Back to Blog

Don’t Let an Accident Working Abroad Ruin your Gap Year

Got the urge to travel? If you’re planning a gap year or working abroad, it is important to plan for the event of an accident leaving you injured overseas.

Though you will miss out on the alleged three-month heat wave supposedly warming the UK this summer, many will be migrating to work in even warmer climates. Fruit picking and manual fieldwork are popular vocations for backpackers on gap years. It is often the case that you are employed by the farmer or owner of the land, for example, the vineyard owner for the grape harvest in France. It is also possible to find employment at these highly-sought placements via agencies.

In the event that a person is injured in an accident abroad that wasn’t their fault, determining liability can prove difficult if your arrangements have been made off the beaten track. By arranging employment through a travel employment agency or a well-established employer, tracing liability will potentially be simpler, especially with evidence such as witnesses and photographs of the accident site along with your injuries.

Slater and Gordon Travel Litigation Lawyers have extensive experience in pursuing personal injury compensation claims for people injured in an accident whilst working overseas on gap years.

One of our many clients was involved in an accident at work in Paris, France in 2011. Our client was employed as a Marquee Erector. On the day of the accident, he was working at a site in Paris dismantling a marquee. As another employee started to lift the end of a side purlin (a horizontal timber supporting the rafters of a roof), the other end with a hook fell to the ground and bounced to the end nearest our client and his colleague. Our client was facing the arch support leg that needed to push towards a forklift truck, and because of this he could not see what was happening. He jumped to the side but he could not avoid the straight hook hitting the top of his left hand. The accident occurred because the marquee had been incorrectly erected two weeks before he was instructed to dismantle it. Our client was given first aid at the scene and was then taken to a local hospital by ambulance. As a result of this accident, our client sustained a deep wound to the left hand that required five stitches.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers are currently acting for a group of people who, after working a ski season in the Alps, were travelling home to the UK when their coach crashed in the mountains.

Whether heading on holiday, travelling or working abroad, there are some essentials that you should have in preparation. A myriad of emergencies could cross your path whilst overseas. This shouldn’t deter you from your adventures, but planning your travels is important. In the event of an emergency abroad, you will need to know a list of contacts to avoid a panic.

Travel insurance comes in different packages, all incredibly affordable if you consider it in comparison to the cost of an injury sustained during an accident overseas. Though it is difficult to prepare for the unexpected, you can purchase travel insurance that is tailored to any specific activities you intend to enjoy overseas. This applies to working abroad, ensuring that you are covered if injured in an accident.

If travelling in Europe an essential addition to your backpack is a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This is not an alternative to travel insurance, but will give you access to state-provided healthcare in the European Economic Area at a reduced cost, and sometimes free.

Paul McClorry is Senior Personal Injury Lawyer who specialises in Travel Law Claims at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK are experts in securing compensation in holiday accident claims.

For a free consultation after an injury whilst on holiday you can call us on freephone 0800 916 9046 or from abroad on +44 20 7657 155. Alternatively you can contact us online and we will call you.

Personal Injury, Travel law

Comments