Holidays should be a time of fun and relaxation but they can turn sour if you suffer an injury whist you’re away.
If you’re involved in an accident whilst abroad and this is the result of someone’s negligence, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. Try to make a record of the circumstances which led to your injury by reporting it to the staff or your travel representative at the time. Keep a record of any visits to, or from, a doctor and any expenses incurred for medicines or hospital visits. Take names and addresses of witnesses and if possible, take photographs of the area where the accident happened. Make a note in the travel agent’s accident book and again keep receipts as evidence of prescription costs and travelling expenses.
UK Accidents versus Accidents Abroad
If you are injured as a result of an accident whilst on holiday in the UK, your claim could be dealt with in the same way as other personal injury claims. With foreign holidays, you are only able to bring a claim against the holiday company if the holiday was booked as part of a package through a UK travel agent. Your experience would also need to be the fault of the travel agent or their representatives, which will typically not include activities outside of their endorsed program. Strict time limits apply for making a personal injury claim, with the standard period being within three years. However, shorter limitation periods may apply if your accident occurred whilst you were travelling on an aeroplane, boat, cruise ship or an international train, or if you have an accident abroad and your holiday does not form part of a package holiday.
European Health Insurance Card
To make sure you are covered for treatment while you are away, you should apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before you travel – this is the new version of the E111 and is free online or at the Post Office. The EHIC lets you get state healthcare in all European Economic Area countries including Switzerland at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free. It is not an alternative to travel insurance and won’t cover any private medical healthcare or costs such as being flown back to the UK. Therefore, we recommend you having both an EHIC and private travel insurance.
Your First Port of Call for Accidents Abroad
In all cases, the best advice is to keep as much evidence of your condition as possible and report it to your travel agent. Then, as soon as you are able, speak to a qualified solicitor who can help you make the right decisions with preparation of a holiday claim.
Harold Stock & Co Solicitors are experienced in handling claims for injuries sustained whilst abroad on holiday. Director, Karen Kenyon acted for Mr Sean Titshall in his claim for damages arising out of injuries sustained in an accident whilst on holiday. This case went to the Court of Appeal as the Defendants argued that Mr Titshall’s booking did not count as a “package” holiday. This is an important case in terms of the definition of a package holiday.
If you have been injured whilst on holiday and would like to look into a holiday claim, contact us today for a no-obligation chat.