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Holiday Accidents & Illness Claims

Medical Negligence Abroad Claims

Medical professionals have a duty of care to their patients, no matter where in the world they are practicing. If you have suffered as a result of poor medical care while abroad, our lawyers may be able to help you claim compensation.

Whether you became ill or were injured on holiday, while working, or travelling abroad specifically for medical treatment, you could be entitled to make a medical negligence claim. Our lawyers have helped clients who have suffered medical negligence in a number of circumstances, including:

  • Care following a slip, trip or fall
  • Care after a sporting, skiing or road traffic accident
  • Birth injuries
  • Emergency admissions
  • IVF treatment
  • Surgery, including cosmetic surgery
  • Dentistry

Medical negligence claims arising abroad can be complicated, so when you need to make a compensation claim after something has gone wrong, it helps to have the experts on your side. We make the entire process as simple as possible for you, handling every aspect of your case and offering our advice in plain English when needed, so you can focus on recovery.

Medical negligence can have serious impacts wherever in the world you were receiving treatment. If you've been injured, or if a loved one has died, because of substandard medical treatment abroad, call us today on 0800 121 6558 for a free initial consultation about your case, or contact us online and we'll get back to you.

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Medical Negligence Abroad Claims - More Information
    • What Happens When I Make A Claim?
    • To make a compensation claim for medical negligence 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 treatment, 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 negligent treatment, 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 121 6558 for your 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 121 6558 for a free consultation on your case, and we'll be happy to help.

    • Can I Claim While I'm Still Abroad?
    • If you have suffered negligent medical treatment in another country, it's still vital that you contact us as soon as possible to ensure you get your claim started within the relevant time limits.

      We can begin working on your claim while you're still abroad – all you need to do is contact us. You can do this online or by phone on +44800 121 6558, or a relative can call us on your behalf on 0800 121 6558.

      You can advise us on the best way to contact you while you're abroad, and you can update this once you're back in the UK if you need to.

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

What Constitutes Medical Negligence?

Medical negligence, also known as clinical negligence or medical malpractice, is generally defined as treatment which falls below a reasonable standard. This includes treatment by:

  • Physicians
  • Surgeons
  • Dentists
  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Paramedics

It doesn't matter whether your injury or illness was caused by routine treatment, emergency care, or a procedure you've chosen to have, such as cosmetic surgery – you still could be entitled to make a claim.

The exact definition of what constitutes negligence varies from country to country. A small number of countries also have no fault schemes to compensate injured patients. In most countries, we generally need to prove three things for a successful claim:

  1. That a healthcare professional had a duty of care to you as a patient
  2. That the professional failed to meet an acceptable standard of care
  3. That this negligence caused your injury or illness

A health care professional could claim that an injury or condition was not directly caused by their actions, so there are accepted tests for deciding whether something was negligent or not. The main questions a court will ask include:

  • Were you fully informed of the potential risks involved with all aspects of your treatment?
  • Would the same actions have been taken by most other medical practitioners in the same circumstances, in the same country?
  • Were there other courses of action available that would have been likely to provide a better outcome?

If you're unsure about whether or not your treatment will qualify as negligence, or have any questions about the claims process generally, give us a call today on 0800 121 6558 for a free initial consultation about your case so we can discuss your options with you.

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Who Do You Claim From In A Medical Negligence Claim?

We will investigate the doctors or medical practitioners involved, as well as any clinics or hospitals, and establish the contractual relationship between them to work out who is ultimately legally responsible for your injuries, and who their insurers are.

Our goal is generally to identify the insurer you'll be claiming from, rather than pursuing the individual who may be directly responsible for your injuries, as it's important to pursue a claim against an opponent that actually has the means to pay compensation.

If the negligence happened inside of the EU or if you arranged private treatment abroad then you might be able to make a claim through the UK courts. It may also be necessary to make a claim in the country in which the hospital or doctor responsible is based.

By working with an international network of law firms, we are able to support our clients in claims around the world, so you can rest assured that we have the experience needed to help you.

If you're unsure about whether or not you'll be able to make a claim, or where you'll have to make it, contact us today on 0800 121 6558 for a free consultation. We'll discuss your case and advise you on your options in plain English, without any legal jargon.

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Why Choose Irwin Mitchell For A Medical Negligence Abroad Claim?

When faced with making a claim for medical negligence in another country, it helps to have the experts on your side. When you make a claim with us, we'll handle every aspect of your case for you, offering our advice, in plain English.

If you have to make a claim outside of the UK courts, we'll work with our international network of law firms to navigate any local laws and language barriers.

Rehabilitation and support is an essential part of our service, and we ensure that any compensation settlement we pursue accounts for any medical care or support you are entitled to as a result of your injuries, as well as modifications to your home, and any travel expenses you've incurred.

We'll also help you to arrange any care you need. Our approach to rehabilitation has seen us win Post Magazine's Rehabilitation Award for Claimant Solicitors on six occasions.

We have the largest team of international personal injury lawyers in the UK, working solely on claims relating to accidents and illnesses abroad. Our industry-leading lawyers have secured hundreds of millions of pounds for victims of accidents and illnesses abroad.

To find out more about how to make a claim, and how we can help, call us today on 0800 121 6558 for a free initial consultation about your case.

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The Times Best Law Firms 2019 Leading Firm - Legal 500 2017 chambers-2019

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Our International Expertise


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

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

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.

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

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