Guide to compensation claims for Scots injured abroad

Holiday pool area

Everyone loves a holiday with many of us counting down the days to when we can get away for a much deserved break.

However, accidents can, and do, happen every day - even when on holiday and an injury can turn your relaxing getaway into a very stressful experience.

Many people who are unfortunate enough to suffer an injury abroad simply assume you can’t pursue a claim for compensation in Scotland. However, this isn’t always true.

When can you claim in Scotland for an accident abroad?

Below, lawyers within our Foreign and Travel law team have outlined some of the instances where it can be possible to pursue compensation through Scottish courts for accidents that happen abroad

   1. Accidents in hotels and resorts
   2. Accidents on cruise ships
   3. Accidents on airplanes (including when getting on or off the aircraft)
   4. Food poisoning in a hotel or cruise ship
   5. Accidents on excursions
   6. Road traffic accidents, whether as a driver, passenger or pedestrian

It is true that these types of cases can be considerably more difficult. There are complex rules governing the situations in which you can raise legal action in this country, and which legal system to apply. However, there are steps you can take to make the claims process easier for you.

7 steps to make the injury claim process easier if you're injured abroad:

1. Keep all your travel documentation

This includes copies of hotel and travel bookings, and any other documents you have available. This will be essential to evaluate your claim.

2. Evidence of injury

It may be the last thing on your mind after an injury but the more evidence you can obtain before you return home the better. You will need to prove the circumstances of the accident and the injury. It can be difficult to obtain information once you are back home so it’s important that you get as much information as possible.

3. Copy of accident report

If an accident report is filled out you should ask for a copy. If possible, take photos of the location and the defect which caused the accident (e.g. hole in the floor).

4. Copy of medical report

It is important that you get medical treatment straight away. To help support your claim for compensation, ask for a copy of the medical report from the hospital or treatment centre.

5. Keep receipts

Keep receipts for any expenses you incur as a result of your injury as you may be able to receive compensation for these additional expenses.

6. Witnesses contact details

Ask for the contact details of anyone who saw the accident – it may be hard to trace them once you are back in Scotland.

7. Contact specialist solicitors as soon as possible

Above all, it is important that you contact specialist solicitors as soon as possible. Different time limits for making a claim may apply for an accidents abroad which means you could lose out on receiving the compensation you are entitled to if you wait too long.

For example, in some countries you must make a claim for compensation within one year after the accident happened, whereas in Scotland people have up to three years to make a claim.

At Digby Brown, we have a Foreign and Travel team dedicated to pursuing cases where people have been injured abroad and our expertise in this area is unrivalled in Scotland. 

If you would like expert legal advice, please call us for a free consultation on 0333 200 5925.