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A holiday should be a time when you can relax and simply get away from your day to day routine. However, it can become an expensive time for you if you happen to suffer a personal injury while on holidays abroad.Tell Us About Your Case
Unfortunately, suffering a personal injury while on holidays abroad is an all too common occurrence. If you have been involved in an accident on holiday or are injured abroad you may be entitled to pursue legal action. This is provided that the accident was as a result of somebody else’s negligence. Below is our guide to what to do when you have been injured on holidays and are pursuing an international personal injury claim.
While on holiday, a person will partake in activities that they would normally not partake in, in their everyday lives. Some of these activities can potentially lead to accidents if one is not careful.
The simple answer is no, because like in many scenarios, it is almost impossible for a person to gauge whether a service provider, activities organiser, or the likes, has exercised extreme caution and care in the provision and delivery of their services. Sometimes it is the absence of care from a service provider (negligence) that leads to an accident on holiday.
Some common examples of a holiday accident/illness claim are:
For those who have been injured while on a package holiday, the thought of returning to the destination where they were injured to deal with a holiday accident claim is daunting and confusing. Luckily, The Package Holidays and Travel Trade Act 1995 comes into play and provides an avenue whereby a person who was injured on a package holiday in a foreign country can make a holiday accident claim in Ireland, provided that the holiday was organised by an Irish package holiday provider.
Accident on holiday claims when on a package holiday provided by an Irish travel agency must be passed through the Injuries Board for assessment before proceeding to settlement or to court. Other accidents that did not happen on a package holiday differ, as the Injuries Board generally does not assess these types of cases. Instead, they issue authorisations as they do not have the power to stop the statute outside of Ireland. For this reason, you should ensure that you instruct a solicitor in Ireland as soon as possible after the accident.
Whether you are here on holidays, visiting family or friends or just passing through, having an accident and sustaining an injury for any non-national while in Ireland, is a total inconvenience. It is most definitely not part of your travel plans! In many cases, the injured person will not be in Ireland long enough to pursue a personal injury claim while they are here. Speak with a personal injury solicitor about what to do if you are injured while in Ireland.
If you have been involved in a car accident while abroad, the fact that the driver of the car is not resident in Ireland does not affect your right to issue proceedings in Ireland. It is also important to note that the level of damages recovered for the accident may be limited to the damages that you would recover if you issued proceedings in the member state where the accident occurred.
‘Medical tourism’ refers to travelling to another country for medical care. It is estimated that up to 750,000 US residents travel abroad for care each year. Many people who travel for care do so because treatment is much cheaper in another country. In addition, a large number of medical tourists are immigrants returning to their home country for care. This has become quite prevalent in Ireland. This can be motivated by the ease of communication, familiarity with the health service cost and the availability of family support during recuperation. The most common procedures that people undergo on medical tourism trips include cosmetic surgery, dentistry, and heart surgery. In recent years travelling for dental services abroad from Ireland has become popular.
The specific risks of medical tourism depend on the area being visited and the procedures performed, but some general issues have been identified:
If you are planning to travel to another country for medical care:
Following an accident on holiday, there are a number of steps you should follow:
Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after an accident, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries. Then check if anybody else involved in the accident needs medical attention. If anybody has sustained a serious injury, ensure that you contact an ambulance to attend the scene.
You must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to a more serious injury in the future. In this case, it is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.
It is important that you report the accident to management. You may be required to assist to fill in an accident form. This is to provide them details of how the accident occurred and details of the injury. You should also request that they preserve any CCTV footage.
Collect contact details of any witnesses to the accident – their names and contact information.
It is important that you collect all the relevant information in connection with your accident:
If you are considering moving forward with a claim for any personal injuries sustained, it is advisable that you speak with a public place accident claims solicitor as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment. A solicitor can help you prepare your application to the Injuries Board and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your claim quickly without unnecessary delays.
It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or incident report forms where possible as you will need them when making a claim.
Once you have gathered most of the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist public place accident solicitor to help you with this.
When you decide you want to move forward with your claim it is important to have as much as possible of the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Some of the important information to have on hand at this point is:
As a solicitor is aware of the claims process they can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you looked after this matter yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.
One of the most important documents in your case is a medical report. Your solicitor will ask for your doctor’s or hospital details so he can obtain a report on your injuries. This report will then be used to allow us to progress your case.
As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your accident claim will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. Your solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage, you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move to the next steps.
At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:
a. If both you and the other party accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the person at fault will be ordered to pay settlement to you.
b. If either you or the other party reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.
Before you start to concern yourself with court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.
Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point prior to a court hearing date without you ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and this allows you to focus on your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.
At Tracey Solicitors LLP, we make law accessible to all – regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your accident, phone 01 649 9900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us about your case, where you can speak with a member of our team straight away.
We aim to provide clear and independent legal advice and achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.
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If you are to proceed with a holiday accident claim you may be entitled to recoup costs to you as a result of the accident. This is along with added expenses you may have incurred, these claims are called damages:
General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following an accident.
Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of a holiday accident, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills (abroad and in Ireland), and added travel costs as a result of the accident (for example, travel to and from the hospital). This may be a financial burden for people who have sustained an accident abroad. They may have no travel insurance, added travel costs as a result of the accident. For example, travel to and from the hospital or last-minute travel arrangements to travel home. Learn more about Special Damages.
After suffering an accident on holiday, there is a specific timeframe in which you can make a claim. The timeframe you have in which to claim may depend on the country where the accident occurred. It is for this reason that it is important to speak with a holiday accident solicitor. They can help you in understanding what you need to do and when and determining the accident abroad jurisdiction.
In Ireland, the statute of limitations is two years minus one day. For example, a road traffic accident happened on the 8th August 2016, proceedings would have to be issued by the 7th August 2018.
One exception to this is if you have been injured on a package holiday provided to you by an Irish package holiday provider, in this case, you would be bound by the Irish statute of limitations.Learn more about Legal Time Limits
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