Accident Claims Abroad
Accidents abroad can be a confusing subject for many people. It is important to understand the basics in the event that you should suffer, as a result of an accident that happens while travelling overseas.
There are generally three main categories that an accident abroad can fall into for accident claims:
- Package holiday accident claims
- Accidents abroad caused by UK nationals
- Other accident claims abroad
Package Holiday Accident Claims
The Package Travel, Package Holiday and Package Tours Regulations (1992) are a part of UK law designed to protect customers who have booked a package holiday. A package holiday generally includes at least two of the following:
- Hotel/ Accommodation
- Tourist services (for example, car hire)
If you purchased two or more of these from the same company, it is more than likely that you booked a package holiday. Some companies try to exploit the regulations by selling these individual parts of a holiday separately.
This means you will not benefit from the same level of protection should the company go out of business, or if you suffer an accident while abroad. Meaning an accident claims that you make with to file, may be ineffective.
One of the main protections offered to UK nationals by the Package Holiday Regulations is that if you should suffer an injury in an accident abroad, responsibility for that injury belongs to the tour operator.
The regulations stipulate that if you are injured on a package holiday, you are able to claim accident compensation under UK law.
If you are not on a package holiday, it may be necessary to pursue your accident claim in the country the accident took place. This can seem daunting, and so it is recommended that you enlist the help of a solicitor who specialises in accidents abroad.
Accidents Abroad Caused by UK Nationals
The second category of accidents abroad concerns accidents caused by fellow UK nationals provided they were also travelling on holiday. In order to pursue an accident claim such as this, it is highly recommended to seek the advice of a solicitor in the UK.
Other Accidents Abroad
This final category contains all accidents that occur while you are living or working abroad, and cannot be linked to the UK.
If your accident claim cannot be linked to the UK in any way, it will be subject to foreign law, dependent on the country the event took place in.
It is not advisable to seek a UK lawyer as they cannot offer help in this case, and so it is advisable that you enlist the help of a foreign solicitor. A comprehensive list of solicitors who speak English and can help with your accident claim will be available from the British Embassy.
Another common type of accident claim concerns criminal injuries sustained abroad. It is likely you will be able to claim accident compensation for this, although the process to obtain that compensation will vary depending which country the injury took place.
The UK Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (CICA) will be able to assist you with your accident claim, even if they cannot directly pursue your case. Most European countries have a similar scheme, and so it should be possible to claim accident compensation within much of Europe.
If you suffer an injury or loss aboard an aeroplane, your case will be covered under international law rather than UK law. The Montreal Convention covers personal injury and death, as well as the loss or delay of baggage.