Road Traffic, Transport and Aviation


Holidays - Road traffic accidents involving German holidaymakers in England and Wales

Driving on the left in England often causes problems for German drivers using right-hand drive vehicles on roads in England and Wales. Accidents are most frequent at roundabouts.  In order to ensure that the claims of those involved in a road traffic accident are dealt with as successfully as possible, the name of the driver and contact details for witnesses should be recorded and photos taken of the accident site and of the vehicles involved in the accident. The police in England will only make out a report on the accident if it involves bodily injury. Even if the police issue an accident report, when looking at the file later it is often the case that many essential details have not been recorded.



Fines for stowaways – safety precautions

Shipping companies and their lorry drivers are responsible for taking safety precautions to make it impossible for someone to hide in the lorry. Due to the refugee problems in Europe, so-called “clandestine entrants” try to climb on to lorries unobserved at the borders with England (especially in Calais) in order to avoid the border crossing controls.

If no safety precautions are taken, extremely high fines, also known as “civil penalties”, can be imposed. At present the fine is £2,000.00 per stowaway.



Rights of airline passengers, EU Regulation 261/ 2004


If your flight has been cancelled at short notice or has been delayed for more than 3 hours, or the airline denies boarding because the flight is overbooked you may be able to claim compensation according to EU Regulation 261/2004. Recently it is also possible to claim where excessive delays have been caused due to an airline’s failure to plan its flights to prevent delays of other flights causing “knock on” delays.



Additional rights for lost property and injury, Montreal Convention


The Montreal Convention allows passengers to claim compensation where damage to their property was due to the fault of the airline. In the case of injury the incident must have occurred on the aircraft or in the course of embarking or disembarking.



What constitutes an “accident” under Art. 17 Montreal Convention 1999?
One of the three requirements for a carrier by air to be held liable under Art. 17 of the Montreal Convention for death and injury of passengers, is that the death or injury was caused by an accident. In case-law, the scope of the term “accident” under this provision has been defined as an “unexpected or unusual event or happening that is external to the passenger…”. It is distinguished between the bodily injury as such and the accident causing the bodily injury. An injury resulting from the passenger’s own internal reaction to the usual and normal operation of an aircraft does not constitute an accident under Art. 17 and thus excludes the carrier’s liability under the Convention. Only under special circumstances an exemption to the requirement that an injury has to be external to the passenger leads to the liability of the carrier.