Making a claim for an accident abroad

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Chambers UK
Holiday Accident

As every claim and individual is different, we do not offer a ‘one size fits all’ service. We take time to get to know you and to understand the effects of your injuries and all relevant aspects of your life, so that we can properly assess, advise on and manage your claim.

With the right legal advice and active management of your claim, we aim to minimise the impact on you while achieving the best outcome and keeping you involved throughout.

Initial meeting

We hold an initial meeting without charge, usually by telephone, to discuss the circumstances of your potential claim and to offer advice on the prospects of succeeding, the practical steps to be taken and the options for funding your claim.


A partner will supervise your case throughout and remain closely involved to monitor progress and keep the case on track. The partner will also introduce you to the members of our team who have the best specialist experience to conduct your claim. We aim to establish a good relationship with regular communication.

Expert evidence

Most cases need a medical expert to report on the injuries sustained. Other expert evidence may also be required, for example from a foreign lawyer or a reconstruction expert.

We have a large network of experts in many fields with whom we have established solid working relationships. These include barristers with specific expertise in these cases.

Damages – assessing what you need

English damages

In some circumstances we can recover damages for you according to English law evaluations. An example would be if we successfully pursue a claim against a tour operator.

English law allows you to recover compensation for your injuries, pain, suffering and quality of life. You can also recover compensation for past, ongoing and future financial loss. If necessary, we will investigate and advise you on the following:

  • loss of earnings and/or career opportunities – past and future
  • compensation for loss of enjoyment and reduction in value of your holiday
  • compensation for care provided by family
  • assessment of ongoing and future care needs and the cost of professional care
  • transport and travel costs
  • specialist aids and equipment to assist with day to day life
  • therapy needs
  • case management
  • accommodation needs – alterations, relocation etc
  • medical costs – past and future

We use our experience to assess the issues that need to be explored. In the most serious of cases these may include care, therapy, adapted accommodation, specialist equipment, case management, vocational rehabilitation, IT needs and education. Again, we have a network of well-regarded experts who work with us and our medical experts.

We will, wherever possible, also seek to obtain interim payments or rehabilitation assistance from the relevant defendant at an early stage.

Foreign damages

It may only be possible to claim damages that are based on the applicable law in the country where your accident occurred. If so, we may need to obtain advice from a foreign lawyer to assess the value of your claim in that country. For example, if you are involved in a road traffic accident in France against a French driver, French law will apply to the evaluation of damages, even though your claim may be capable of being pursued in this country.

Our team works closely with colleagues from our offices in Spain, Greece, France and Singapore to help gather evidence and progress claims in those jurisdictions. We can also rely on a global network of foreign personal injury lawyers to assist this process.

Legal process in the UK

If we can pursue your claim in the UK, we are required to comply where possible with the terms of the Personal Injury Pre-Action Protocol. This requires us to inform the defendant of the basis of your claim and the injuries you have suffered. The defendant then has six months to investigate the claim and to respond to the allegations.

The parties are therefore able to outline their respective cases and determine the extent to which they are in dispute before formal court proceedings begin. If possible, both parties will usually try to agree to settle a case rather than issue formal proceedings. However, if this is not possible, we will issue proceedings and work through a court timetable.

Legal process abroad

This can vary greatly from country to country but we will ensure you are kept informed of the relevant process as the case is progressed.

Valuing your claim

Whenever possible we will give an initial rough indication of the value – or 'quantum' – of your claim when first advising you. We will also advise you which law is most likely to apply to the assessment of damages (ie English law or the law of the country where the accident occurred).

Inevitably, these valuations may need to be reconsidered as evidence is obtained from you and elsewhere of the extent of your injuries, any relevant prior medical history and the losses you have incurred or will incur in the future resulting from the accident.

Settlement and after

We consider at each stage of a claim whether it is capable of valuation and settlement. Where we can commence negotiations, we will do so.

Once a case is settled, we can deal with court approvals required due to age or lack of capacity. We can advise on trusts and on the Court of Protection.

Related expertise

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 419867.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP