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Personal Injury Claims

Accidents & Illness Abroad Claims

Every year, thousands of people are injured in accidents or are taken ill while abroad. If you or a member of your family has been involved in an overseas accident, or suffered an illness, as a result of someone else's negligence then our lawyers could help you claim compensation.

We could help you make a holiday compensation claim, or to claim if you were injured or suffered an illness while working abroad. Our lawyers have helped thousands to claim compensation following illness or accidents abroad in a wide range of circumstances, including:

However, this isn't an exhaustive list – accidents and illnesses can happen in a range of circumstances, so please contact us for advice on making a compensation claim. 

We have the UK's largest and most successful team of lawyers specialising in making accident claims abroad, with several of our lawyers recognised internationally as leaders in the field. Our aim is to make the claims process as simple as possible for you, handling cases with a compassionate approach that puts you and your family's wellbeing first.

Contact us on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation on your case. Alternatively, you can contact us online and we’ll get back to you. There's no obligation to continue with us after this conversation – you're free to just ask us for our advice on whether or not you can make a claim.

No Win No Fee
Help accessing medical support and rehabilitation
Longstanding links with foreign law experts
Offices across the UK

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Accidents And Illness Abroad Claims - More Information
    • What Happens When I Make A Claim?
    • To make a compensation claim for an accident or illness abroad, the first thing you need to do is get in touch with us for a free initial consultation. We'll discuss the circumstances surrounding your accident or illness, advise you on whether or not we think you can claim, and whether you could benefit from a No Win No Fee* arrangement.

      If you choose to go ahead, your claim will usually go through the following four stages:

      1. Investigation. We'll establish who's responsible for your accident or illness, and arrange for a medical examination to find out the full extent of your condition.
      2. Rehabilitation. If you have any medical care or support needs, we'll help you to access the necessary treatment and advice that you are entitled to.
      3. Compensation. We'll work out how much compensation you should get based on the severity of your injuries and your pain and suffering, any medical expenses you've had, and your ability to get back to work. We'll put this amount to those responsible, and they can either accept blame or contest the claim.
      4. Conclusion. If your opponent accepts blame, you'll be awarded compensation. If not, the case will be settled in court – although this is rare. If you do have to go to court, we'll be there support you every step of the way. If we agreed to handle your claim under a No Win No Fee* arrangement, then you won't have to pay anything if you were unsuccessful.

      If you have any questions about the claims process, please contact us today on 0800 056 4110 and we'll be happy to discuss your options in a free initial consultation.

    • How Much Compensation Can I Expect?
    • How much compensation you receive after an accident or illness abroad will depend on a number of factors related to your injury or illness, its circumstances, and the support and rehabilitation you need.

      The amount of compensation you could claim is based on:

      • Your condition, and its severity
      • Psychological trauma experienced
      • Current and future loss of earnings if you've had to stop working in the short or long-term
      • Medical expenses you've had to or will have to pay both abroad and in the UK, as well as travel expenses to any appointments
      • Your care and support needs – both now and in the future
      • Modifications to your home
      • Mobility aids
      • The amount you had spent on your holiday or travel abroad, and the loss of enjoyment you've experienced
      • Your pain and suffering
      • Other financial loss or expense due to your injury

      For more information, call us on 0800 056 4110 and we'll be happy to discuss your options in a free initial consultation.

    • Can I Make A No Win No Fee Claim?
    • Many of our cases are funded with a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there’s no financial risk to you when making a compensation claim.

      At the start of your case, we'll discuss funding options with you, advising you which we think is most suitable. If you have legal expenses insurance (LEI) or are covered by a trade union policy, these may be best for you. Legal expenses insurance is included in many household, travel or car insurance policies, so it’s always worth checking whether you’re already covered.

      If we think you're best supported by a No Win No Fee agreement, we'll explain the process clearly. You'll only have to pay anything if your claim is successful – even then your opponent will pay most of our fees, with the remaining costs coming out of your compensation settlement.

      Please visit our No Win No Fee page for more information on how it works.

    • How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?
    • In the UK, you usually need to make a compensation claim within three years of your accident or illness.

      In fatal cases, the family of the deceased has three years to make a claim, starting from either the date your loved one died, or the date you received the post-mortem results.

      However, these time limits vary a great deal from country to country and are much shorter in some countries, so when an accident or illness has taken place abroad, it's vital that you contact us as soon as possible. We are experts in international law, and have a worldwide network of partner law firms that we work with, so we'll be able to advise you on specific time limits. Contact us today on 0800 056 4110 for a free consultation on your case, and we'll be happy to help.

I am relieved that our legal battle is finally over. Our holiday was a nightmare and we were so disappointed. We’re glad Irwin Mitchell has managed to achieve a successful outcome for us."

David, client

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Make A Claim For Illness Or Accident Abroad?

If you've been injured or taken ill while abroad, or if a loved one has died as the result of an illness or accident, you may be able to claim compensation.

To be able to claim, we need to prove that another party was responsible for your injury or illness through negligence, failure to follow health and safety standards, breach of foreign law or through a criminal act. We’ve helped many thousands of clients claim compensation in a range of circumstances, including:

  • A road traffic accident caused by someone else's reckless driving, whether it was another vehicle or a coach you were travelling in or if you were a pedestrian
  • Negligent care during medical treatment, such as cosmetic surgery
  • Slips, trips or other accidents in a hotel or on a cruise ship
  • Inadequately supervised or poorly instructed sporting activities
  • An assault, such as a mugging or sexual assault
  • Food poisoning caused by poor food hygiene
  • Failure to isolate someone who has become ill, leading to an outbreak
  • Illnesses caused by poorly maintained water systems, such as Legionnaires' disease
  • A terrorist attack
  • Accidents whilst working abroad
  • Accidents whilst involved in skiing or other sports activities
  • Poorly maintained facilities at a tourist attraction, or insufficient warning on risks or safety procedures on an excursion

You can claim whether you were working abroad, or were on holiday either as an independent traveller or as part of a package holiday. A package holiday is  one that combines elements of transport, accommodation or entertainment in one booking.

In the UK, there are special provisions that can help you bring a claim against a package provider. Tour operators can  be held liable to compensate you for failure to adequately ensure health and safety at the hotels they arrange for their customers – find out more in our package holiday claims guide.

Much like in the UK, there are usually laws in place to help you if you've been injured or become ill overseas. In instances of assaults or attacks, there are often victim compensation schemes that you may be able to apply to for compensation.

If you're unsure as to whether or not you'll be able to claim, or have any questions about the claims process more generally, please feel free to give us a call on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation on your case. Alternatively, you can contact us online, and we’ll get back to you to discuss your options.

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Can I Make An Accident Or Illness Abroad Claim Through The UK Courts?

You can often claim in the UK for an accident or illness that occurred abroad, though this varies depending on your circumstances. There are different rules from country to country, and the procedure for different kinds of accidents and illnesses can be different too.

You can usually claim in the UK if:

  • You're claiming against an individual, insurer, employer or tour operator that is based in the UK.
  • You're claiming against a business or individual that is based in an EU country.
  • You have been injured or become ill whilst on a package holiday.

If your accident took place outside the EU, then you may have to claim directly in that country. However, we will be able to advise you on all potential options and arrange representation for you if your claim has reasonable prospects of success.

Sometimes claiming abroad can be beneficial, as compensation levels may be higher – this can be the case in USA-based claims. Even if your claim is being made abroad instead of in the UK, it's incredibly rare that you'll personally have to go to court in another country. 

We work with an international network of law firms to support and represent our clients when they need to claim around the world, so you don't need to worry about language barriers as part of your case.

The vast majority of claims are handled without the need for you to go to court. Most hearings will be conducted by your legal representative with no need for you to actually attend. 

If the claim goes to a full trial, then you will need to go to court – but these cases are by far the exception rather than the norm.  

If you have any questions or concerns about making a claim abroad, contact us on 0800 056 4110 for a free consultation. We'll be able to advise you on your options, and talk you through the process.

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Why Choose Irwin Mitchell For An Accident Or Illness Abroad Claim?

We understand that claiming for something that happened overseas can be daunting because of different laws, language barriers, and concerns about navigating the court process in another country.

In situations like this, it helps to have the experts on your side. Our team of international personal injury lawyers have helped many thousands of clients to recover hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation for accidents and illnesses abroad. We also will do all that we can to arrange personalised rehabilitation support to help our clients recover as much as possible from their injuries.

We'll bring this same level of international expertise, understanding, and personalised approach to your claim. If your accident or illness has left you with any need for ongoing medical treatment or support, this will be factored into your compensation settlement, and we'll help you access any treatment that you are entitled to.

Over 30 years of handling compensation claims around the world, we have dealt with many large, high-profile cases, achieving landmark settlements for a number of our clients, including:

  • £5.5m for almost 1000 guests who contracted serious gastric illness at the Bahia Principe Hotel in the Dominican Republic in 2007. Appalling hygiene conditions, including vermin, sewage, and undercooked food, led to an outbreak of illnesses such as salmonella and campylobacter. Read more about the story here.
  • Over £6m for a businessman who suffered a severe brain injury after a motorbike collision with a tractor in Germany. Previously a keen sportsman and a successful Sales Director, he was left needing daily care and unable to return to work. Read more about the compensation and care package we secured for him.
  • Life-changing compensation and rehabilitation for a man who was left paraplegic after a hit-and-run in Rome. The driver, a Welsh priest, was convicted of drink driving but denied liability. We secured interim funds to help our client move into an adapted home while his case was ongoing. The final settlement, out of court, was £3 million – plus more than £200,000 every year for the rest of our client’s life. Read more here.

To find out more about how to make a claim, and how we can help, call us today on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation about your case.

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Awards & Accreditation

"The lawyers are heavyweight individuals in a big firm, but they never compromise on client care. They handle cases with striking compassion and insight."
We're very pleased to be an approved Head Injury Solicitor for Headway, the brain injury association.
We're delighted to have been named Claimant Solicitor of the Year in the 2016 Post Magazine Rehabilitation First Awards, an award we've won on seven occasions.
"'One of the best’ and ‘go-to firm’ Irwin Mitchell covers the full range of work, and specialises in complex, unique cases."

What Our Clients Say

We truly value and appreciate the feedback we receive from our clients, as we look to improve the services we offer on an ongoing basis.

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Our International Expertise

PEOPIL

Our lawyers are recognised as leaders in the field of international personal injury claims, and we bring this expertise to your claim. Members of our team regularly lecture internationally, are consulted on law reform issues, and hold key positions in several leading international organisations, including:

  • The Pan-European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers
  • Travel and Tourism Lawyers Association
  • The American Association for Justice.

We also have a long history of campaigning for improvements in health and safety. Our aim is always to improve the quality of life and levels of compensation for those who have suffered illness or been involved in an accident on holiday.

Our Offices

Our offices are located in major cities throughout the UK and have excellent transport links.

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