HM Insights

Holiday blues – 3 key considerations when claiming for an accident abroad

It's the holiday season again, thank goodness, and for most people that will hopefully mean a relaxing break from work – with a trip abroad if you are fortunate.

However, for an unlucky few that holiday can lead to a trip of the wrong kind. Personal injury on holiday is all too common, and can range from a fall due to unsafe premises, food poisoning, a small car accident, to swimming pool accidents and many others besides.

It's bad enough if your holiday is affected, but how can you seek recompense when you are far from home?

Your travel insurance will most likely cover medical expenses, but what about compensation for the loss you have suffered. What if you have to take time off work on your return to recover?

Your insurance generally will not cover the personal injury, which is usually the most substantial part of any claim.

Always seek advice – for free

If you receive an offer of recompense for your injury, you should always seek legal advice before accepting, as they are often for much less than your claim is worth.

As you can see, in most cases you can find a way to sue in your own country in the event of suffering a personal injury abroad. Of course, in all cases you are going to have to be able to prove that someone has been at fault for the injury and loss you have suffered.

But you shouldn't be put off from claiming, just because it happened on foreign shores.

Here we look at the three main points to consider when you suffer a personal injury abroad, and are looking to claim on your return home to Scotland.

1. Package holidays

When you're on a package holiday (which includes most cruises), the answer is often simple. Consumer legislation is strong and you can claim again the holiday company even if the fault lies with a supplier based abroad. So if you have an accident on the premises, or on an excursion organised by the holiday company, fall foul of food poisoning or any number of accidents or injuries, you have the right to sue the holiday company at home when you return.

2. Claim against one other than a holiday company

What happens if you have an accident at a waterpark, a restaurant, the beach or anywhere else outwith the bounds of your holiday company's responsibility and duty of care?

Again, the EU Regulations may provide a route for you to avoid the difficult process of suing in a foreign country. If you have the right to sue the insurers of the party responsible for the accident in that country, then you also have the right to sue them in your own country. This right is determined on a country by country basis, but with countries such as Spain and France included, it can be a crucial point for many UK holidaymakers.

3. Road traffic accidents

If you're involved in a road traffic accident while abroad, even if you're on a cycling holiday for example, under EU Regulations you are entitled to sue in Scotland.

Our specialist lawyers can advise you on all aspects of your claim for an accident abroad, on a no-win no-fee basis.

For a free consultation, contact us on 0800 904 7777 or email pi@harpermacleod.co.uk