Basic advice for visitors to the UK to make a claim if injured in an accident

Posted: 16/11/2015


The Penningtons Manches personal injury team is regularly contacted by or on behalf of individuals who suffer an accident and sustain injuries during a visit to the UK – either on business or for pleasure. The impact of such accidents can be significant if they require hospital admissions and can result in being unable to meet work deadlines or to work at all, unable to complete travel plans or return home, and significant financial losses. 

Often individuals find themselves in a difficult position both financially and in terms of medical treatment. Understandably, the immediate aftermath of an accident is focused on recovery and practicalities. Some then return home to their country of residence and feel unable to seek compensation because they live in a different country. Others may have to stay in the UK for a longer period and struggle financially and physically, unable to source interim funds or treatment and unaware that they might have a potential claim. 

Philippa Luscombe, head of the personal injury team at Penningtons Manches, has acted for a number of injured claimants whose country of residence is not the UK and offers some key advice points: 

  • Just because an injured individual does not reside in the UK, it does not mean that they cannot bring a claim here. The location of the accident and the residence of the potential defendant are both important factors in determining where a claim can be brought. A UK claim can often be instigated.
  • Generally speaking, an individual has three years in which to bring a claim from the date of the accident. 
  • Organisations such as the Law Society and Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) keep lists of approved and accredited specialists throughout the country for those resident abroad who are trying to locate specialist personal solicitors.
  • Keep a record of as many details about the accident as possible if there may be a delay before bringing the claim. These details should include a record of what happened, contact information for parties involved, date, time, location, witnesses, police contact details etc. This information will make it easier later to get a claim looked into by a solicitor.
  • For those needing ongoing treatment, the Rehabilitation Code which operates in a UK personal injury claim can mean that support and funding can be accessed from insurers very early on. So instigating a personal injury claim quickly will speed the process for accessing such funding.
  • It is important that people look at their travel insurance to see what cover and support they have available if they have an accident away from home. 

Penningtons Manches has dealt with a number of non-UK resident individuals who have sustained significant financial losses as a result of accidents which have occurred in the UK. Often the ability to bring a claim has been very important in being reimbursed for at least some of those losses and, on occasions, vital for funding ongoing medical treatment. 

For more details contact: pispecialist@penningtons.co.uk or call Freephone on 0800 328 9545.


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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.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP