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What should I do if I am injured while abroad?

In the event of an incident, and once you’ve ensured that the injured person has the specialist care they require, it is important that you try to gather as much information as possible while at the location.

Keep any paperwork relating to the holiday itself, including any documents relating to organised trips or outings. Take photographs with your camera or phone of all the surroundings and those involved, and make sure you have all the names and contact details of witnesses. Don’t accept any offer of compensation from the hotel, tour operator, cruise ship owner, insurer or any other party that has caused your incident without first seeking independent legal advice from a specialist lawyer. We can help.

Contact us for advice as soon as you can on +44 (0)800 6895854 following an injury.

Even within the EU, your EHIC, which you should always have with you when you travel, may not provide sufficient cover for an injury. Costs can soon escalate, even for minor injuries.

Where there is a potential claim, and depending on the circumstances, our lawyers can contact insurers to request an urgent interim payment to alleviate any immediate financial hardship.

Be careful of entering into an agreement with local lawyers in relation to any potential claim. Entering into an agreement without speaking to a specialist lawyer may jeopardise bringing a claim in the UK and may mean you receive a lower amount or nothing at all.

If you’ve suffered an injury in a hotel or onboard a cruise ship as part of a package holiday then it may be possible to bring a claim in the English courts against the tour operator, hotel, cruise line operator or any other party responsible for your injury.

Claims are often complex and different time scales are likely to apply for the purposes of bringing a claim in different jurisdictions (countries) for injuries. We recommend that you instruct a specialist travel lawyer with the experience in dealing with these types of claims, rather than a lawyer without this specialist international experience.

Some simple steps to follow if you’ve been injured overseas

• Ensure the injured person is receiving the appropriate emergency care.
• Obtain original or copies of medical records and reports for any treatment received, including results following any scans, x-rays or analysis of any samples taken.
• Photograph and film the incident location.
• Photograph the severity of the injury when it happened or shortly afterwards. • Retain a copy of any completed incident reports or complaint forms.
• Ensure you have details for the local police involved, including a reference number if applicable.
• Get names, postal and e-mail addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses, including other holidaymakers, who may have seen or been involved in the incident.
• Obtain contact details for any member of the British Consulate with whom you’ve had contact.
• If someone writes something down and claims it’s a record of the incident, don’t agree with the document and don’t sign the document until you’ve consulted a specialist travel lawyer acting on your behalf.
• Ensure you have the contact details for any travel insurer or representative with whom you’ve had contact while abroad.
• Keep receipts relating to any expenses incurred as a result of the incident/injury e.g. travel expenses to and from the hospital, additional accommodation expenditure incurred, medical expenses for treatment, medication, phone calls, and subsistence costs while at hospital.
• Keep all original (or at least a copy of) holiday booking documentation.
• Contact your insurers as soon as you can.
• Seek expert legal advice to deal with any civil or criminal matters that arise.

The Leigh Day travel law team

Leigh Day has a specialist team of travel lawyers who only take on these types of cases. They act for holidaymakers and business travellers who have found themselves injured, through no fault of their own, while they have been travelling or staying in another country and need to make a legal claim for compensation.

The team deals with a range of cases, including road traffic collisions when abroad, injuries at hotels or on cruise ships, and sporting injuries that occur during the winter and summer holiday seasons. 

For more information about incidents or injuries abroad, please contact us for free, no obligation advice +44 (0)800 6895854 or travelclaims@leighday.co.uk.

Alternatively contact Clare Campbell on 0161 393 3551 or ccampbell@leighday.co.uk.

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