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What Happens If You Have An Accident On Holiday?

When you’re planning a trip abroad, the last thing you want to think about is what happens if you have an accident and suffer an injury. However, by taking the time to think things through before you go, just in case, you could save yourself a great deal of stress, effort and worry should the worst happen.

The main thing to note is that in the majority of cases, a compensation claim for an accident abroad can be made when you’re back in the UK and shouldn’t need to be made abroad. This is because tour operators, hotels, car hire firms, and holiday-related companies all have a duty of care to ensure you are kept safe during your time away from home.

Before You Go On Holiday


Before going abroad, make sure you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and that you understand just what this gives you – or you could face unexpected hospital treatment bills following an accident on holiday.

An EHIC Card is not a substitute for travel insurance, and you should have both before leaving the country.

The card is free to most UK residents and entitles you to the same level of medical care that locals are entitled to, depending on your location in the EU. It can be used in all 27 EU countries, but not in Turkey or any other part of the world.

Unlike the UK which has the NHS, many countries don’t have free healthcare systems, which is why hospital care abroad can be costly – but having the card means some care is free or provided at a lower cost.

After Your Accident Abroad

Note Details

Should you suffer an injury during your holiday, whether caused by slipping at your hotel or being involved in a road traffic accident, there are a few things you can do to make it easier to claim when you’re back home – including jotting down the details of the accident.

If possible, take photos and if possible a video and make notes. This includes writing down how you feel, what happened, and describing your injuries. Photographic and video evidence is often invaluable in these cases as it can be very difficult to obtain this type of evidence in the future from far flung destinations.

Find Witnesses

Try to get the names and addresses of anyone who witnessed the accident.

Keep Receipts

Make sure you keep all receipts related to your medical costs and associated costs, including any flight changes, taxi rides to hospitals, healthcare costs while abroad, and medication charges.

Seek Professional Advice

When you’re back in the UK, contact a specialist solicitor who has experience of claiming compensation for accidents abroad. Most of the time you’re able to pursue a compensation claim in the UK for an injury suffered in an accident overseas, and your solicitor will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed

Travel law is complex but Bartletts Solicitors will make it straightforward for you, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve. To speak to one of our solicitors, please call us on 0800 988 3674 or email