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Holiday Accidents & Illness Claims

Road Traffic Accident Abroad Claims

A road traffic accident can be a traumatic and life-changing experience wherever in the world it takes place. If you've been involved in a road traffic accident (RTA) while abroad for work or leisure, our lawyers could help you claim compensation.

When an accident happens overseas, it can be hard to know what to do. The rules around claiming compensation can be different from country to country, and language barriers can make navigating these local laws difficult.

Most of the international personal injury claims we handle are made in England & Wales. But in some cases it may be beneficial to make your claim abroad. We can advise you on this in a free initial consultation about making a claim.

Compensation claims in England & Wales are normally funded through a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there's nothing to pay upfront, and that you won’t have to pay any legal fees if your claim is unsuccessful*.

We have the largest and most successful international personal injury department in the UK, and have successfully handled thousands of road traffic accident abroad claims, winning record levels of compensation for a number of our clients.

Whether you were the driver, a passenger or a pedestrian, our lawyers have years of experience in road traffic accidents. We've helped numerous clients in accidents involving:

  • Cars and taxis
  • Coaches and buses
  • Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and lorries
  • Motorcycles
  • Bicycles
  • Pedestrians

The injuries caused by an RTA can range from relatively minor conditions severe injuries that require extensive medical care and rehabilitation. Tragically, road traffic accidents can also result in fatal injuries.

If you've been injured, or a loved one has been killed, in a road traffic accident abroad that wasn't your fault, we could help you claim compensation. 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.

No Win No Fee
Help accessing medical support and rehabilitation
Close links with law firms around the world
Offices across the UK

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Road Traffic Accident Abroad Claims - More Information
    • 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 In The UK?
    • Even if your accident or illness occurred abroad, you can often make a claim here in the UK, though this will vary depending on your circumstances. For example, if you suffered an accident or illness while staying in a hotel as part of a package holiday, you should be able to make a claim against the tour operator here in the UK.

      You can also usually claim in the UK if you’re claiming against an individual insurer or employer that is based in the UK, or a business or insurer based in the EU. The law around compensation is different in each country, so we will consider where it would be best to make your claim in order to get the best possible result for you.

      If you do have to make a claim abroad, there’s nothing to worry about as we have years of experience in helping clients to claim in more than 80 countries around the world. We work with an international network of law firms to represent and support our clients and their families when they need to claim, no matter which country the accident or illness occurred in. Most claims are settled out of court, so it’s unlikely that you will need to travel abroad for a court case. If this is necessary in your case, we will support you every step of the way.

      If you have any questions or concerns about making a claim abroad, contact us on 0800 121 6558 for a free consultation. We'll be able to advise you on your options, and talk you through the process.

    • Can I Begin My Claim While I'm Still Abroad?
    • If your illness or accident has resulted in a hospital stay 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 contact us 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

Who Can Claim Compensation For A Road Traffic Accident Abroad?

If you've been injured, or a loved one has died, as a result of a road traffic accident caused by someone else, then you could be able to make a claim.

The cause of the accident could have been:

  • The driver of another vehicle
  • The driver of a vehicle you were a passenger in
  • A fault in the vehicle
  • A poorly maintained road surface or traffic signals

Even if you were partially responsible for the accident, perhaps due to being unfamiliar with local traffic laws, you may still be able to claim compensation – please contact us for expert advice in this situation.

Under UK law, you generally have three years to make a compensation claim for a road traffic accident. You may be able to make a claim in the UK – even if your accident took place abroad. However, in that situation, foreign time limits usually apply and these may be different to UK time limits and are often shorter.

Claims can potentially be made in the UK if:

  • The accident has happened in the EU
  • It involves a serious injury
  • It involves a coach operated by a UK company
  • You were travelling with a tour operator based here
  • The responsible driver or other defendant is resident in the UK

Wherever you need to make your claim, we aim to make the entire process as simple as possible for you. If you do need to claim abroad, we work with an international network of law firms whose representatives can attend hearings overseas on your behalf, removing any language or travel barriers to making your case.

If you’d like to claim compensation following a road traffic accident abroad, it's vital that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible, to ensure you don't miss your chance because of local laws or time limits. Contact us on 0800 121 6558 for a free initial consultation about your case, and we'll be able to discuss your circumstances and give you some more information on your options.

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Who Would I Be Claiming Against?

In the case of a collision between two cars, for example, you’re likely to be claiming against the other driver and their insurer. If you were a passenger in a car or in a taxi, it may be the driver of the vehicle you were a passenger in and their insurer, or the other driver and their insurer – whoever was found to be at fault.

However, in certain cases someone other than the driver may be deemed to be responsible. For example, if you were travelling on a coach or bus as part of a package tour, and the accident was caused by reckless driving on the part of the driver, the tour operator may be held responsible, as they failed in their duty of care to you as a customer.

Road traffic accidents can also be caused by other factors, such as poorly maintained signage or road surfaces, and in these cases you may be able to bring a claim against the local authority responsible for this.

In the case of hit and run accidents where the driver responsible is not insured or who cannot be traced, you may still be able to make a claim. If you're able to claim through the UK courts then your compensation could be paid by the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB), an insurance industry-funded organisation that compensates victims of uninsured or untraceable drivers.

When you've been injured in a road traffic accident abroad, it's important to contact a lawyer for legal advice as soon as possible, so call us today on 0800 121 6558 for a free initial consultation. We'll advise you on whether we think you have a case, and what your options are.

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Why Choose Irwin Mitchell For A Road Traffic Accident Abroad Claim?

Making a claim for compensation following a road traffic accident abroad may seem daunting, but with experts on your side it’s nothing to worry about. We’ve helped thousands of people to claim in this situation and have the experience needed to navigate local traffic laws and rules around compensation settlements.

We work with an international network of law firms to support our clients when you need to make claims around the world, removing any language barriers and handling every aspect of your case. When you need to make a decision, we'll offer our advice in plain English, without any legal jargon.

Our aim is to make the process as simple as possible for our clients, so you can focus on recovering from your injuries as much as possible. Rehabilitation is an essential part of our process, informing the amount of compensation you'll receive, and we'll arrange for you to access all of the medical care and support you are entitled to from suppliers close to your home where possible.

If you have any questions about the claims process, or how we can help, contact us today on 0800 121 6558 for a free, no-obligation consultation on your case.

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Awards & Accreditation

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK.

UK Chambers & Partners Leading Firm 2018 Leading Firm - Legal 500 2017 Headway Head Injury Solicitor Accreditation 2018

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


Our lawyers are recognised as leaders in the field of international personal injury, and we bring this expertise to your claim. Members of our team regularly lecture internationally, are consulted on international personal injury 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.