Injuries At Home or Abroad
After months spent in lockdown it is not surprising that now restrictions from COVID are lifting people are keen to start thinking about travelling for their summer holidays. For others the easing may mean that travelling for work is starting again. However, if the unexpected and unimaginable were to happen and you got injured as a result of someone’s negligence whilst travelling, especially a life changing injury like a spinal injury, then it is important to remember that you can still bring a personal injury claim.
The different ways in which someone can suffer an injury whilst travelling are unlimited but below are some of the more common examples:
- Car accident
- Accident on a tour or excursion
- Accident on a plane (for example injury whilst embarking or disembarking)
- Accident on a cruise ship (for example slipping on deck)
- Accident in a hotel (for example an accident in a swimming pool)
- Sporting accident (for example skiing or paragliding)
Any of the above examples can happen either at home or abroad. Understandably people are more confident in bringing a claim if they are injured in England or Wales and are more daunted by the prospect of bringing a claim if injured while abroad, imagining that bringing a claim in a foreign country, with a different legal system and language will be very complicated. There are also some misconceptions that someone might not be able to bring a claim at all. For example it is common to see signs refusing any liability or people may assume that if they were doing something ‘risky’ then they accept all risks.
If you have suffered an injury, what can you do?
The law in this area is diverse and outside the scope of this blog. Instead the message that we are seeking to convey is that simply because an accident happens abroad or while you are travelling or in unusual circumstances then it is important to seek specialist legal advice; especially as in certain circumstances a compensation claim can still be pursued through the Courts in England and Wales, even if it happens abroad or whilst travelling. For example, for people who chose to travel as part of a package holiday, there are specific package holiday laws which are designed to protect people who are injured whilst on holiday and again permit the injured person to claim against the tour operator in the Courts in England and Wales as opposed an individual hotel or airline abroad. Another aspect to consider is if someone is working abroad and is injured as part of their employment, then a claim may be possible against their employer in the Courts in England and Wales. Alternatively, if you yourself live outside of England and Wales but have travelled to England/Wales, for holiday or work you may wish to pursue your claim via the Courts in England and Wales.
If you are injured abroad then in all cases it is important to ensure that the accident circumstances are recorded and you keep a copy of any of the documentation that is produced. Photographs and contact details for witnesses are key. It is always important to retain all travel documentation, receipts and paperwork including medical letters and receipts for treatment. Seek legal advice from a specialist and do so as soon as possible as in certain situations and jurisdictions, there can be shorter time limits for bringing a claim than if you were to bring a claim in England.