Being injured while you’re on holiday, working abroad or visiting family in another country can really ruin your trip. It can also be quite an expensive business if your injuries require medical treatment or delay your return home. As such, you may want to seek compensation if your injuries were not your fault. While legal procedures in different countries might differ, our guide on accident abroad claims will explain what options are available to you following an accident in a foreign country.
Our team can help with accident abroad compensation claims by checking if you’re eligible to take action during a free initial consultation. You’ll get free advice and we’ll answer any questions you might have on a no-obligation basis. If your claim is strong enough, it might be accepted by one of our No Win, No Fee personal injury lawyers. If that is the case, you won’t need to cover any legal fees unless compensation is awarded.
To see if you can claim compensation for an accident abroad, please call 0800 652 1345 today or read on to discover more about your options.
Can I claim compensation for an accident abroad?
Many people think that pursuing an accident abroad claim will be different to doing the same in the UK. In fact, some international compensation claims can be made using UK laws. The general principles that apply in many holiday abroad claims are that:
- You must have been owed a legal duty of care by the defendant; and
- An accident or incident must have occurred because of the defendant’s negligence; and
- You must have been made ill or suffered an injury as a result.
In some cases, you don’t even need to prove negligence occurred to claim for your injuries. We’ll explain more about this as we proceed.
Common types of accident abroad claims
Let’s take a look at some of the common accidents abroad that could allow you to claim compensation:
Accidents on aeroplanes
While flying abroad is usually a safe mode of transport, accidents can happen. The Montreal Convention places strict liability on airlines for accidents on aeroplanes (and during boarding or disembarkation). That means, so long as you didn’t cause the accident yourself, you could be compensated for:
Cruise ship accidents
Cruise ship holidays can offer the ultimate holiday of a lifetime experience and are generally safe. However, there are times when the holiday can be ruined on a cruise ship which might mean you want to claim compensation. For example, you might wish to claim for:
- Slipping on an excessively wet deck or tripping on furniture littered across it.
- E.coli, norovirus and other conditions caused by food poisoning.
- Injuries caused by the ship colliding with the dock.
- Injuries caused by damaged furniture in your cabin or on the deck.
These are just some examples of the types of cruise ship incidents that could lead to an accident abroad claim. Importantly, according to the Athens Convention, you will only need to prove that you were injured or made ill – not that the cruise operator was negligent.
Package holiday accident claims
If you’re injured whilst on a package holiday, the claims process is simpler because you could claim in accordance with UK laws against the package provider. Simply put, a package holiday is where you’ve booked two or more key parts of your holiday from the same provider i.e. any two of the following: flights, hotel, vehicle rental or excursions. Even if your holiday abroad was not advertised as a package, it could still be counted as one if you purchased the different elements of your holiday and paid for them together.
Examples of package holiday accident abroad claims may include:
- Falling from a hotel balcony because of loose railings.
- Being injured on a poorly managed excursion or sporting activity.
- Sustaining injuries while being transferred from the airport to your hotel.
- Injuring yourself because of tile damage in the hotel’s swimming pool.
- Slips and falls due to wet flooring.
Importantly, whatever type of accident you have, you should report it to your tour operator so they can try to help you. When you return to the UK, you could seek legal advice to sue the operator for injuries caused by negligence on any part of your holiday that they organised or arranged.
Accidents on self-booked trips abroad
If you booked your trip abroad independently i.e. booked a hotel or flight directly with the owner or operator, package holiday laws won’t apply. However, you may still be entitled to claim compensation.
In these cases, the local laws will apply. This can affect the amount of compensation you are entitled to claim or the time limit that applies. To see if we can help you to begin a claim for an accident abroad, please get in touch.
Foreign road traffic accidents
If you’re injured in an RTA abroad, you should swap details with the other driver and collect as much information about the other vehicle as possible. This could help if you’re entitled to claim compensation from their vehicle insurance policy.
Some countries require you to complete a form about what happened. If that’s the case, you should not make any statements that could be seen as an admission of guilt and you should not let the other driver complete the form for you.
Common types of injuries abroad
In theory, our solicitors could help you to claim for any injury sustained in an accident abroad. Some of the most common examples of injuries they’ve helped with include:
- Broken and fractured bones.
- Scalds, burns and electrocutions.
- Head injuries including concussions.
- Food poisoning and allergic reactions.
- Muscle, tendon and ligament injuries.
- Severe bruising and lacerations.
As we’ll explain in the next section, medical treatment should be sought for any injuries to a) help you recover as soon as possible and b) to prove the extent of your injuries if you decide to seek compensation when you return to the UK.
Providing proof for accident abroad compensation claims
If you are injured in an accident abroad, there are some steps you could take to deal with the matter. They include:
- Report the accident. It is important to let your holiday rep, the company involved or your travel insurer know about the accident. If you decide to claim later on, these reports will help to prove where and when you were injured. In some cases, you may also need to report the accident to the police.
- Take photographs. So that it’s easier to demonstrate the cause of your accident when you get home, you should try to take photographs of the accident scene swiftly. Ideally, do this before anything is moved.
- Go to a hospital. You should seek treatment for any injuries at a hospital. If needed, your medical records could be used to prove the extent of your suffering. You should confirm which hospital to use by speaking to your travel insurance provider.
- Speak to witnesses. Wherever the accident happened, you should try to get the contact details of anybody else who was present. Later on, if there’s any doubt over liability, your solicitor could contact them for a statement.
- Secure CCTV footage. If your accident happened in view of a security camera, you could ask the owner for a copy of any relevant footage.
- Keep any receipts. As it may be possible to claim back any costs linked to your injuries, you should retain any important receipts.
Each of the steps above could either help you to get back on your feet following an accident abroad. They will also mean you have proof to support you if you decide to claim compensation at a later date. If you don’t have all the proof you need to make a claim, don’t worry. We can still review your claim for free and see if there’s a chance you’ll be compensated.
How much compensation for an accident abroad?
As you can only make a single successful claim for the same accident, it’s important that you consider how your injuries have affected you already and any problems they could cause in the future. As such, when making an accident abroad claim, you should think about:
- Any physical pain, suffering and discomfort.
- Psychiatric harm caused by distress, anxiety, depression or similar conditions such as PTSD.
- Loss of enjoyment of your holiday.
- Travel expenses linked to your injuries including repatriation costs.
- Medical costs including hospital fees abroad.
- The cost of a carer if you needed support whilst injured.
- Loss of income plus any future reduction in earnings.
- Personal property replacement costs.
- Rehabilitation costs and home modifications to make dealing with any ongoing injuries easier.
If you make a claim with one of our specialist solicitors, they’ll go through your case in detail with you to try and make sure all of your suffering is covered by any settlement.
No Win, No Fee claims
You needn’t be too concerned about the financial risks associated with taking on legal representation as our personal injury solicitors handle all accepted accident abroad claims on a No Win, No Fee basis.
As such you:
- Won’t have to pay legal fees upfront.
- Won’t pay your solicitor if they fail to win your claim.
- Will have a success fee deducted from any compensation you receive to cover your solicitor’s work.
The amount you’ll pay will be displayed clearly in your No Win, No Fee agreement before you sign it.
As soon as you’ve signed your contract, your solicitor can get to work. During your claim, their main goals will be to:
- Determine who your claim is against.
- Collect supporting proof.
- File the accident abroad claim with the defendant.
- Take responsibility for all communications.
- Ensure you are kept up to date with how things are going.
- Try to secure the highest possible settlement amount on your behalf.
To check if you could claim for an accident abroad on a No Win, No Fee basis, please call today.
Accident abroad claims time limits
There are different statutes of limitations that apply to accident abroad claims which means the time limits for taking action may vary. We’ve summarised some of the time limits that might apply to your claim below:
- Holiday accident claims against a package holiday provider – 3 years.
- Cruise ship accident claims – 2 years.
- Accidents while on a plane (and boarding or disembarking) – 2 years from the date of arrival.
- Claims against private companies – varies depending on the rules of the country you were injured in.
Our experience shows us that it’s usually easier to begin the accident abroad claims process sooner rather than later. That will allow your solicitor plenty of time to check how long you have to claim and to collect the proof to support your case.
The time your claim takes to be settled will vary depending on a number of factors. As such, while some claims can be settled within around 6 months or so, you should be prepared for the process to take longer in more complex cases.
Start an accident abroad compensation claim today
If you’ve been injured in an accident abroad that was not your fault, why not speak to us by calling 0800 652 1345? We’ll check your eligibility to claim and provide free legal advice as part of your initial consultation. There’s no pressure to proceed but if your claim is suitable, it may be passed to one of our personal injury solicitors.
If your claim is taken on, your financial risks will be lowered because your solicitor will manage everything on a No Win, No Fee basis. That means you won’t pay any solicitor’s fees unless compensation is paid out.
If you need to know anything more about accident abroad claims, please call or connect to our free live chat service.