OTC Travel Talks: A Vlog on Limitation in Spain, France & the Netherlands
Watch Ian Denham, Ana Romero Porro, Gerben Janson and Thomas Ricard in the first of a new series of travel law discussions; ‘OTC Travel Talks’. This episode on cross border law covers limitation of personal injury claims in Spain, France, and the Netherlands (Part 1).
Outer Temple’s Ian Denham spoke to three foreign personal injury specialists about limitation rules in their respective jurisdictions: Ana Romero Porro of Cremades & Calvo Sotelo (Spain); Gerben Janson of Leidse Letselschade Advocaten (the Netherlands); and Thomas Ricard of JP Karsenty & Associés (France). All of Ian’s guests have experience of giving Part 35 expert evidence in the English Courts.
Ana, Gerben, and Thomas answered these questions about limitation in their jurisdictions:
- What starts the limitation clock running?
- What is the length of the limitation period for personal injury claims?
- How can the limitation period be extended?
Limitation in Spain
Ana told Ian that in Spain, there is usually a very short limitation period of only one year for civil personal injury claims. Some exceptions to this include the two-year limitation period that applies under the Catalonian Civil Code and the five-year limitation period that applies in the context of clinical negligence claims.
The limitation period in personal injury claims runs from ‘the date of stabilisation’ of the Claimant’s injuries – a concept that Ana explains during the talk. According to Ana, extending the limitation period in Spain is relatively easy: once the Defendant is made aware of the Claimant’s intention to bring a claim, the period is ‘interrupted’, and a new one-year limitation period starts running.
Limitation in France
France generally has a ten-year limitation period for personal injury claims – that’s right, ten! Time starts running from the ‘date of consolidation’ of the Claimant’s injuries. Thomas explained that a Claimant’s injuries have ‘consolidated’ from the moment at which it is clear that they will not get any worse. In the talk, Thomas and Ana look at the similarities between the Spanish concept of ‘stabilisation’ and the French approach to ‘consolidation’.
Limitation in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands, a Claimant who has been injured normally has five years from the date he becomes aware of his injury and attributes responsibility for it to the defendant to bring a claim. As Gerben explained, the limitation period is shorter for claims involving a direct action against an insurer, such as those arising from road traffic accidents.
This was the first in a series of talks that Outer Temple’s cross border and travel law team have created on matters of interest in cross border personal injury work. Come back soon for Part 2 of this discussion at the end of the month.
These vlogs are also included in a quarterly e-newsletter, produced by the team.
Watch the vlog here
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Ian Denham is a personal injury practitioner with a particular expertise in matters involving serious and catastrophic injuries, wrongful deaths, clinical negligence and cross-border personal injury claims. His cross-border practice covers advising on jurisdiction, applicable law, direct rights of action against insurers, claims against the MIB, accidents in the air and on sea, and claims involving a cross-border employment aspect. Ian has also advised on the potential implications arising from Brexit.
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