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How to make a claim if you have an accident abroad

QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright offer ten top tips on how to claim compensation if you have an accident abroad.

  1. If you book your holiday as a package holiday you will have the legal right to bring your claim through the English Courts rather than having to sue the wrongdoer in the Courts of the country where the accident occurred.
  2. If you have an accident, make sure that it is reported to the appropriate authority or person responsible for the premises where the accident occurred.  Make a careful record of their details.
  3. Gather evidence.  It is important that you obtain as much evidence as you can to support the claim.  This might include photographs or video of the relevant site of the accident and documentation to support what occurred.
  4. Speak to any witnesses.  Take names and addresses of any witnesses to your accident and ask if they would be happy for your solicitor to contact them as this could help with your claim. It is also advisable to obtain details of the person or organisation that you consider to be responsible for your accident.
  5. Act quickly - claims for accidents abroad may be subject to the law of the country where it occurred.  Time limits will apply. Some are much shorter than our 3 year time limit.
  6. Seek medical advice.  Speak to your GP upon your return home to ensure that you obtain the best advice for your treatment and recovery and that the injury is fully documented. It is up to you to prove your case and this will involve producing medical evidence to support your claim.
  7. Travel with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) If you travel within Europe this will enable you to get free necessary treatments in public hospitals.
  8. Bring copies of important documents with you - Email soft versions of your insurance documents and a scan of your passport and EHIC card before you travel, so you have them to hand if you have an accident.
  9. Record all expenses - Make sure you keep a record of any expenses and receipts related to your claim. Whether it’s medication, a phone call to someone at home or even a taxi fare to a hospital, you may be able to claim all these back as compensation.
  10. Check your travel insurance - Make sure that this covers all activities that you might want to participate in while on holiday.  It may be rather quicker to claim immediate out of pocket expenses from your travel insurance than to wait for your claim against the person who caused the accident to be concluded.

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