What are international injury claims?
International claims refer to compensation claims that are brought by anyone who’s injured while visiting a foreign country. These claims can fall into two main categories: personal injury claims where you’ve been injured due to an accident (such as a road accident abroad), and medical negligence claims where you’ve received substandard healthcare that has caused or worsened your illness or injury. We have experience handling international claims for both of these scenarios.
While our law firm is based in the UK, we’ve acted for many foreign nationals who were injured while visiting the UK, as well as for anyone resident in the UK who was injured while abroad, where there’s a British organisation involved. In the case of the former, we can still help if you’ve been repatriated back home.
How do we approach international injury claims?
We understand how overwhelming it can be to suffer an accident or injury while in a foreign country where you may be unfamiliar with the medical and legal systems. Our team of expert solicitors will guide you through this difficult and stressful time.
Some of the things we may try to achieve when we handle accident abroad claims include:
- Obtaining interim compensation payments to help you cope financially once you’re back in your home country.
- Arranging for you to be examined by the right experts in your home country in order to obtain the required medical evidence.
- Arranging for you to receive the right treatment in your home country.
- Obtaining payments to cover the cost of flights back to your home country, including arranging specialist care in the air.
- Travelling to your home country to inspect your home, and liaise with architects and other professionals to ensure your home is suitable for your new circumstances.
- Liaising with the medical professionals involved in your treatment/care, both in the UK and in your home country (if different).
- Taking into consideration the difference in compensation claim laws between the UK and your home country.
Case studies for international injury claims
Our successful case studies below demonstrate some of the ways our specialist solicitors have helped clients in these situations, from travelling to their home countries to make sure they’re being taken care of, to securing interim payments to pay for treatment while the case is being resolved.
£400,000 for Australian driver seriously injured in crash
Jack was involved in a serious head-on road traffic collision while visiting the UK from Australia. He was driving a hire car that crashed into another vehicle that was over the speed limit and on the wrong side of the road. He suffered multiple life-changing injuries including severe fractures to both legs, abdominal trauma and a psychiatric injury. After being treated in a UK hospital, he was flown back to Australia where he underwent further surgery and rehabilitation.
The occupants of the other vehicle sadly died, but liability for the accident was admitted by the insurer of the vehicle. We arranged for Jack to be examined by nine medical experts and also undergo private treatment in Australia. We also obtained interim compensation payments totalling £65,000 to help him cope financially while his claim was being resolved. Once all the medical evidence had been gathered, Jack flew back to the UK for a settlement meeting, where we successfully negotiated a settlement of £400,000. He was very happy with the result.
£7 million for Brazilian woman injured during honeymoon
Originally from Brazil, Maria was injured when she and her husband were involved in a motorcycle accident while on their honeymoon in the UK. She sustained a very serious brain injury. Her solicitors arranged for a £300,000 interim payment to cover the cost of the flight to get her home to Brazil and receive specialist care in the air. Her claim settled for £7 million.
Before Maria was repatriated, her dedicated BBK solicitor went to Brazil several times to view the property she would be living in, liaise with architects, visit the hospitals to review the medical care and treatment she would receive and even hire and train a case manager to help ensure everything Maria needed would be covered.
Abuse claim for British citizen raped in Zambia
Asha was undertaking charity work in Zambia when she was kidnapped, gang raped at gun point and left in the countryside. The kidnappers intended to sell her in to sexual slavery but they became aware that the police were looking for them. Asha suffered from PTSD and an eating disorder due to the attack and had regular inpatient stays at The Priory. She attempted suicide on occasions. The attackers were imprisoned.
We brought a civil claim on the basis that a) the grandson of the host family where Asha was staying was akin to an employee and he tipped off the kidnappers that she was staying at their house and b) that the charity were negligent to expect her to travel at 4am in the dark to meet the other volunteers to travel to another town. Whilst strongly defended, we settled the claim for £100,000.
CICA claim for Algerian student living in Brighton
Daniel was living and studying in Brighton when he was assaulted by a stranger on a night out. He hit his head on the concrete as he fell, lost consciousness, and sustained broken bones in his face. Shortly after the assault, he began to experience seizures that have sadly continued to date, are very debilitating and are now likely to be permanent. He’s no longer able to work due to the extent and frequency of the seizures and requires a carer. He’s since returned home to Algeria. Daniel’s application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) for compensation for the injuries he suffered due to the assault was accepted. As his prognosis in terms of his brain injury are still unclear, the claim is still ongoing.
Cycling accident for woman from the US, living in the UK
Gillian sustained a head injury after she was knocked off her bicycle, resulting in her being in a minimally conscious state. She had been living in the UK for a number of years before the accident, but her family were Polish and resided in the United States. Her family wished for her to be repatriated back to the US.
Her solicitors liaised between the UK and US hospitals, ensuring she had the funds needed to be accompanied by medical professionals on the flight back. For the duration of her case, the medical and non-medical experts had to take into account the differences between the US and the UK and make their recommendations accordingly. The case involved complex legal and logistical issues, but the family were satisfied with the compensation secured for her future needs.
Compensation for Australian who collapsed when visiting family in the UK
Oliver, an Australian citizen, collapsed while visiting family who lived in the UK and sustained a spinal cord injury. An ambulance was called, but they failed to recognise a spinal cord injury or adopt precautionary measures. Oliver’s condition deteriorated, and paramedics immediately transferred him to a hospital where he underwent an operation to stabilise his spine.
As a result of the delay in treatment, instead of having a minor neurological deficit, Oliver sustained damage to his spinal cord and was paralysed from his cervical spine. He sadly passed away as a result of his injuries. As he resided in Australia, obtaining evidence from his estate was a complex task in terms of logistics. This included time differences, ensuring the claim met the requirements of the UK legal system, and that the impact of the compensation on the estate was considered.
How Bolt Burdon Kemp can help
Our expert medical negligence solicitors and personal injury solicitors have extensive experience in securing compensation for those who have suffered medical negligence or an accident. As you have read above, we have experience in securing compensation for clients from around the world, and take the steps necessary to ensure a successful outcome for our clients.
We can also arrange for information and legal documents to be translated into other languages, so you understand exactly what’s happening, and can use the documents back home. Thanks to our commitment to diversity, our solicitors come from all over the world, and speak a wide range of languages. Our staff can speak Bengali, Cantonese, English, French, Hindi, Polish, Punjabi, Tamil, Turkish and Urdu.