01 March 2013
Personal Injury Solicitor Matthew Tomlinson on an Overseas Accident Claim for Serious Injuries
The tragic case of the lady who suffered Serious Injuries when a heavy wooden panel fell on her head at the 7 star Emirates Place Hotel in Abu Dhabi brings home the risks faced by travellers who sustain serious injury whilst aboard and the fact that other countries/jurisdictions do not have an adequate system of compensation.
A 34 year old lady sustained a Brain Injury and had to be put in a medically introduced coma on five occasions. She was admitted into intensive care on more than 20 occasions as a result of the Overseas Accident, and still suffers with epileptic seizures and has trouble walking and talking.
The Abu Dhabi’s Claim Court ruled in her favour in respect of the claim for damages but only made an award of £36,000 when the total claim - had the claim been concluded in the UK courts, would have been significantly higher than that.
The present rules are determined by the Rome II Regulations which dictate that the law of the country where the injuries were sustained governs the amount of compensation that is payable. This is despite the fact that the injured person returns to the UK and the bulk of the pain and suffering, care costs, out of pocket expenses and indeed loss of earnings are incurred in the UK. Often those heads of damage that ordinarily would be compensatable in the UK are not recoverable in accordance with the rules of the country where the injury was sustained.
This is a very tragic case and simply illustrates the risks involved in travelling aboard when you sustain injuries through no fault of your own and not being adequately compensated in the life changing events that can occur.