Being involved in an accident abroad can be very traumatic. Not only is there the usual potential for injury and stress connected with accidents, there is also the added disorientation of being in a foreign country, where there may be significant language and cultural barriers to overcome.
It is advisable, therefore, to be well prepared for the possibility of being in an accident when on holiday, and to understand your rights when it comes to making an accident claim in another country. Here are the top 5 tips for making an accident claim in a foreign country.
1. The laws may be different
Remember that accident claims abroad will be governed by the laws of the country you are in, and that there may not be the same provisions as you would expect in the UK. For example, the solicitor's fees may not be recoverable as they are with the no win no fee system here. However, there are a number of bodies in the UK which could help you.
2. There are UK organisations to support you
Despite the fact you will be subject to different laws abroad, there are regulatory bodies designed to help holiday accident victims make accident claims in the UK. For example, the 1992 Package Travel, Package Holiday and Package Tour Regulation helps people who were injured abroad make UK based accident claims.
3. There are special organisations for car accident claims
If you are injured in a car accident, there are also regulatory bodies which may help you. The 4th EU Motor Directive 2003, which helps drivers involved in car accidents on holiday make accident claims - the directive ensures that cars from all over Europe can be identified on the same database. And, if there is trouble identifying the foreign insurance company, the Motor Insurers Bureau provides a means to make an accident claim.
4. Certain people will have a duty of care towards you
While you are on holiday, there are a number of people who may be responsible for your personal health and safety at any one time. These people will range from hotel staff to holiday tour operators and potentially representatives from any other company you come into contact with on your holiday. If they fail in their duty of care towards you and you are injured as a result, you may be entitled to make an accident claim.
5. There are many potential risks
While you're on holiday, it's sometimes tempting to let go of inhibitions and do things which you wouldn't normally do but which could pose a risk to your health and safety, and there are therefore a large number of ways in which you might find yourself involved in an accident. Accident claims can arise from injuries on boats, planes, cars or at the seaside, for example. Some of the most common types of accident abroad are slips and trips on wet or uneven flooring, injuries on foreign transport or on a day trip, food poisoning, rental car accidents, watersports accidents and skiing accidents.