Lifestyle Travel

When you have an accident abroad- What are you rights?

accident abroad

It’s here, the time of the year we’ve all been waiting for, yes, I am talking about the summer holiday! It’s that time when we can unplug from our everyday life and enjoy ourselves in a well deserved holiday. Of course, when we think about our holiday we think of nice things, fun things, but let me ask you a question. Have you ever wondered what happens if you get into an accident during your holiday?

Having an accident abroad can be very stressful as not only are you going through the ordeal of being unwell/injured but you’re having to do so in another country in an unfamiliar setting without all of your home comforts and sometimes in another language.

If you or a family member were injured while on holiday you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Leading UK law firm Hodge Jones & Allen have put together an overview of what you need to know if you have been injured while on or during your upcoming Summer holidays.

Types of holiday accidents

Now you’re probably wondering what kind of accidents can happen during a holiday. Well, each accident will have its own unique circumstances however examples of the types of accidents that you may be able to claim compensation for are as follows:

– An accident which occurs whilst on an excursion organised by the hotel or holiday provider
Road accidents
– An accident in the hotel or on the resort premises. This could include a trip, slip or fall on a wet floor in the hotel lobby or by the pool
– An illness suffered whilst staying in a holiday resort including food poisoning from the food or drink provided by the hotel or sickness from a contaminated swimming pool
– Faulty equipment provided by the hotel which results in injury

What should you do if you have an accident abroad?

1. Seek medical attention immediately. If you do not seek medical attention then it may affect your claim. Request a copy of your medical report and ensure you keep safe a copy of any medical expenses.

2. Report the accident as soon as possible to the hotel staff and/or travel representative. Make sure that you request that the accident is reported in an accident report book and ask them for a copy of the entry.

3. Keep a record of any evidence which may assist your case. Take photographs where appropriate and obtain the contact details of any witnesses of your accident who would be prepared to make a statement.

4. When you return home to ensure you follow up any medical advice and seek professional legal advice as soon as possible.

You may be able to claim compensation for:
– The injury/illness you suffered as a result of the negligence
– Any out of pocket expenses such as medical treatment, medication, transport costs etc.
– Loss of earnings if you have to take time off work due to your injury
– Loss of enjoyment of your holiday

If you are abroad who would you claim against?

Every country has its own laws regarding injuries and accidents and the basis on which you can bring a claim will often depend on how your holiday was booked.

If your injury was caused as a result of the negligence of the hotel you were staying in you could pursue a claim directly against them. However, if you were travelling as part of package holiday then is often best to pursue a claim in the UK against the holiday package provider as they can be held responsible for the negligence of the hotel. This is because package holidays are protected by regulations such as the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 which assists people who have travelled on a package holiday in claiming compensation for their injury in the UK.

To qualify as a package holiday you will have paid an all-inclusive overall price which includes a combination of least two elements of the holiday such as travel, accommodation or an excursion.

However, if you organised your holiday yourself and booked flights, accommodation and services separately then you may still be able to bring a claim outside of the UK. We would, however, advise that you contact a legal professional as soon as possible to explore this further as there are strict time limits which apply in some countries.

How long do you have to make a claim for compensation?

The time limit for bringing a personal injury claim is generally three years from the date of the accident, however, this can be shorter for some accidents abroad particularly if you are pursuing a claim outside of UK jurisdiction. We would therefore suggest that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.

If you have been injured while on holiday overseas this year the thought of pursuing a personal injury claim can be a daunting prospect but don’t despair. One of the UK’s finest personal injury solicitors in London Hodge Jones & Allen also do work nationwide, so if you’re outside of London you can still take advantage of their services to first identify your grounds to claim and then to manage the claiming process, ensuring little further discomfort to you during the procedure.


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