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Serious injury claims from accidents abroad

Boyes Turner’s serious injury lawyers secure compensation for clients with catastrophic or severe injury caused by accidents whilst working, studying, travelling or on holiday abroad.

Our clients have experienced life-changing accidents which have left them with lasting disability from brain injury, spinal cord damage (SCI), amputation, severe physical and psychological injury. We help them secure the treatment and rehabilitation that they need to make the best possible recovery. We obtain interim payments to ease financial hardship and compensation settlements which meet their future needs, whilst providing professional and practical support every step of the way.

Severe injuries are always life-changing but when they are caused by accidents which happened abroad, getting help becomes even more challenging. In the same way, differences in language, time limits, laws, and local processes for making a claim adds another layer of complexity to an already specialist area of the law.

The country (or US state) where the accident took place can make a difference to:

  • the injured person’s right to make a claim for compensation;
  • deadline or time limit for making a claim;
  • which country’s legal system (or jurisdiction) governs the claim, and where the claim can be brought;
  • the procedures which must be followed;
  • the evidence that is used in the claim;
  • the amount of compensation that the injured person may receive.

Compensation claims arising from foreign accidents which caused severe and catastrophic injury to the brain or spinal cord, amputation or major trauma, must be handled by specialist solicitors.  We are experienced in securing rehabilitation and recovering high value compensation settlements for clients who have suffered severe injury whilst working, travelling or on holiday abroad.

Our experienced serious injury lawyers are top-ranked by Chambers Directory and the Legal 500. We are recognised and accredited as specialists by:

  • The Law Society’s Personal Injury Panel;
  • APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers);
  • Headway;
  • Spinal Injuries Association;
  • Major Trauma Group;
  • Cycle Smart Foundation.

We are members of PEOPIL (Pan European Organisation of Personal Injury Lawyers), a not-for-profit organisation which works to improve and promote judicial co-operation and mutual knowledge of European legal and judicial systems in the field of personal injury law.  We have an extensive, global network of specialist foreign lawyers and expert witnesses to support us in securing the best possible outcome for our clients in injury claims from accidents abroad.

Our experienced lawyers can advise you whether, how, when and where to make a claim and ensure you recover the compensation you deserve. You can talk to one of our specialist lawyers, free and confidentially, to find out more about how we can help you with your claim by contacting us here. We handle claims on a conditional fee agreement basis (no win no fee).

Previous Cases

What types of accidents abroad lead to injury compensation claims?

Where someone has suffered a serious injury in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence they may be entitled to claim compensation.  Depending on where and how the accident took place, we can help clients recover compensation after they were severely injured as a result of:

  • Road traffic accidents, as:
    • pedestrians;
    • drivers;
    • passengers;
    • cyclists;
    • motorcyclists;
    • moped riders;
  • Accidents on water or at sea on:
    • cruise ships;
    • boats;
    • ferries;
  • Rail accidents;
  • Air travel accidents in;
    • helicopters;
    • commercial flights;
    • light aircraft;
    • private jets;
    • hot air balloons;
  • Accidents whilst working abroad or travelling abroad for work: 
    • unsafe work systems;
    • unsafe buildings or environment;
    • lack of training or supervision;
    • unsafe or defective machinery or vehicles;
    • co-worker negligence;
    • claims for military personnel against the MOD;
  • Sports and leisure accidents, such as:
    • watersports;
    • sailing;
    • diving;
    • paragliding/hang gliding;
    • climbing/mountaineering;
    • kayaking and canoeing;
    • skiing and snowboarding;
    • jet-ski.
  • Hotel accidents:
    • unsafe buildings, staircases, balconies, windows;
    • swimming pools;
    • electrocution, burns and scalds.
  • Sightseeing and excursions;
    • cable car accidents;
    • open-topped or open-sided sightseeing vehicles.
  • Criminal injury.
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What kind of injuries can be compensated in a foreign accident claim?

We specialise in helping people who have suffered catastrophic or severe injury maximise their recovery and rebuild their lives, through timely and appropriate rehabilitation and compensation. Our clients have usually suffered one or more of the following:

  • Head injury/brain injury;
  • Spinal cord injury (SCI) – paralysis, tetraplegia, paraplegia;
  • Major trauma or multiple injuries;
  • Amputation;
  • Fractures (broken bones);
  • Facial injuries;
  • Scarring and disfigurement;
  • Degloving injuries (needing skin grafting);
  • Blindness/deafness or other sensory injury;
  • Severe burns or scalds;
  • Stab wounds, severe lacerations;
  • Internal injuries, such as to major organs (brain, heart, lungs or liver);
  • PTSD/psychological injury;
  • Chronic pain/CRPS;
  • Fatal injury/death.

We also help families and groups of people with claims arising from situations where more than one person was injured in the same accident.

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Who should I claim against/from after an accident abroad?

Our experienced serious injury solicitors investigate the circumstances of each client’s accident to ensure that the claim is made against the correct defendant(s) and their insurers.

The reason for being abroad (such as for work or on holiday), the country where the accident took place and the type of accident can all make a difference to how, where, and against whom the claim should be made.

Foreign accident and injury compensation claims may be made against:

  • an employer – where the injured person was working or travelling abroad;
  • the driver (and insurer) of the vehicle in which the injured person was a passenger, such as a taxi;
  • another driver – in a road traffic accident collision or running down accident;
  • the package tour operator who was responsible for providing safe buildings, facilities, excursions or transport on the holiday;
  • the travel agency which handled booking/payment for the holiday;
  • credit card company if the holiday was paid for by a credit card;
  • the owner of the unsafe resort, hotel, public building or leisure facility;
  • excursion provider;
  • commercial airline, or the pilot (and insurer) of a private jet, aeroplane or helicopter;
  • cruise operator, ferry operator or other transport company;
  • supplier of a defective vehicle or equipment;
  • the local authority if the injury occurred as a result of unsafe roads;
  • the Criminal Injuries Compensation Association (CICA).

Where someone is injured as a result of somebody else’s negligence, their right to claim compensation is not affected by whether or not they had their own travel insurance at the time of their trip.

There are also international conventions that give some added protection to travellers who are injured when travelling abroad by air or sea.

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Can I claim compensation for an injury abroad from the UK

Many foreign legal systems require the injury compensation claim to be made in the country where the accident took place, however, there are situations in which the claim can be made in the UK. For example, if the negligent driver in a vehicle collision was also based in the UK, or the claim is against a UK-based employer for an accident that happened whilst the employee was working abroad, the claim may be made against them here.

If the injury was caused by unsafe facilities on a package holiday which was booked through a UK-based tour operator, the Package Travel Regulations 1992 allow the injured person to make a claim for compensation against the tour operator in the UK. You may be entitled to make a claim for compensation against a tour operator in the UK under the Package Travel Regulations 1992 if:

  • the package holiday was sold or offered for sale in the UK;
  • the package holiday included a combination of at least two of the following:
    • transport;
    • accommodation;
    • an additional significant tourist service;
    • the holiday was pre-arranged;
    • the holiday was sold or offered for sale at an all-inclusive price, and
    • the service included overnight accommodation or took place over more than 24 hours.

Where the claim must be made in the country where the accident took place, the rules and procedures may be different, but we work alongside our international agents to handle the claim. It is usually not necessary for our client to attend the foreign court.

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What should I do after an accident abroad?

After an accident abroad, whether whilst travelling, working, or on holiday, it is important to gather and keep as much evidence as possible to prove that the other person or organisation was responsible for the accident and injury.

If you have been injured in an accident abroad, we strongly recommend that you:

  • call the emergency services – in a road traffic accident (RTA);
  • call the police (RTA or criminal injury) or report the accident to the local police immediately and comply with police requests to produce driving licence, insurance details and other relevant documents;
  • obtain and keep a copy of the police’s written record or report of the accident and any other documents they give you as these may be needed later for your claim;
  • ask for an interpreter or translator if you do not understand what the police are saying to you or any documents you are asked to sign;
  • in an RTA, take the other driver’s name, address, contact details and insurance details;
  • take the names and contact details of as many witnesses to the accident/hazard as possible, and of any other people who were injured in the accident;
  • seek medical treatment immediately and obtain copies of the medical record, report, x-rays or other tests as claims for compensation may be refused if there is no contemporaneous medical record of the injury and treatment;
  • report the accident and injury to your tour operator, travel representative, airline or other carrier, hotel or facility provider as soon as possible after the injury occurs - your claim may be refused if you didn't report the incident or complain straight away;
  • notify your own travel insurer immediately about the accident and injury and comply with their instructions;
  • notify your vehicle hire company of the accident;
  • make sure your accident and injury is recorded in any relevant accident book, such as in a hotel or workplace;
  • if the accident happened whilst working abroad or travelling for work, notify your employer;
  • write out a statement/detailed notes of what happened. In some European countries, after a road traffic accident, a ‘Constat Amiable’ or European Accident Statement (agreed statement of facts) must be completed and signed by you and the other driver. You should only complete it if you understand it and agree with what it says.
  • Take photographs of:
  • the scene of the road traffic accident including the position of your vehicle and the other driver’s vehicle including number plates (if relevant);
  • damage to any vehicles;
  • the driver’s licence and insurance documents;
  • your statement, ‘Constat Amiable’ or European Accident Statement;
  • the scene/location of the work or holiday accident;
  • the hazard, demonstrating lack of warning signs etc;
  • your entry in the accident book;
  • your injuries;
  • damage to your belongings;
  • other relevant documents.
  • Keep receipts for any expenses arising from your injury, such as medical expenses, costs of additional accommodation or travel;
  • Seek advice from a specialist solicitor as soon as possible
Read more

Time limits for foreign accident injury compensation claims

Time limits for making claims for injury compensation can vary from country to country and depending on the type of claim. We advise anyone who has been seriously injured abroad to contact us as soon as possible after the accident so that we can preserve their entitlement to make a claim. In some countries, a claim will only be considered if the claim has been reported to the police, the travel company or organisation responsible for the accident, if the injured person has sought medical help from a doctor or if a statement of facts has been completed setting out how the accident occurred.

In cases involving serious injury, the sooner we are involved, the sooner we can secure rehabilitation and financial help for our client and their family.

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How much compensation can I claim?

An injured person’s compensation depends on the severity of their injury, the impact that injury has on their life and their ongoing needs. In claims relating to accidents abroad, the level of compensation which can be claimed depends on the law of the country which governs the claim. The ‘heads of claim’ (things that compensation can be claimed for) also vary from country to country. Where the law governing our client’s accident gives our client a choice as to where to pursue their claim, we advise our client on the best approach for their claim.

As with all catastrophic and serious injury claims, the injured person’s access to rehabilitation and full compensation for their injuries also depends on the skill and experience of their lawyer.

We have helped clients claim compensation for: 

  • pain, suffering and disability;
  • costs of rehabilitation;
  • costs of care and case management;
  • increased costs of accommodation or home adaptations;
  • loss of earnings and pension;
  • specialist equipment and aids;
  • prosthetics (after amputation);
  • medical treatment and additional healthcare costs;
  • cost of therapies, such as:
    • physiotherapy (physical therapy);
    • occupational therapy (OT);
    • speech and language therapy (SALT);
    • hydrotherapy;
  • psychological counselling;
  • assistive technology (IT);
  • adapted vehicles and additional costs of travel;
  • costs of special education (SEN);
  • Court of Protection/special needs trusts;
  • Loss of dependency, funeral costs and other financial losses arising from the injured person’s death. 
Read more

Who can we help make a personal injury claim?

If I make a claim for compensation, will I need to go to court?

How long do personal injury compensation claims take?

What compensation can I claim for serious injury?

What is an interim payment?

How do I get started with making a claim?

How are personal injury claims funded?

What injuries can lead to a personal injury compensation claim?

What is a personal injury claim?

What are the time limits for making a personal injury claim?

Accidents abroad cases

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Awards & Accreditations

Our teams have been nationally recognised over the past decade for their dedication and commitment to securing maximum compensation for our clients

             Brake | The Road Safety Charity

What our clients say

Our clients constantly recognize us as the most experienced, professional, efficient and supportive

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"Thanks for everything"

“Thanks for everything. It’s been very nice to be able to put it all behind us and try to move forward.  I cannot thank you and Boyes Turner for all you have done for me. It goes without saying I would always recommend Boyes Turner. I couldn’t have done it without your support.”

Boyes Turner Client

"You got us the best outcome and I can’t thank you enough"

 Thank you for all your hard work on behalf of myself and my family. You were recommended to us by a close friend back in 2017 and I will certainly recommend you again. You’ve been amazing and very reassuring considering how complicated I made things at times. It’s been one of the hardest times of my life but I was glad I had you on the end of the phone. It’s a surreal feeling now it’s all over but very relieved you got us the best outcome and I can’t thank you enough.

Boyes Turner Client

"Extremely grateful for her professionalism and attention to detail. "

Through my dealings with Claire as my representative in a personal injury claim, I have been extremely grateful for her professionalism and attention to detail. 

I believe going above and beyond to help accommodate my needs and explain everything in a way that I could understand. Working around timing for video calls and zoom meetings with myself and my mum, often on weekends and evenings. We always knew she was just a phone call away to answer any questions we had and if she didn’t have the answer then it would be found out for us. Once the claim was settled, she has still offered her support and provided contacts to do with my injury fund and further surgery I need. 

Boyes Turner client

"Great support throughout a very emotional and difficult period"

Claire was very much the lynchpin in achieving settlement of a complex case. From the outset Claire ensured steps were taken to manage both rehabilitation and legal/case requirements in the correct sequence; this included the early appointment of a case manager.

In addition Claire has been a great support throughout a very emotional and difficult period in our lives.

Boyes Turner client

"I cannot recommend them highly enough"

After being involved in a Road Accident I enlisted the services of Boyes Turner to help settle our compensation claim for damages and ongoing injuries that I incurred as a result. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Their ongoing support throughout an extremely stressful ordeal was second to none. I suffered multiple injuries and they organised all my ongoing medical needs both physically and mentally, to help aid my recovery and rehabilitation. They managed my case with the utmost professionalism, concluding it satisfactorily so that I can move forward with my life and recovery. Thank you to Claire and her team for their amazing ongoing support and work with handling my case, in a time of great stress and uncertainty. Thank you so much for all you have done for me and my family.


Boyes Turner client