The personal injury team at the BFP law firm specializes in every kind of personal injury case where the injury occurred on the territory of Poland. We have represented, and are still representing, hundreds of clients across Poland, as well as residents of other countries, that seek compensation for their injury resulting from medical negligence, road traffic accidents, aviation accidents, defective products, and others. [Read more.]

Brexit and its influence on Poland: cross-border cases in the field of personal injury

Jolanta Budzowska15 July 2016Komentarze (0)

The subject of Great Britain saying farewell to the European Union and the conditions on which it intends to do so to this day remains on the front pages of newspapers.

It is a matter which the Brits, the Poles and the citizens of the remaining EU Member States care about on an almost equal level. Perhaps it’s the Poles who are the most commited, which is in a large part a result of the quantity of our countrymen living abroad on the British Isles. But does Brexit have anything to do with personal injury cases?

Quite a lot actually.

As I mentioned, the Isles are home to a great number of Poles who often visit their families. Poland is also an attractive country for British tourists. This phenomenon causes a large increase in the number of foreigners briefly staying in Poland: many of the current residents of Great Britain visit our country and spend a few or even dozens of days every year. Their motives for coming here vary. As a consequence, their involvement in traffic or hotel accidents on the Polish soil gets reported as if it normally would.

And that raises an important question: what if a resident of Great Britain becomes a victim in an accident on the territory of Poland?

Before we get to that question, let me ask another one. We’re currently witnessing an up-and-coming trend for health tourism. The quality of the Polish medical services is relatively high, while the prices are significantly lower than the ones in the UK, especially in regard to esthetic medicine and dental care. What is more, the Poles who have a permanent resident status on the Isles also often tend to undergo treatment in their home country during their visits or during holidays in Poland.

What if a medical error is made during their treatment?

The foregoing and current system (until Brexit becomes a formal and actual fact), is based on the provisions of the European law. Once they’re out of the picture, there won’t be any grounds for the Brits and the Poles, who have a permanent resident status on the Isles, to sue the Polish insurer of the vehicle involved in a road traffic accident, or of a doctor/hospital, or even the tortfeasors themselves, in Britain – just as they used to do so far (on the grounds of the Brussels I. Regulation). The law of the country where the damage occurred will remain the applicable substantive law, just as it currently does on the grounds of the Rome II. Regulation, but…

…the actions will have to be brought before the Polish courts…

Pursuing compensatory claims in Poland differs greatly – disadvantageously for the victims – from the possibilities that the common law system provides.

All that is left is to remain hopeful that the negotiated conditions of Brexit will allow the UK and Poland to keep the current relations between them, at least when it comes to those regulations which have passed the test of time as a part of the European Union’s legal system.

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