Few people planning a trip abroad ever think about what would happen if they have an accident and are injured when overseas. Yet, each year, thousands of people suffer some form of injury or illness when away from home, so knowing how to cope and what to do is certainly worthwhile. Injuries abroad can be caused by an array of accidents, varying from simple slips and trips, to road accidents. Furthermore, each year thousands of tourists fall ill due to food poisoning. However, if it wasn’t your fault, you may be able to seek financial redress in the form of compensation.
The first thing to do if you are injured or become ill when abroad is seek medical attention. Even if you don’t think you are that badly hurt, or are sure your illness will clear up on its own, it is better to be safe than sorry. You usually have to pay for a visit to the doctor or hospital, but your travel insurance should cover any medical bills. In addition, if you are injured due to somebody else’s fault, you can claim back any costs.
Just because you have had an accident, doesn’t mean nobody is to blame. Of course, if you fall over on the beach or trip because you weren’t looking where you were going, you cannot hold anybody else accountable. However, in many cases, fault may lie with somebody else. For instance, if you booked your holiday through a travel company and you have an accident in the hotel, perhaps due to a loose carpet or poorly maintained pavement in the hotel grounds, you can make a claim against your travel company or the hotel itself. In addition, if you fall ill after eating in the hotel restaurant, you can also claim against them as you had paid in good faith to stay in a safe environment.
Perhaps the most common accident experienced by holidaymakers abroad happens on the road. Traffic accidents can be costly, often losing your hire car deposit, and they can result in serious injuries. The symptoms of some injuries, such as whiplash, can take days or weeks to manifest themselves, and yet can result in months of pain and discomfort. It is therefore important to ensure you have all the relevant details of the other driver to ensure that if you have been injured, you won’t suffer any unjust financial losses.
The difficulty in making any claim after suffering an injury on holiday or when travelling abroad is that legal systems can vary between countries. By far the easiest redress is to make a claim against the travel company through which you booked your trip. However, they may not always be liable, so you may have to deal with an overseas insurance company. Fortunately, there are plenty of personal injury solicitors who specialise in making claims overseas and most of these will work on a no win, no fee basis.
If you suffer a personal injury or illness when abroad and it wasn’t your fault, it is important to seek help as soon as you get back. In some countries, there is a time limit governing when you can make a claim, so you should speak to a personal injury solicitor quickly. You should also make sure you have kept any receipts for medical expenses and any medical reports from doctors that treated you. If you take all this information to a personal injury solicitor and explain what happened, they will quickly be able to tell you whether you have a case and the damages you may be entitled to.