Are you entitled to make a personal injury compensation claim for an accident or illness whilst abroad?

Every year, thousands of people are injured in accidents abroad. Thankfully, just as in the UK, there are usually laws in force to assist people who are injured in accidents overseas. However, the law relating to personal injury compensation claims can be complex and differs from country to country, so it’s vital that you work with specialist solicitors who understand the issues and are able to secure the best possible result for you.

Are you entitled to make a claim for an accident abroad?

  • If you were working abroad at the time of the accident and the accident was the fault of your employer, you would be able to make a personal injury compensation claim using a solicitor based in the United Kingdom providing you were employed by a company based in the United Kingdom at the time, or that employer has a registered office or place of business located in the UK. This claim would be dealt with in the same way as any other claim for an accident at work. Even if you are working for a foreign employer or organisation, you should still seek specialist legal advice as to the options that may exist to pursue compensation.
  • If you were abroad on holiday at the time, a personal injury solicitor in the United Kingdom would only be able to deal with the claim against the holiday company if the holiday was booked as part of a package deal through a travel agent in the United Kingdom. In addition to this, your accident would need to be the fault of the travel agent or their representatives. If you made your travel and accommodation arrangements personally without a tour or travel agent and are injured, it is still worth seeking specialist legal advice as to the options that may be available to you.
  • If your accident was caused by a badly maintained section of walkway in the hotel grounds you would be entitled to make a personal injury compensation claim against your travel agent. You would also be able to make a personal injury compensation claim against your travel agent if you contracted a form of food poisoning from the hotel restaurant. However, you would not be able to make a personal injury claim against your travel agent if your accident was caused due to a badly maintained pavement in a local town centre, as they have no jurisdiction over the maintenance of public highways.
  • If an accident occurred whilst you were engaged in sports or activities arranged by you with independent operators in the holiday resort or location, there may be no liability under the Package Tour regulations regime. Potentially dangerous activities on the beach such as paragliding, boat rides, water skiing or snorkelling and diving may not be covered under these regulations as they would not be part of the holiday package deal. There is never the less the option of trying to take action against the companies in the country where they are based, but separate detailed local legal advice would then need to be considered and this can be a difficult and costly process.
  • If you are involved in a road traffic accident abroad whether as a driver or passenger or whether in a car, taxi, coach or bus, it is possible that you may have a right to seek compensation if another party was to blame and is identifiable. However, as part of the compensation scheme in certain countries the injured person must, as a prerequisite, seek immediate medical attention. It is also crucial to obtain details of all other persons involved, and to always report the matter to the police and retain all resulting paperwork.

What action should you take after your accident abroad?

  • To make a successful personal injury compensation claim, you would need to prove that another person was responsible for your personal injury. In the case of an accident abroad this would normally be your travel agent or your employer.
  • To help your case, you should report the accident to your employer / your travel representative at the time, make a note of your accident in the accident book, take names and addresses of witnesses to the accident and if possible take photographs of the area where the accident happened. You must also retain all the travel documentation, receipts and paperwork including medical letters, receipts for treatment, hospital discharge letters or any other documentation relating to or arising from the holiday and injury.
  • If you are intending to claim expenses such as prescription costs and travelling expenses, remember to keep receipts as evidence.

If you are involved in an accident abroad complex rules determine whether you are able to bring your claim in the Courts of England and Wales. If you are able to pursue your case in your home Court legislation known as Rome ii then needs to be considered to determine which country’s law will apply to your case. We can guide you through this process. Harold Stock & Co offer expert, easily-understood advice, and endeavour to get the very best outcome for your case.

If you would like us to review the circumstances of your accident abroad and let you know if you have a valid claim for compensation, call Harold Stock & Co Solicitors on 01457 835597 or email

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