There are many hurdles that one will encounter in trying to bring a personal injury claim abroad. The main issues are that of lack of evidence, no breach of local standards or regulations and the economics of the claim.
Following an accident, evidence is probably the last thing on a Claimant’s mind – however, it is one of the most important aspects to bring a claim. It is vital that evidence is obtained at the time of the accident or shortly thereafter if it is not practical at the time. Claimants should always complete an accident report form either with the hotel or the tour operator representative and request a copy. Where possible, photographs should be taken of the accident location/defect and witness details obtained.
A further issue is whether there has been a breach of local standards and/or regulations. Claimants will be unaware that in order for their claim to be successful, there needs to have been a breach of local standards or regulations and it is this breach that has caused their accident. For example, if a Claimant falls down a flight of stairs in a Spanish hotel as there was no handrail, there will need to have been a breach of Spanish standards for there not being a handrail present in order for the claim to be successful.
Another hurdle is that of economics. If a claim has to be pursed directly against a hotel as it was not purchased as part of a package, claims can quickly become uneconomical to pursue. It is likely that the award of damages will be far lower than the cost of legal proceedings. We could not recommend pursing a claim in these circumstances as you would not wish to pay out more in legal fees than you are likely to receive by way of compensation.
So remember, in order to bring a successful claim, evidence is the key so as to determine any breach of local standards or regulations and to evidence your accident.
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