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Accidents Abroad

For most people, a summer holiday provides a perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy some much-needed time away from work, and the few weeks in the sun passes without incident.

Unfortunately for some people, this is not the case. In fact the Post Office Travel Insurance has revealed that roughly 4.4 million people have suffered injuries whilst abroad in the past three years.

Common accidents abroad include:

  • Food poisoning
  • Slips and trips
  • Sporting injuries
  • Road traffic accidents


Suffering an illness or accident abroad can be an extremely distressing and confusing time, and you are likely to have many questions regarding a potential claim.

I have suffered an injury abroad, what should I do?

You should immediately seek treatment from a local doctor or hospital if you have suffered an injury or illness and ask for a record of any treatment given. If it possible, take photos of the location and what it is that caused your injury.

If you are travelling with a holiday company, contact your rep as soon as possible and make them aware of the circumstances, and also gather the contact information of any witnesses that saw your accident.

You should also report any accidents or illnesses to your insurance company as soon as possible and keep a receipt of any additional expenses incurred as a result of your accident.

If you were involved in a car accident, take the contact details of the other driver(s) and the details of their vehicle, including the hire company if necessary.

The British Embassy will be able to assist you if you are struggling to find support.


It is important to take out travel insurance before you go on holiday, even if you are travelling with the EU. If you are holidaying within the EU, you are still (for the time being!) entitled to healthcare at a reduced cost or free with the EIHC (European Health Insurance Card). It is unlikely to cover the entire cost of your treatment and will not cover the cost of your travel home. (If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on the 31st October, this is likely to change).

An accident whilst on a package holiday

Holiday makers are protected by the Package Travel Regulations if they have booked a package holiday with a tour operator. It is the tour operator who is responsible for all services, including car hire, accommodation and flights. Many people choose a package holiday for the security that comes with knowing that they are legally responsible for your welfare and potentially your compensation if you suffer an accident or an illness whilst on your holiday. 

An accident abroad as an ‘independent traveller’

You are classed as an independent traveller if you have made your own travel arrangements, this may be for the entirety of your trip, or for part of your trip (for example, if you arranged an activity independently of your package holiday).

Laws around compensation can differ from country to country, and there are also international conventions providing extra protection for accidents or injuries at sea.

How do I make a claim for an accident abroad?

If you have suffered an accident whilst abroad, you can contact us for free legal advice.

Our ‘not-for-profit’ ethos, allows us to work in a work that is different to other law firms. The team at SHU Law is made up of qualified solicitors, paralegals and students, which means that you are guaranteed to have a wealth of experience at your fingertips, with more time dedicated to your matter than perhaps you would anticipate.

s.ayres@shulaw.co.uk | 0114 225 5891

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