms of       known as the defendant insurer.
Similar to the UK there is an         the policy to use your own lawyer      If negotiations fail then legal
obligation on the drivers to remain   rather than their huge claims          proceedings should continue in
at the site of the accident until     department, which may not offer        parallel with any negotiations.
the police arrive. If the injuries    personalised service.                  If an out of court settlement is
suffered and damage to the car        When instructing a lawyer ask          reached then bear in mind that
is minor then the other driver        him for details of his charges and     legal costs will usually be met by
may ask you to sign a form            an explanation of the action that      each party.
accepting who was responsible         he will take on your behalf.           Sandra Wrightson is a Barrister
for the accident. This is known       The first steps a lawyer will take     at De Cotta McKenna y Santafé,
as a “declaracion amistosa” and       is to contact the Court and obtain     a law firm specialising an
should not be signed unless you       a copy of the Police report which      all aspects of Spanish Law
are absolutely certain of what you    will contain some important            for English speaking clients,
are signing and accepting. If the     information. He will also notify       including personal injury.
other driver wishes to leave the      the Court if proceedings are           Centro Comercial Valdepinos 1 y
scene try and obtain, as far as       ongoing that his Firm is instructed    3ª Urb. Calypso
possible, his insurance details,      and appoint a Procurador. A            29649 Mijas Costa (Málaga)
full name, identity card number       Procurador is a Court Official         Tel.: +34 952 931 781
and details of the vehicle before     employed by the lawyer to              Fax: +34 952 933 547
he does so.                           present documents to the Court         Email sandrawrightson@
If the injuries suffered require      and notify the lawyer of progress

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