14 January 2011
Overseas Accidents: Your Rights
I intend to embark on a number of blogs dealing with overseas accidents. These are accidents that occurred abroad and can be no less devastating as a result. In fact accidents abroad can be significantly more traumatic if one imagines the scenario which we all hope and pray would never occur, namely being involved in say a serious road traffic accident on foreign soil, sustaining significant injuries, not being able to speak the language particularly well or at all and having to cope with the medical treatment and bureaucracy of trying to get home most of which is unlikely to be straightforward.
I commented previously and indeed in my first blog of how foreign accidents can ruin a holiday and my sympathy certainly went out to a client of mine whose claim has since settled where he and his wife were involved in a serious accident whilst on holiday in Libya. The car that they were in flipped onto its back as a result of the accident. They had been going down a sand dune at the time. There were no seatbelts in the car and both my client and his wife suffered significant injuries to the extent that they really are both lucky to be alive.
The treatment that they received in Libya was good but without question they went through a traumatic time and had to be repatriated by air ambulance before undergoing extensive further treatment in the UK.
I intend in my forthcoming blogs not to concentrate on the damages aspect since damages or compensation remains the same, but instead to concentrate at least initially, on the basis of the claim namely who the claim is brought against and any issues that arise in relation to this point.
There is much in the legal press at present and has been for some months about what is called codification of laws namely the bringing together of laws in Europe. I am sure a ‘quango’ meeting in Brussels can get quite excited about the idea of England and Wales having the same laws as France, Italy or Spain. In my view this is a tall order and is never likely to occur although without question the laws will be brought closer together, the intention being to have at least some overlap to assist in the legal process generally.
It is this issue which I would like to be commenting on and I hope that you will be kind enough to read my comments when written and posted.Tristan Hallam is a partner in Personal Injury in the London office of Slater and Gordon Lawyers. If you or a member of your family has suffered an accident or injury call our expert personal injury solicitors on 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and one of our specialist personal injury team will review your compensation claim for free.