Accidents Abroad Claims
Having an accident whilst in another country for work, or on holiday, can be a frightening and worrying situation. Being far away from home, especially if you don’t speak the language, can be distressing, particularly if you don’t have friends and family nearby.
Holiday injury claims can also lead to financial hardship if you face substantial medical bills in a hospital overseas, have to extend your hotel stay or incur other miscellaneous expenses associated with the accident.
At Hodge Jones & Allen, we’ve got years of experience working with clients who have suffered an accident abroad, and are here to help.
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Our Personal Injury team has been ranked in the Chambers & Partners 2023 legal directory. The team was described as “highly consistent and attentive” and were praised for providing “well-thought-through advice” our clients “could trust”.
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Accidents abroad claims
Our experienced personal injury claims lawyers have helped thousands of people claim accident abroad compensation and are experts in various types of accident abroad claims including:
- Road traffic accidents in your own car or a hire car
- Food poisoning and gastric illness
- Slips, trips and falls
- Accidents at sea/on a cruise ship
- Accidents when working abroad
- Accidents on an aeroplane or while embarking/disembarking an aircraft.
- Skiing and snowboarding injuries
- Faulty hotel equipment
"THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME AND PROFESSIONALISM IN FOLLOWING MY CASE, I HAVE FELT INCREDIBLY LOOKED AFTER AND I AM VERY GRATEFUL FOR THE CONSTANT EFFORT THAT YOU HAVE SHOWN THROUGHOUT."
What should I do if I am injured abroad?
If you have an accident abroad, or suffer illness whilst on holiday, it is important you can prove another party or person was responsible. You should consider the following:
- Take photographs of the accident location and report your holiday accident or injuries to the hotel staff or your travel representative as soon as you can
- Record your accident in an accident book or equivalent and record who you reported it to, when and where. Taking a photograph of the accident record is recommended
- Seek medical treatment immediately and take photographs or ask for copies of any documents that detail your injuries and where you sought treatment
- Keep all of your receipts for any expenses incurred such as travel costs, hospital receipts and booking references
- Make sure you seek professional legal advice as soon as possible
How much compensation can I claim?
In the first instance, where an accident occurs abroad, it will need to be established whether your claim for compensation can be brought in the jurisdiction of the Court of England and Wales.
Our specialist personal injury solicitors here at Hodge Jones & Allen will be able to advise you on whether your holiday can legally be defined as a package – and what the best way forward will be to claim the maximum amount of accident abroad compensation.
It’s likely that the law of the country where the accident took place will apply to some aspects of your case. This can mean you only have a year – or sometimes even less – to bring the claim to the courts, so it is really important to speak to a solicitor as soon as you can once you are back home.
Which law applies to the case also requires careful consideration as there are a number of exceptions to the general rule.
In some cases, advice may be needed from a foreign lawyer, and our specialists have excellent relationships with expert lawyers from all over the world who will be able to help with your claim.
For an estimate of how much you could claim for your injury, please see our personal injury compensation calculator.
What can compensation pay for?
Compensation is money awarded to you either during or at the end of a claim to compensate you for everything you have lost as a result of an accident. It should also cover any losses you will incur in the future.
People who bring personal injury claims may have severe and significant injuries which will affect their ability to earn and take care of themselves. An injured person can, therefore, be left in a difficult financial situation.
When claiming compensation, you have to provide sufficient evidence in order to support your losses. Without any documentary evidence, the losses you have incurred are unlikely to be considered by the third party insurers. It’s extremely important to keep records and receipts of any expense incurred as your solicitor will request this evidence.
Compensation can help pay for:
Loss of earnings
This includes not only any lost earnings you have already incurred but if you’re unable to return to work as a result of your injuries, future loss of earnings can also be claimed In the case of serious injuries people can spend long periods out of work. They may even have to change careers, or might never be able to get back to work. Loss of earnings claims can also cover future losses, even to pension age if they are permanently unfit for work.
Treatment & rehabilitation
This will cover any treatment and rehabilitation costs you have already incurred and also any you may need in the future, whether on a temporary basis or for the rest of your life.
When someone is injured they often end up being looked after, even if only briefly, by a family member. This might be personal care such as help with washing and dressing, help with domestic tasks such as cooking, laundry or gardening, or shopping. In more serious cases, professional help is not only required, it becomes vital. Where someone has serious disabilities they will often require proper, trained nursing care.
Aids, equipment and adaptations
This covers aids and equipment which maybe necessary both now and in the future. It also covers any necessary adaptations you may require to your house, for example, having doors widened for wheelchair use, etc. and in some cases where adaptations are not possible in a property, it can also cover the cost of a new home.
Loss of property
This covers any loss of property which has incurred as a result of an accident, for example, damaged clothing caused in a road traffic accident.
This covers any additional travelling expenses which have been incurred as a direct result of the incident. For example, if you have had to get taxis to various medical appointments.
What can I claim for?
The compensation you might receive for an injury or illness abroad is dependent on factors including the nature of your accident, the extent of your injuries, how long it will take to make a full recovery, loss of earnings, and the cost of any medical treatment. The right level of compensation will take into account your pain and suffering, including emotional distress as well as any tangible expenses you have incurred.
Depending on the nature of your claim, you may also be able to recover:
- The cost of flights and other transport
- The cost of hotels
- The days of your holiday ruined by illness
- The loss of enjoyment of the holiday
- Any loss of earnings on your return if you are unable to work
Can I make an accident abroad claim on behalf of someone else?
There are certain instances where you may make a claim on behalf of someone else if the injured party is for instance, your child, a member of your family who is either incapacitated or lacking mental capacity or if a family member has sadly passed away as a result of an accident.
"I JUST WANTED TO THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR EFFORTS AND PROFESSIONALISM IN DEALING WITH MY CASE."
One of the biggest challenges faced in accident abroad cases is the language barrier. This is especially true where accident reports, insurance details and medical records are written in the language of the country where the accident occurred.
At Hodge Jones & Allen, we provide translation and interpreting services to remove this language barrier. We also work with specialist international lawyers who are familiar with the laws of that particular country to make sure we get you the right amount of compensation for your injury.
Is there a time limit for you to make a claim for an accident that occurred abroad?
Although it is often possible to bring a claim in the Court of England & Wales if you have had an accident abroad, the time limit for bringing a claim may be governed by the law of the place where the accident happened.
Remember, every country has different limitation dates. It is therefore important that you instruct a firm of solicitors who understand this as early as possible to allow us to plan accordingly so the deadline is not missed.
"I WAS PARTICULARLY IMPRESSED WITH THE PERSONAL SERVICE YOU PROVIDED, AND OF COURSE, YOU WINNING MY CLAIM!"
Why choose Hodge Jones & Allen?
Our personal injury solicitors will always fight to get the very best results for you. Get in touch for a confidential, no obligation chat to find out the best options for you.
With Hodge Jones & Allen, you’ll have access to an award-winning team of specialist personal injury solicitors.
Latest award – Winner of The Legal 500 London Firm of the Year 2019 in the category: Insurance for Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence.
We’re independently ranked leaders in the field of personal injury, with a proven track record of high-value settlements.
With over 40 years of experience, fighting on behalf of our clients to get them the compensation they deserved, you know you can rely on experienced, expert lawyers to help fight your case when you choose Hodge Jones & Allen.
Our client was staying at a hotel during her visit to London. Three days into the trip, the client stepped into the bathtub, when the water was not turned on, and as she stepped in, she slipped and fell down. The client advised that there were not any handles on the wall or the tub to help her get in. Since the accident, she has not had time off from work, and the injury has affected her workload. She also has to get friends to take her shopping and do her chores for her, as she cannot drive and carry out everyday tasks.
What happens if I don’t win my personal injury claim?
In order to bring a successful personal injury claim, you have to prove the Defendant ( person or company that caused the accident) were negligent and the negligence caused injury.
If the Defendant is able to show they have not been negligent and/or have done everything they reasonably could have done to prevent the accident from occurring then it is unlikely you will win your personal injury claim.
If you can prove the Defendant has been negligent, but cannot prove the accident caused you injury then again it is likely you will not win your personal injury claim.
Throughout your case, your solicitor will be keeping the above under constant review. If there are less than 51% prospects of proving either negligence and/or causation then it is likely they will advise you to abandon the claim. You can usually seek an opinion from another firm of solicitors who sometimes take a different view. If you abandon your claim, you will not be able to pursue a claim for compensation against the Defendant.
In some instances, your case will go to a trial so a Judge can decide if the Defendant has been negligent. If you lose at trial, you may be able to file an appeal. Otherwise, you will not receive any damages.
Is there anything to pay if I don’t win?
For most personal injury cases a client will sign a ‘No Win, No Fee’ contract which is also known as a CFA (Conditional Fee Agreement).
If you don’t win the case, you won’t owe your solicitor anything.
If you lose your case, you won’t get any compensation for your injury. You’re also not liable of any of your solicitor’s legal costs, which were spent to reach this conclusion.
Unfortunately, if you lose the opposing party will be entitled to try to recover their expenditure from you. To protect you from suffering financial harm, your solicitor may recommend that you take out ‘After The Event’ insurance (an ATE policy).
ATE insurance will cover you against any costs claimed by the defendant and any unrecovered disbursements and is purchased from your solicitor at the start of legal proceedings.
You only need to pay the premium of an ATE policy if your claim is successful. It will be paid using your settlement.
If your accident abroad claim is unsuccessful, you won’t need to pay anything for your ATE cover. So, you’re still protected from every angle when you make a claim with a CFA – there’s just a bit of extra admin that your solicitor will talk you through.
All this means you won’t end up in a worse financial position than before you started your personal injury claim if you lose. The most significant result of an unsuccessful claim is that you won’t receive any compensation for your accident.
We understand how frustrating that is, especially when you could have used those finances to help your recovery. This is why our solicitors always do their utmost to give you the best chance of success.
What happens if you get injured in another country?
If you’re involved in an accident in another country and you’re injured, you may be able to seek compensation.
If you booked a package holiday you will be protected by The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018. This potentially allows you to bring a claim against your package holiday provider in the English and Welsh courts so you can instruct a solicitor in the UK to deal with your claim.
If you travel independently, booking flights, accommodation and activities separately, you will have to use the legal system of the country where the injury happened. This may mean having to use a local lawyer and conduct proceedings in the local language. This will not only increase costs but may mean you are entitled to a lower level of compensation than in English and Welsh law.
What to do if you have a car accident abroad?
You must take the details of the vehicles involved including the vehicle registration number, where it happened and name and address of the person driving. If possible, try and take photographs of the accident scene and report it to the local police.
If you’re injured, seek medical attention, record the name and address of the medical centre you attended and take photographs of any medical records. Report the accident to the hotel you are staying at, or holiday representative so they can record it.
Accidents abroad with no travel insurance – what happens?
If you don’t have travel insurance, is likely you’ll have to pay for any medical expenses whilst you are away and you may lose money if you have to cancel a trip and cannot get your money back. If the accident wasn’t your fault, you may be able to seek compensation.
Accident on holiday claims – what’s the process?
We take all of the details from you about what happened and we would then write to the person/company who caused your accident, explaining what happened and why we think they’re at fault. We would write to the tour operator if you were on a package holiday. They have 6 months to investigate the claim and decide if they’re going to admit or deny liability.
Accident on holiday compensation – what to expect?
The amount of compensation you can get depends on the nature of your case and your injuries. Several factors are used to determine how much compensation you could expect to receive, including:
- The severity of your injury
- The pain and suffering you have endured
- The impact your injury has had on your well-being, day-to-day lifestyle, working conditions and any long lasting symptoms you it may cause you
- The evidence you’re able to provide about how the accident was caused, the extent of your injuries and the treatment you received
Take a look at our personal injury compensation calculator to see how much your claim could be worth.