Suffering an accident abroad can be traumatic and stressful. Having to deal with unfamiliar health systems can be complicated, while coping with the repercussions of any accident while hundreds or thousands of miles from home can result in anguish. Knowing what your rights are and where to get help is not easy, especially if you are in a country where there is a language barrier.
The consequences of any accident overseas can be long lasting too. If you have to cancel your holiday and fly home or you find that your injury prevents you from going back to work, it can have financial ramifications that last a long time, so it is important to know your rights.
The first people to contact after any accident abroad are your travel insurance company. Never travel overseas without adequate cover, as you may find yourself faced with hefty medical bills.
Under most travel insurance policies, you have to pay for any medical attention you receive and claim back the money from the insurance company. This means you need to ensure you get copies of all medical reports and keep receipts for all costs, including for any drugs you have been prescribed and any costs such as travel to and from hospital. It is best to pay for all these things on your credit card, as that way you won’t lose out because of currency conversions.
Travel company or employer
If you have booked your holiday through a travel company or you have been sent abroad by your employer, they may be liable for your accident. For instance, if you booked your room through a travel company and you had an accident due to somebody else’s negligence at the hotel, you may have the right to compensation. Likewise, if you employer booked your accommodation, you can make a claim against them. Even if you booked the trip yourself, you can still make a claim for compensation, although you will have to do so through the court system in whatever country the accident happened. In any case, it is best to contact a personal injury solicitor when you return home, as he or she will be able to ascertain whether you have a case and handle any claim for you – often on a no win, no fee basis.
The most common form of accident abroad happens on the road. These include car crashes or involve pedestrians, bus passengers, and motorcycle, moped or pushbike riders. Fortunately, in most countries all motor vehicle drivers are required by law to have some form of insurance, which makes making a claim for damages and financial redress easier. However, the process is far from easy so you will still need the services of a personal injury solicitor.
If you are involved in any accident overseas and require compensation to cover you for any financial costs, or wish to claim damages for the pain and suffering, it is important that you gather as much information as possible to aid your claim. For instance, if you are involved in a road traffic accident, make sure you get the details of the other driver. It is also advisable to ask for the names and contact details of any witnesses who may be able to corroborate your claim. If the police are called, ask them to file a report for you and get a copy, as this too will help. Furthermore, ensure you seek help from a personal injury solicitor as soon as you get home, as there may be a time limit governing when you can claim.