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Knocked Down in Greece: EU Law, Brexit, and Broken Legs - Ross Beaton, Lamb Chambers

25/10/16. Hardly a day goes by without another story about how hard it will be for Britain to extricate itself from the EU. What will happen to banking regulations? What about immigration? Beyond the marquee issues, though, the questions go much further. Whoever thought that compensation schemes for accidents involving uninsured drivers would be affected? That they will be is clear from Moreno v MIB [2016] UKSC 52. As the Court commented, while a British person injured by an uninsured driver in Greece, as in this case, now has a straightforward mechanism to claim, it was not ever thus – and “with British exit from the Union, this will, no doubt, be one of the many current arrangements requiring thought” – Lord Mance at [3].

Ms Moreno, a UK resident, was on holiday in Greece when she was run down by a Greek driver, who had no insurance and apparently no driving licence at all. The accident was serious, and Ms Moreno lost her leg. She returned to the UK, and sought to bring a substantial claim, including loss of earnings. Under EU law, given direct effect in the UK, she could do this fairly simply.

The mechanics were as follows. If someone is injured in an RTA elsewhere in the EU, EU regulations (the Sixth Directive 2009/103/EC, to be precise), provides that they can sue the uninsured drivers’ bureau in their own member state, which can recover from the equivalent bureau in the state where the accident took place, which bureau then has a subrogated claim against the uninsured driver. This process used to be significantly more cumbersome than it is today, and the ability of victims to recover damages has been...

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