What to do in case of a traffic accident in Croatia

Being involved in a car accident can be a disturbing and confusing experience, especially if you are a tourist in a foreign country like Croatia. The key is to stay calm and follow the essential steps and legal requirements to ensure everyone’s safety and compliance with local laws. Here’s a guide to help you navigate this challenging situation:

Take care of safety: First of all, make sure that no one is injured. If necessary, call 112. It is vitally important not to move injured people unless there is immediate danger, as this could worsen their injuries.

Secure the scene: To prevent further accidents, turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights. If you have a warning triangle, place it at an appropriate distance to warn oncoming traffic. Make sure you’ve pulled off the road safely.

Document the accident: Record the scene of the accident, including all vehicles involved, number plates and any relevant road signs or markings. This will be crucial for insurance claims and legal proceedings.

Information Exchange: Exchange of names, addresses, vehicle registration numbers and insurance information with other involved parties. If there are witnesses, try to get their contact information as well.

Notify the police: In Croatia, it is mandatory to report to the police every traffic accident involving injured persons or major property damage. They will document the scene and compile a report that is required for insurance.

Your vehicle was damaged in the parking lot or in the garage: Can you be charged?
The police have the authority to request surveillance camera footage, i.e. to receive eyewitness testimony about the color, make, type of the vehicle that caused the damage, or ideally about the vehicle’s license plate number
Contact your insurance company: Notify your insurance provider about the accident as soon as possible. Provide them with all information collected and the police report.

The Croatian Insurance Office points out that the deadline for submitting a reasoned offer for compensation, i.e. a reasoned response, is prescribed by the Directive on compulsory motor vehicle insurance. Most of the member states of the European Union have implemented, in their own national legislation, a provision on a three-month period for resolving such compensation claims.

May a vehicle with foreign license plates leave the Republic of Croatia before guilt is established, if there are no damages on the foreign vehicle that are dangerous for further traffic of the vehicle? Several factors influence the procedure in such situations. The most important thing is to determine whether it is a traffic accident in which only material or property damage occurred, or whether it is an accident with injured persons or fatal consequences. It should be established whether the foreign citizen has committed a misdemeanor or a criminal offense, and the fact whether the foreigner is a citizen of a member state of the European Union or the driver comes from outside the EU also plays an important role.

Get legal advice: If the accident is serious or if you are unsure about the legal process, consider consulting with a local attorney who specializes in car accidents.

Follow-up: Track all medical treatments if injuries are involved and stay in touch with your insurance company to make sure all necessary documents are submitted for your claim.

Cultural awareness: Be aware of all the cultural nuances in Croatia that could affect the situation. Respect and patience can go a long way in such circumstances.

Remember, the key is to stay calm, prioritize safety, and follow these steps diligently. This approach will help you manage the situation effectively and ensure that all legal and insurance issues are handled correctly.

Life is simpler with comprehensive insurance.
Even if you caused the traffic accident, the comprehensive insurance will cover the damage to your car, in addition to an already bad situation, at least you won’t have to think about finances.
Therefore, we advise contracting comprehensive insurance and travel insurance.

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