A holiday is supposed to be a time you take off away from the usual daily tasks to relax your mind with friends, family or just alone. You expect to have great times devoid of misfortunes.
Unfortunately, just like it would be at home, you are not immune to injuries and illnesses during holidays and accidents can happen.
The question now is, what happens if you get involved in one, and what are your options?
We are a law firm that assists people with cases of this nature and can assist you on matters of international holiday accident claims where negligence arises.
What to do if you have an accident abroad
Depending on the nature of the injury, document the details of the accident as much as you can. Take names of witnesses, including the addresses, phone numbers, the time of the accident and capture photos of the accident scene to prove that the accident occurred. Remember to maintain your expenditure receipts for use when seeking damages.
Report the accident to your travel agency or the person in charge of your place of residence.
These parties should be able to assist you in making an official report to the police as they have a better understanding of the laws and procedures of the country you are visiting. If they fail to be of help, you can report the incident yourself.
It is essential to get a copy of these reports as they will support your claims when you return to Ireland.
In case you undergo medical examinations and treatment, keep the medical reports and receipts of payments made directly or through your medical insurance cover.
You are also eligible to make a holiday accident claim for any loss suffered as a result of third parties not exercising due care on their part or when their conduct failed short of expected standards.
We have seen situations where people who are injured while on holiday prefer to wait and attend with their own doctor back home, instead of availing of the local medical services.
In terms of Spain the medical care available and accessible is, in our opinion, excellent. One should not be hesitant to attend with a local doctor/hospital who will more than likely be able to communicate with you in your language. You may have a European Medical Card in your possession.
Common holiday injuries
You are more likely to get injuries while on holiday based on the nature of activities you want to partake in.
This is because unlike your regular working days, you are exposed to unfamiliar territories, activities and other nations driving habits or road systems.
The most common injuries or illnesses include road accidents, slips and falls on slippery surfaces and accidents from water sports.
Legal time limits in Holiday Accident Claims
This defines how soon you need to make a claim after you have suffered an injury. Beyond this time, your application will be null and void. This time frame varies from one country to another.
In Ireland, it is two years minus a day to take legal action and ensure it is registered with the correct legal name of the Defendant in the Injuries Board.
How long does a case take?
One should file their holiday accident claim as soon as possible to the Injuries Board via online application or mailing print copies as a first step. The board will likely state that as the claim falls within a class relevant to the Regulation (EC) No.864/2007 of the European Parliament etc.
The board will then issue what is termed an Authorisation which entitles the person to commence legal proceedings here in Ireland to resolve the dispute. How long the case will take can depend on the severity of your injury, the defendants actions, and your desire to have the matter resolved.
How to progress a Holiday Accident Claim
Claims made for injuries suffered while on a package holiday provided by an Irish holiday provider must pass through Injuries Board.
After that, a claim can be brought before the court or processed for a resolution.
Package Holidays Act, 1995
It can be a headache for you to deal with unfamiliar legal systems while abroad. The Package Holidays and Travel Trade Act, 1995, of Ireland was enacted to give holidaymakers a reprieve.
It clearly states that anyone traveling on a package holiday has the right to initiate a holiday accident claim against a tour operator whether the accident took place within the country or abroad.
Hence, once you are back home, you can bring forth a claim for redress.
While you are enjoying your holiday abroad, injuries and accidents may occur and completely change your life for the short time or a longer term.
However, Ireland has laws to protect and allow you to seek redress by taking legal action here in Ireland to seek redress.
8(b) “In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement”.
Please be advised that the above-mentioned material is intended as an overview and as a broad out-line of the topic discussed. It should not be considered as complete and comprehensive legal advice, nor act as an appropriate substitute.
Due care has been taken in the publication of this article and we do not accept legal liability as a result of reliance on any material covered in the above article.