Accidents whilst on holiday or when working abroad can be very stressful. Not only do you have to deal with the local authorities – often in a foreign language – but you also may have to deal with foreign rules and regulations with a different administrative process than in Northern Ireland.
Accidents and illness on holidays
If you were on holiday when you sustained your injury, it is important to first establish whether you were on a package holiday at the time. If so, you will have certain legal rights in Northern Ireland against the package holiday company in addition to any legal rights you have against the hotel, airline or other body responsible for your accident.
These regulations allow you to take action in Northern Ireland for your injuries and loss rather than in the country where you sustained your injury and loss. If the package holiday regulations do not apply, then you will likely have to take action in the country where you sustained your injury and in these instances, the law of that country will apply when taking your claim.
There are time limits in making a claim under the package holiday regulations and indeed in making any claim for compensation in a foreign country and it is important therefore that you seek legal advice as soon as you think you may have a claim.
I hurt myself when I slipped on a wet floor in a hotel in Spain. My holiday was a package holiday. Who do I have a claim against?
In this scenario, as your holiday was a package holiday, you may be able to make a claim against the tour operator who sold you the package holiday, rather than the hotel in Spain. This is because under UK law, tour operators have a legal responsibility to ensure that the services they provide as part of the package holiday are of a reasonable standard and that their customers are kept safe from harm.
To make a claim, you should first report the incident to the hotel and the tour operator as soon as possible. You should also make a note of any witnesses who saw the incident, take photos of the area where you slipped and gather any medical evidence related to your injury. You should then contact your solicitor.
I got food poisoning when on a cruise. Can I take a claim?
If you suffered from food poisoning while on a cruise, you may be able to make a claim against the cruise line or if it was part of a package holiday, against the tour operator.
The cruise line has a legal duty to ensure that the food and drink provided on board is safe to consume and does not cause harm to passengers. If they have failed in this duty and as a result you suffered from food poisoning, you may be entitled to compensation.
To make a claim, you should first report the incident to the cruise line as soon as possible, ideally while still on board. You should also seek medical attention on the ship or as soon as you return to the UK, and keep any receipts or medical reports related to your treatment. You should also gather any evidence that may support your claim, such as photographs of the food or the conditions in which it was prepared or served. On return to Northern Ireland you should seek advices from your solicitor.
I was on an aircraft when a bag fell out of the overhead locker and hit me. Do I have a claim?
The airline has a duty of care to ensure the safety of their passengers, and this includes ensuring that items stored in the overhead lockers are properly secured. If they have failed in this duty and as a result you were injured by a falling bag, you may be entitled to compensation.
To make a claim, you should report the incident to the airline as soon as possible, ideally while still on board. You should also seek medical attention and keep any receipts or medical reports related to your treatment. You should also gather any evidence that may support your claim, such as the details of any witnesses or photographs of the bag and the overhead locker. You should also seek the advices of a solicitor who is experienced in claims against airlines.
I was on a package holiday when I got hurt paragliding. Do I have a claim?
As a participant in a recreational activity provided by the tour operator, they have a legal duty of care to ensure that you are provided with safe and properly maintained equipment, and that you are adequately instructed and supervised. If they have failed in this duty and as a result you were injured, you may be entitled to compensation.
To make a claim, you should report the incident to the tour operator as soon as possible, and seek medical attention for your injuries. You should also gather any evidence that may support your claim, such as photographs of the equipment or the location where the activity took place. You should also seek advices from your solicitor.
If I get hurt on a holiday that is not a package holiday, do I have a claim?
If you were injured on a holiday that is not a package holiday, you may still be able to make a claim for compensation. However, the process for making a claim may be different than for a package holiday.
If you were injured as a result of someone else's negligence, you may be able to make a claim against the responsible party. For example, if you were injured in a slip and fall accident at a hotel, you may be able to make a claim against the hotel if they were responsible for your injuries due to negligence or a breach of duty of care.
To make a claim, you should gather as much evidence as possible to support your case, including photographs of the scene of the accident and any injuries sustained, contact details of any witnesses, and any relevant medical reports. You should also report the incident to the relevant authority, such as the hotel, and seek medical attention for your injuries.
Any claim will likely have to be made in the country in which you sustained your injury and the laws that apply will be those particular to that country. You will likely have to instruct lawyers in that jurisdiction who will act on your behalf.
What can I claim for?
You can claim for:
Road traffic accidents abroad.
I had a road traffic accident abroad. What should I do?
There are a few steps you should take to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights:
Sometimes even where the accident takes place in a foreign country it is still possible to take action for recovery of damages in Northern Ireland or a UK court. However sometimes it is impossible to do this and any action has to be taken in the country in which the accident took place. We can advise you as to your options and what is the best one for you.
Accidents at work abroad.
I work for Northern Ireland company and had an accident at work whilst abroad. Who do I have a claim against?
If you are employed by a UK or Northern Ireland company, it may be possible to take action in Northern Ireland or the UK for injuries and loss sustained whilst in the course of your employment even though you were hurt in an accident at work whilst in a foreign country.
If you have sustained injury in these circumstances you should:
How can the Kearney Law Group help?
The Kearney Law Group are experienced in handling accidents abroad, whether on holiday or at work. If cases cannot be litigated successfully in Northern Ireland or the UK we have contacts with solicitors in different foreign jurisdictions who will act as agents for us in bringing cases to a successful conclusion. We have an expert team ready to deal with your claim and we will ensure you recover compensation for your loss, swiftly and professionally.
We only do personal injury law and are experts at it.
The content of this blog is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice. No solicitor/client relationship or duty of care or liability of any nature shall exist or arise between the Kearney Law Group and you and we refer you to our disclaimer on our website.
Kearney Law Group specialises in legal services relating to Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence, Historical Institutional Abuse and Mother and Baby Homes cases. We are committed to achieving the best results for our clients.
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