What to do if you Hurt yourself on a European City Break

For a long weekend away, Europe is full of some fantastic destinations, from the romance of Paris and the vibrancy of Berlin, to the architectural magnificence of Prague. The great thing about Europe is its diversity. No matter what you want from a city break, you are bound to find it in one of Europe’s great cities. Europe is also easy to travel around, and most cities are exceptionally welcoming of visitors. In addition, European cities are relatively safe. However, accidents can happen, and an injury suffered while on a holiday can do more than just ruin your weekend away.

Traveler in a train station - Flickr CC jmarty

Most people have some form of travel insurance when they go away, which is essential. However, while travel insurance will pay for all your medical bills, it won’t cover you for any loss of earnings when you get back or compensate you for the pain and suffering you experienced because of the accident. In addition, a travel insurance policy won’t compensate you for the initial cost of the holiday, which may have been ruined because of your accident. Yet if you are injured abroad and it wasn’t your fault, there is no reason to lose out financially.

Public liability

Fortunately, the same laws and rules bind all countries in the EU when it comes to personal accidents and injuries, so if you are injured abroad and it wasn’t your fault, you have a right to claim damages, regardless of where you were at the time. Whether you have tripped on the hotel stairs because of poorly laid carpet, been involved in a motoring accident, or been injured at an attraction or public building, if somebody else was liable, perhaps even the travel company through which you booked your trip, you can claim for damages and compensation.

All European businesses, motorists and local authorities are insured for public liability, which means if a visitor is injured through no fault of their own; the insurance company will pay out damages. You can claim compensation not only for the injury, but also any financial losses incurred because of the accident, such as loss of earnings, the cost of the ruined holiday and even things such as medical bills and prescription charges incurred once back home.

Claiming damages

Of course, claiming compensation is not always that straightforward. Making claims abroad means overcoming language barriers and the case may have to be dealt with in a foreign court. However, many injury solicitors specialise in overseas compensation cases and can handle all these things for you. Usually, personal injury cases are settled out of court, so you don’t have to worry about returning overseas to give evidence, but if you are injured abroad, there are several things you can do to assist your solicitor when you get back.

If there are any witnesses to the accident, try to get their names, addresses and any contact details. If you are involved in an incident with a motorist, make sure you get their details and relevant information about the car, such as its registration plate. If you are injured in a public place, such as on pavement, make sure you know the exact location, and try to take a photograph of anything that may help your case, such as a raised paving slab or loose carpet, to provide evidence of liability.
Nobody wants their holiday ruined by an accident. However, if the worst does happen, you don’t have to suffer in silence, speak to a specialist travel personal injury solicitor who will be able to help.

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