Legal Abroad

Recourse of Foreign third-party payers in France

In France, when a person suffers bodily injury for which the cause is attributable to someone else, he or she has the possibility of seeking his liability in order to obtain compensation.

Compensation for damage may be ordered sometimes by a civil court, sometimes by a criminal court, depending on the nature of the generating event.


Mandatory questioning of the third-party payer in the event of compensation for bodily injury in France

Pending judgment, the Social Security Organization will cover the victim’s health costs, which must also be borne by the person responsible for the damage.

The questioning of the Social Security organization by the victim is essential under penalty of the inadmissibility of the claim for compensation or, where applicable, the nullity of the judgment which can be raised for a period of 2 years by the Social Security Organization.

Also, when it is a question of obtaining compensation for the victim amicably with the insurer of the person responsible, it is imperative to know the amount of the debt of the third-party payer and whether he has a right of subrogation or of direct action.


The recourse of foreign third-party payers in France

The exercise of recourse by foreign third-party payers in France consists of a foreign social security organization requesting reimbursement of health costs incurred on behalf of one of its policyholders from the person responsible for the damage.

The recourse of foreign third-party payers can be done either by the right of subrogation, or by direct action against the person responsible.

As part of the right to subrogation, third-party payers (social security, mutuals, etc.) who have covered the victim’s medical expenses and loss of income may exercise subrogation recourse against the person responsible for the damage, in order to recover the sums they paid to the victim.

On the other hand, within the framework of the direct action against the person responsible, the foreign social security organization can take legal action directly against the person responsible for the damage having caused the health costs, without going through the insured.

The choice between the right of subrogation and the direct action against the person responsible depends on several factors, such as the amount of the health costs incurred, the complexity of the case and the legal provisions in force in the country of origin of the person responsible. assured. In all cases, foreign social security organizations can exercise their rights of appeal in France within the limits provided for by international conventions on social security.

It follows in particular from the provisions of Article 93 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 of 14 June 1971 that the subrogation and extent of the right of appeal of a social security institution against the author of the damage occurring on the territory of another Member State are determined by the law of the Member State to which this institution is subject.

The recourse of third-party payers in France is exercised on the sums allocated for each item of damage, according to the provisions of the law of December 21, 2006.

Third-party payers may exercise their subrogation recourse on the benefits they have actually paid, such as medical expenses, daily allowances or invalidity pensions, up to the sums allocated for each loss item.

Personal damages are in principle immune from appeal, but may, exceptionally, serve as a basis for appeal if the third-party payer proves that he has actually paid benefits in relation to these damages and if the compensation awarded for such harm does not fully compensate for the harm suffered by the victim.



In any case, it is essential to be aware of the importance of the questioning of third-party payers in the context of compensation for bodily injury in France, it is imperative to know the amount of their claim, the basis of their right to reimbursement and the basis of their appeal to preserve the rights of victims.


Do not hesitate to contact Legal Abroad to tell us about your case.


Kathleen Doyeux


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