What to Do if You Suffer an Injury While on Holiday Abroad

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What to Do if You Suffer an Injury While on Holiday Abroad

Going on holiday typically means relaxing and enjoying new experiences. However, when spending time abroad, many unfortunate holidaymakers suffer an injury - whether due to an accident or negligence. Depending on the severity and circumstances around the injury, you should take steps to ensure that you are well looked after medically, that the cause of the injury is investigated, and if necessary, that you seek legal advice.

As experts in representing clients who have been involved in accidents while on holiday, the specialist team at JMW Solicitors has put together a guide on what to do if you suffer an injury while on holiday abroad. Here, you will learn how best to deal with your injury, how to tell whether you may be eligible for compensation, and if so, the subsequent steps you should take to give yourself the best chance of making a successful claim.

Seek medical attention

Any person who sustains an injury abroad should always prioritise their health. If you incur a severe injury, or are worried about an injury developing following an accident, you should contact the emergency services or arrange to see a doctor.

Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and could appear a short time after the accident occurred. You should take into account that you may be in shock immediately following the accident, so take the time to assess yourself and your condition before deciding to not call the emergency services. If you have suffered from a blow to the head, you should always seek medical attention, as this can result in certain types of ‘invisible’ injury, like concussions, that could be severe and develop into further health complications if not attended to urgently.

Should you sustain an injury somewhere within the European Union, you can contact the emergency services on 112. It is free to call, 24 hours a day. When requiring medical state-provided healthcare if visiting an EU country or Switzerland, you should use your GHIC card - or the older EHIC card, if you still have one - to be able to claim a refund on medical expenses.

You should note that not all medical treatment will be refundable, and you may be expected to cover prescription costs. This is known as a co-payment or patient share.

Finally, if you have taken out travel insurance, you should also immediately get in contact with your insurance provider.

Contact your travel insurance provider

When planning for a holiday, it is good practice to consider the unexpected, which includes the risk that you will suffer an injury. In such circumstances, travel insurance may save you from incurring large medical fees.

For this reason, after suffering an injury, you should contact your travel insurance provider as soon as possible. They will help provide you with all the necessary medical and non-medical support you need to begin your recovery.

Failing to notify your insurer may lead you to accrue substantial fees, which you may not be entitled to reclaim further down the line.

Gather evidence

In the case of an accident, it is important that you report the incident to a member of hotel staff or your tour operator as soon as possible, given as much detail as you can about the cause of your accident. This will ensure the accident is recorded and ensure an investigation is carried out which will hopefully prevent further incidents. You should also seek to gather as much evidence as possible of the circumstances surrounding it, which can support any compensation claim you make.

The most useful evidence includes:

  • Photos and/or videos of your injuries
  • Copies of any medical discharge notes given to you by the local doctor or hospital
  • Photos and or videos of the accident location, if a defect or fault caused your injury, in as much detail with possible
  • If you have been in a car accident if possible take photos and/or videos of the offending vehicle, individual, or other
  • Contact details of witnesses

You will need to provide evidence to corroborate your claims. Being able to do so will substantially increase your chances of an offending party having to cover any fees you incurred due to the accident.

Keeping medical bills and receipts for other fees you had to pay will also increase the likelihood of being able to claim back compensation for these expenses.

If your injury was sustained during an activity that is covered by your travel insurance policy, your provider should cover the costs, but there are often hidden fees - especially if the injury was sustained during an activity, rather than from a road traffic accident, for example. As such, it is vital that you check your insurance policy before travelling, to know for which types of injuries you will be covered. In turn, be sure to choose an insurance policy that covers the sorts of activities in which you are likely to engage before you travel, to avoid the risk of having to pay medical bills yourself.

If you have suffered an injury while on holiday abroad that was not your fault, you are likely due compensation. Claiming compensation will allow you to recover most of the fees you had to bear, allowing you to focus on your recovery and rehabilitation, and can account for other factors like loss of enjoyment of your holiday, in cases where you were injured due to someone else’s negligence.

Making a successful claim for personal injury compensation abroad involves numerous steps, which need to be followed closely, or you risk having your claim dismissed. Therefore, you should seek legal advice from experienced lawyers dealing in personal injury matters abroad as soon as possible.

To give yourself the best chance of making a successful claim for suffering an injury while on holiday abroad, speak to the specialist team at JMW Solicitors. We handle cases on a no-win, no-fee basis, so call us on 0345 872 6666 or complete our online enquiry form today.

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