Personal Injuries Sustained Overseas

How can I make a claim for an injury suffered abroad?

Many people when abroad will suffer a personal injury in much the same way as they would while they are in the UK.

Who can make a claim for an injury suffered while abroad?

If you have suffered an accident that is in some way related to a UK company such as a tour operator while on holiday abroad or an employer if you have had an accident while working abroad then you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation through the UK courts.

Accident occurring while on holiday

If your accident was caused due to defective or dangerous facilities located in your hotel or holiday complex then you will be entitled to make a claim against the tour operator. The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations 1992 place certain duties on tour operators in relation to the premises where people book to go on holiday through that company.

If you suffer an injury in this manner it may be possible to make claim for breach of these regulations.

Accident occurring while working away

If your accident was the fault of your UK employer while you were working away in another country for that employer then you could make a claim for compensation in the UK in the exact same way as you would for any employers liability claim in the UK.

What is the scenario if I have been injured in a road accident while abroad?

If you are injured in a road accident while abroad then it may be possible to make a claim for compensation through the UK system. This however, would require specialist legal advice.

What is the scenario if I have been injured while on a plane or a boat?

If you suffer personal injury due to negligence while on a plane or a boat leaving the UK or coming back to the UK then it is also possible that you can claim for compensation through the UK system. Again, this would, however, require specialist legal advice. 

What happens if I suffer an injury in a public place while out of the country?

If you suffer an injury in a public place while in another country due to falling on the road and failing ill in one of the restaurants then it will often be the case that you will not be able to claim for compensation through the UK Courts. This is due to each country having different laws, regulations and courts.

It may be possible to make a claim for compensation for food poising suffered abroad if it is from a restaurant that is part of the package that has been provided to you by a particular tour company. In practice, however, this may be difficult to prove.

If you have suffered personal injury while in a public place abroad it may still be good practice to seek specialist legal advice to understand if there is any way in which you could pursue a claim through the UK courts.

What steps should I take if I have been involved in an accident while abroad?

If you have been involved in an accident while abroad you should take the following steps:

  • Record the incident
  • Seek legal advice

Recording the Incident  

It is an important factor in pursuing a compensation claim to record as much detail as possible.

There may have been witnesses to the incident. If this is the case it is good practice to keep a record of the details of all witnesses.

If it is possible you may wish to take photographs of the incident and the personal injury.

The more details which you have in relation to a particular incident, the more likely you will be successful in proving a claim for compensation.

Seeking Legal Advice

There are many personal injury lawyers who specialise in this area and often will work on a no win no fee arrangement. It is necessary to gain specialist legal advice as often medical reports will be required to prove your case and specialist medical opinion will need to be gained. Also if you are to be successful in a claim you will need to prove that the three aspects of a negligence claim are apparent:

  1. That your employer owed you a duty of care
  2. That this duty was breached
  3. That the breach of this duty caused you to suffer personal injury

If I am successful in a claim what compensation will I receive?

There are two elements in relation to any form of compensation award. They are as follows:

  1. General damages
  2. Special damages

General Damages  

General damages will be awarded for the pain and suffering which you may have gone through following your injury and also for loss of amenity.

Special Damages

Special damages are awarded for your loss and expenses.

The aim of special damages is to put an individual back in the position financially as if the accident had never occurred.

Serious Injury  

In cases involving a serious injury occurring in the workplace whereby a person will no longer be able to undertake their employment, this will be taken into consideration when assessing compensation.

What factors will be taken into account?

Costs for care, equipment, transport and housing modifications can also be taken into account when calculating compensation.