We’re often asked by people injured or that have suffered a holiday illness whilst overseas how much time is of the essence to pursue a claim.
Generally a time limit will apply if you sustain a personal injury at home in the UK or abroad whilst travelling and on holiday. If English law applies to your case, the time limit is typically three years - and longer if you are a minor or lack capacity. However, in certain cases, such as an accident at sea, this time limit is shorter. Special rules also apply to accidents involving air travel.
What if Foreign Law Applies to Your Claim?
If a foreign law applies to your case then the time limits can vary. Some countries have a time limit as short as one year, others as generous as 10 years. Some countries make allowances for children to have additional time to pursue a claim, whilst others do not.
We always therefore recommend you seek expert legal advice from our team quickly, so we can explain these time limits to you.
How do Overseas Accident and Illness Claims Work?
You may wonder what is involved in an overseas accident or food poisoning abroad claim and what happens when you first contact a travel litigation lawyer.
Once you have contacted Slater and Gordon, the first thing our travel litigation solicitors do is to take instructions and review the booking documents to identify the correct defendant – is the defendant the English tour operator, the accommodation provider or the hotel? This will determine the relevant regulations and jurisdiction.
Once we have identified the defendant we write a formal letter of claim outlining our position. This gives the defendant 42 days to acknowledge the claim and then six months thereafter in which to investigate liability. At the end of the six months they must state whether they intend to admit or deny the claim.
For further details, see our previous blog here, but rest assured that in the event you require our services we will keep you informed of the process from your first consultation.
Joanne Berry is a principal lawyer within the travel litigation team at Slater and Gordon in Manchester.
For a consultation or legal advice concerning an accident or illness abroad, our No Win, No Fee Solicitors can help you with your claim for compensation.
Call us on Freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online. From outside the UK please call +44 20 7657 1555.