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Written on 8th December 2020 by Richard Money-Kyrle

Injuries happen when and where we least expect them, but when they do, it is important to know how and where to make a claim for compensation.

The country where the injury occurred and the country where you or your child will live with its consequences are more important than your original home or nationality. Having a lawyer who understands the laws and local practises of both countries is essential for succeeding in an international compensation claim.

Which country’s law applies?

  • Negligent injury here? Claim here.

Where a serious injury is caused by negligence in England or Wales, the injured person has a right to claim compensation under English law.  This right applies whether the injured person is from England or Wales or is from another country, as long as their injury happened here.

  • Negligent injury under UK jurisdiction abroad? Claim here.

The right to claim compensation under English law also applies to negligent injuries which took place abroad in facilities or circumstances governed by English legal jurisdiction.  For example, this means that members of the armed forces can bring a compensation claim against the MOD under English law for an injury which happened at an MOD military hospital abroad, such as a birth injury to a child born at that hospital.

  • Accident abroad but living here?

If you are resident in the UK but suffered a negligent injury, such as a road traffic accident abroad, the law of the country where the injury took place will usually apply to the claim. Different time limits and procedures apply for making claims in other countries, so you should seek advice from serious injury lawyers who understand international claims and can protect your interests by getting the claim started for you straight away.

  • Negligent injury here then moved abroad? Claim here.

The injured person still has the right to claim compensation under English law for negligent injuries which took place in England and Wales if they then move abroad. Serious medical negligence or personal injury claims involving residency in another country are highly complex and should only be handled by specialist injury lawyers who are also experienced in international claims.

How will moving abroad affect my compensation claim?

The amount of compensation that you can claim and recover for a serious injury will usually be different if the injured person, or the injured child and their family, subsequently move abroad. This is because the claim for compensation will be assessed according to the injured person’s needs arising from their disability and the cost of meeting those needs. The needs should be assessed by specialist lawyers with the help of experts under the principles of English law. However, the cost of meeting those needs will probably be different in the injured person’s new country of residence.

It takes experience of both complex severe injury claims and international injury cases to carry out the careful investigation and assessment of the value of the claim. This expertise is essential to protect the injured person’s interests and provide enough compensation to meet their lifelong needs. Getting it wrong may result in delay and a lower compensation payment to the client.

Where the injured person now lives abroad, they may need a different level of compensation to cover: 

  • Costs of recruiting and employing professional carers;
  • Case management;
  • Suitable accommodation costs;
  • Medical treatment or healthcare insurance;
  • Rehabilitation costs; 
  • Therapies, such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy or speech and language therapy;
  • Specialist equipment;
  • Costs of transport or adapted vehicles;
  • Costs of meeting their special educational needs (SEN);
  • Loss of earnings in a different employment market;
  • Financial differences in state support, taxation, currency, and investment and protection of the injured person’s compensation.

Boyes Turner’s claims lawyers are experienced in international injury compensation claims

Our clinical negligence and serious injury lawyers have worldwide experience in helping clients recover substantial compensation in serious injury claims involving injury or residency both here and abroad.

We offer ‘no win no fee’ conditional fee agreements, legal aid for eligible clients, and private funding options to allow you to fund your claim in the best way for you.

Recent concluded cases include:

  • $23 million settlement for a child with cerebral palsy from kernicterus brain damage after negligent NHS neonatal care,  who now lives in New York;
  • £13 million settlement for a client with neurological disability caused by maternity negligence,  involving temporary residence in Australia;
  • £1 million settlement for a client who was injured in a road accident in France, with additional compensation for his family;
  • £40,000 compensation for a client who suffered a degloving injury in a moped accident in Greece.

If you or your child have suffered severe injury and you would like to find out more about how we can help you claim compensation, either here or abroad, contact us by email at or call us free on 0800 124 4845.