The vast majority of people who go abroad on holiday return home with wonderful memories of either a country that is new to them or is a well-liked holiday spot.  Over 65 million visits abroad are undertaken by British people each year, two thirds of which are holidays.  The most popular destinations are Italy, France and Spain.   For some, unfortunately, they return home with injuries sustained in an accident that was not of their making. 

Nobody expects to have an accident when they set off on holiday and particularly if the injury is serious, thoughts of compensation take a back seat should the worst happen and a person is injured.  However, if your accident was due to a third party's negligence you are, quite rightly, entitled to compensation for your injury.  Once thought can be given to the question of compensation for the accident there are a number of considerations; there may be more than one party responsible for the accident.  For example a tour operator may have to take responsibility for the hotel's failure to maintain the safety of its balconies or lifts in line with local safety standards which subsequently caused your accident. 

It can be very daunting to face beginning a legal claim in a different country, particularly if you do not speak the language well or even at all.  You will need to support your claim with adequate evidence, so hard though it may be, either the injured party or more likely the friends and relatives that are accompanying them will have to gather as much evidence as possible.  Once an individual is home after a traumatic experience such as an accident it may not be so easy to remember if there were warning signs on a wet floor, so having contemporaneous evidence can considerably assist in a case.

  • Taking photographs of the hazards that caused the accident and the surrounding environment.  If this is done a little after the event, look for evidence that some instant repair work has been carried out in an attempt to shift the blame.
  • Report the accident to more than one source, hotel staff, tour operator, police etc.
  • Obtain witnesses' contact details and a brief note of their observations
  • Try and get copies of any reports – the police reports are a separate issue and are governed by different procedures
  • Obtain any medical records or reports

Regardless of in which jurisdiction the matter is dealt with it can make a significant difference to the success of the outcome if you have lawyers that understand, not only the law and language of the country in which you had your accident but the culture as well.  Lawyers that can interpret the nuances of any pre-litigation settlement offers made and gain the very best outcome for you.  Giambrone has lawyers in its UK offices that are qualified in Italian, Spanish and other jurisdictions such as Tunisia who are able to liaise with their colleagues in our overseas offices to provide a seamless service to fight your case.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.