Legally Speaking with Tom Ranson
- Credit: Archant
What to do if you are injured abroad As thousands of us head for sunnier climes, unfortunately some of us will be involved in accidents and suffer injury whilst abroad through no fault of our own.
If you booked your holiday through a travel agent, it may well be that they would be liable to pay compensation if you suffered injury through someone else’s negligence.
In these circumstances, you don’t have to worry about pursuing the foreign individual or company, even if your injury occurred away from the hotel – for example, on a day trip or arranged sporting activity.
You would also be able to claim compensation against your travel agent if you suffered food poisoning whilst dining in the hotel restaurant or on an excursion.
It is, however, important to remember that the obligation upon the travel agent (and their representatives, e.g. hotel staff) is not the same as here in the UK. They have to meet the standards applicable in the country where the injury occurred.
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If it turned out that your travel agent was not liable (for example, you fell over a badly maintained section of pavement in the town centre), you may still be able to pursue a claim. Again, the claim will be considered by reference to local standards.
If you are unfortunate enough to be injured abroad, remember to report it immediately - both to a member of staff and to your travel representative - and ensure they make a formal note of it in the accident book.
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You should also take names and addresses of witnesses and take photographs of the area where the accident happened.
When you return to the UK, it is essential that you take legal advice at the earliest possible opportunity. This is important because there are very strict time limits for bringing a claim for injuries suffered abroad which vary from country to country, and depend on the circumstance.
Tom Ranson of Ashton KCJ’s Injury team said: “Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen even when we are enjoying ourselves on holiday. In such cases the issue of blame may not be obvious and time is of the essence. To help us to help you, it is important that legal advice is sought sooner rather than later. In short, make that phone call.”
Ashton KCJ Solicitors
T: 01473 261378