Limitation periods for road traffic accidents

07-07-2016

Widely differing limitation periods for tort claims across the European Union (EU) Member States can lead to victims of cross-border road traffic accidents losing their right to compensation. This European Added Value Assessment (EAVA) sketches out the weaknesses of the relevant existing legal frameworks which create obstacles for victims of cross-border road traffic accidents in accessing legal justice. Furthermore, the EAVA identifies the costs that arise on account of differing rules on limitation periods, not only in terms of length of time but also with regard to the beginning of a limitation period, the procedural requirements for stopping the running of a limitation period, and application to minors and disabled people. The EAVA demonstrates that differing rules in the application of limitation periods can generate costs such as additional lawyer's fees and fees for expert evidence on foreign rules. Finally, the EAVA outlines two rules for harmonising limitation periods within the EU in the form of minimum standards that could generate European added value by simplifying the existing legal framework and offering greater legal certainty for victims of cross-border road traffic accidents.

Widely differing limitation periods for tort claims across the European Union (EU) Member States can lead to victims of cross-border road traffic accidents losing their right to compensation. This European Added Value Assessment (EAVA) sketches out the weaknesses of the relevant existing legal frameworks which create obstacles for victims of cross-border road traffic accidents in accessing legal justice. Furthermore, the EAVA identifies the costs that arise on account of differing rules on limitation periods, not only in terms of length of time but also with regard to the beginning of a limitation period, the procedural requirements for stopping the running of a limitation period, and application to minors and disabled people. The EAVA demonstrates that differing rules in the application of limitation periods can generate costs such as additional lawyer's fees and fees for expert evidence on foreign rules. Finally, the EAVA outlines two rules for harmonising limitation periods within the EU in the form of minimum standards that could generate European added value by simplifying the existing legal framework and offering greater legal certainty for victims of cross-border road traffic accidents.