Can I Claim Compensation for a Personal Injury Suffered on Holiday?

Claims involving events which took place outside England and Wales can be extremely complicated because the Court will assume that it doesn’t have any authority (sometimes called “jurisdiction”) to hear the case and you will convince the Court that it is in the interests of justice for it to accept jurisdiction. This will often involve a preliminary hearing, which is a sort of mini-trial in which the court will hear legal submissions from both sides and will then give a ruling on whether or not the case can continue to a full trial.
Normally if a case concerns events outside the UK, the Courts will not accept jurisdiction unless there is some other substantial link with the UK, for example where the defendant is a UK based citizen or company, or where there is a contractual arrangement between the claimant and defendant which is governed by English Law.
If the court accepts jurisdiction over your claim then you will still be faced with the problem of gathering evidence and contacting witnesses. It may be necessary to hire an accident investigator to travel to the scene of the accident, take photographs and measurements and compile a comprehensive report. Official police records and witness statements may have been taken in a What Rules Do Lawyers Have To Follow foreign language and will need to be translated. Managing the case will be time consuming and most high street solicitors will not be equipped to deal with this, so you should always seek advice from a specialist overseas personal injury solicitor who will have the necessary contacts to ensure that these arrangements are made as quickly and with as little expense as possible.
Making a claim where the court does not accept jurisdiction If you aren’t able to convince an English court that it should hear your case, then you will need to make a claim in the jurisdiction where the accident occurred, using the local courts and applying the local law. At this stage it is almost certain that you will need to engage a specialist solicitor to help to with your claim, and it is likely that you will also need to seek advice from a solicitor based in the jurisdiction where the accident occurred who is familiar with local laws. You should also bear in mind that foreign jurisdictions may have special rules about payment of Causes Of Road Accidents court costs and lawyers fees which are different from the position in the UK, and these may affect how easy (or economical) it is for you to make a claim. Depending on the jurisdiction involved, you may be required to attend court to give evidence and this can add significantly to the inconvenience. Because of the reasons outlined above, where a claim involves a foreign jurisdiction, it is best to avoid letting matters go to court. You should make every effort to reach a negotiated settlement and a personal injury solicitor can help you obtain the most compensation, although you may need to compromise on what you are prepared to accept.

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