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Accidents Abroad & What To Do

View profile for SherReene Cheah
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Tilly Bailey & Irvine Personal InJury Solicitors in Hartlepool explain how you can claim against accidents and illnesses abroad or on holiday.

The summer break is over!

The children are all back at school and most of us are now back at work. 

What did you do during the long summer break? 

Some of us may have been fortunate to have gone abroad for a planned family holiday.  Whilst most holidays are all fun and games, unfortunately some, through no fault of our own result in accidents. If you are injured in an accident whilst holidaying abroad are you able to make a claim for damages in relation to any injuries you suffer?


The general rule is that if you are injured as a result of the fault of a third party whilst holidaying abroad then you may have a claim against the guilty party but this may be difficult to pursue because the court proceedings would need to be commenced in the country where the accident occurred.  However this is not always the case. 


If your holiday was classed as a ‘package holiday’ then it is likely that it will be covered by the Package Travel Regulations which means that you could have a claim against the organiser of the holiday. 

What is a ‘Package Holiday’? 

It is a holiday that is booked with a combination of at least two of the following:-

Transport, accommodation and other tourist services that form a significant proportion of the package (for example car hire). 

The package holiday will have been sold at an inclusive price.  However, if you book your travel and accommodation independently, you may not be able to benefit from the Regulations and could be left with having to make a claim in the country where the accident occurred. 


The next issue to consider is how the accident occurred.  Did you trip over a poorly maintained pathway within the hotel grounds?  Perhaps you fell due to a defective step in the hotel.  It may be that you slipped in the bathroom when the floor was flooded due to a burst pipe or the lack of anti-slip mats.  You may have been unlucky enough to suffer from food poisoning as a result of the food that you ate at your hotel.  It may be that the berth in your cabin was defective causing you to fall and injure yourself. 


If you do suffer an accident then you should ensure that you report it to the hotel management, or the holiday representative immediately.  You should keep a record of the accident circumstances including details of any witnesses, photographs of where the accident occurred, any hospital you attended abroad, accident book entries, sketches or plans etc.  All of these documents can be helpful in supporting any claim that you wish to make. 


If you were involved in a road traffic accident in an EU country then there is an obligation on motor insurers within the EU to appoint a claims representative in each EU country empowered to negotiate settlement.  This means that you may avoid having to sue the guilty party in the country where the accident occurred. 


What damages can be recovered? 


Apart from the obvious damages for the pain and suffering that you have endured you may have lost earnings as a result of the accident or you may have had to pay for medical treatment and additional flights home.  All of these items may well be recoverable and therefore it is necessary for you to retain the relevant documentation as proof. 


At Tilly Bailey & Irvine we have the relevant expertise to deal with matters efficiently and effectively.   We offer a free initial consultation and welcome you getting in touch with us as soon as possible after the accident to enable us to start investigations on your behalf.  If you have travel insurance you should ensure that you report the accident to the insurers as soon as possible in accordance with the terms of your policy.