A recent survey made in different countries from a consortium of insurance companies came to the conclusion that on average 60 per cent of European car drivers do not know how to use the standard ‘European accident statement form’ (in Spanish ‘parte de declaración amistosa de accidentes’).
In Spain the relationship between the insured and the motor insurance companies is regulated by Royal Decree 8/2004 (law on civil responsibility and insurance in the usage of motor vehicles). Article 8 states that in order to speed up the compensation of the material damages by the insurers, the companies will have to provide the insured with European accident statement forms and the drivers will have to use them in case of accident. Failure to fill in the form will greatly increase the length of the administrative procedures that from a few weeks can then last up to several months.
If the accident involves physical injury, it is always recommended to call the emergency number 112 or alternatively the Policia National (telephone number 091) if the accident was in a urban area, or the Guardia Civil (telephone number 062) if the accident happened on a national road. The police or the Guardia Civil report will have priority over any other form.
If you don’t speak Spanish your insurance company can provide you with forms in English. Except for the language, the Spanish and English forms are strictly identical.
Once the form is filled in, each party should keep a copy and send it to their insurance company.
The important data
In the ‘European accident statement form’ it is fundamental to fill in the details of the drivers and the insurance policy numbers.
If there are witnesses, get their details, as they will be called to testify in case of a dispute. It’s particularly important to take extra care in ticking the right boxes in point number 12 and to make a clear drawing of the accident in point number 13 as the insurance companies will determine the party responsibility based on this information. Number 14, the space reserved for extra information, can be completed in English as well and will be used to complement information from points 12 and 13.
Unless there is disagreement between the two parties related to the information on the accident statement form, the document will have to be signed by the two parties. If no agreement can be reached, it is a good idea to call the Guardia Civil or the police, which will help to determine how the accident happened.
Take pictures of the cars at the accident scene and a close-up of the damage. Make sure the registration plates are shown in the photos.