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Accidents abroad

Regrettably there are times when holidays can go wrong and accidents occur. Most often these involve road traffic accidents but other accidents resulting in serious brain or spinal injury are sadly not infrequent. Some cases may fall within the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 which means that the claim may be brought against the travel company in the UK, and the procedure is therefore generally far more straightforward. However, all accidents abroad that result in serious injury can present particular problems and challenges and it is important that if you or a family member has suffered a brain or spinal injury you speak to a specialist solicitor as quickly as possible. 

With the increase in budget airlines and last minute hotel offers people are more inclined to book flights and accommodation independently and the Package Travel regulations will then not apply. An injured person will therefore need to pursue any claim arising as a result of injuries sustained in an accident against the negligent party be that a driver, hotel, tour organiser, airline or any other party.

Where the claim falls outside the Package Tour regulations, the person or party who is responsible for paying compensation will probably depend on the law in the country where the accident happened . For example, where the injured person and the person alleged to have caused the injury are both habitually resident in the UK, then it may be possible to bring the claim in the UK, even though the accident happened abroad. So, for example, in the case of a road traffic accident which occurred in Australia, where the injured party ordinarily lives in the UK and the driver responsible for having caused the injury also ordinarily lives in the UK, then the claim may be brought in the UK and English law applied.

Consideration should however always be given to whether it may in fact be in the injured party’s best interests for the claim to be brought in the country in which the accident occurred if the law in that jurisdiction is more advantageous.

Claimants should also be aware that the limitation periods in different countries vary and that these may be shorter than in the UK. Anyone seeking to pursue a claim as a result of an accident abroad should therefore seek specialist advice from a lawyer with an understanding and experience of accidents abroad and the jurisdictional issues which may arise.

Our team of specialist serious injury lawyers work closely with specialist personal injury foreign law firms to make sure we have a full understanding of the local law of the land. Our solicitors have many years experience of handling compensation claims on behalf of people who have been injured abroad and we are well-placed to advise you or a family member on the best way to bring a holiday accident claim.

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