Tips for avoiding a holiday nightmare

beach holidayIn the midst of the summer holidays the last thought people have is that their break could be spoilt by an accident. Unfortunately, some holidaymakers do have accidents whilst they are abroad.

Marek Bednarczyk from Hart Brown outlines some of the key issues to look out for should you be unfortunate enough to have an accident whilst on holiday.

What to do if you are involved in an accident whilst abroad:

1. Witnesses - try to get the names, addresses and phone details of any witnesses. Better still if you can get a short signed statement from them.

2. Information - Get as much information as possible. For example, if a number of people have been involved in your accident then get their full names and addresses too.

3. Photographic/visual evidence - use your digital camera or phone, to take photographs and/or a short video if possible too. Sketch plans showing exactly how and where the accident happened can also be very helpful.

4. Evidence of medical treatment - it should be possible for you to obtain your medical records from the treating doctor or hospital where you have been treated. This can be useful evidence even if it has to be translated later.

5. Time limits - in the UK the basic time limit for pursuing a personal injury claim is 3 years. Be aware that if you have an accident on an aircraft or on a boat then a 2 year time limit may apply. Some countries have very short time periods to allow you to pursue a claim in that country so find out what that time limit is as soon as possible. Delaying can lose you your opportunity to claim.

Hopefully these tips on how to deal with an accident are useful but will never be needed. It is always better to plan ahead to ensure that there are no nasty holiday surprises.

Prevention is better than cure

1. Protect yourself by making sure you have adequate travel insurance which pays out, if you suffer personal injury, for medical expenses and the costs of having to be flown back to the UK. Read the small print and check for any time limits for reporting claims.

2. Travel with all necessary contact details for your insurer, including a copy of the certificate of insurance.

3. If on a package holiday keep all of your tour operator details together with a copy of the brochure detailing what you expect on your holiday.

4. Remember – local standards apply. Watch out for slippery surfaces around the pool! The local standards may suggest that the surface is acceptable even if that surface would not meet UK standards.
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