There are thousands of personal injury claims per year. Of all the legal claims made globally, personal injury claims are perhaps one of the most common. While barely 5% of these claims ever make it to a courtroom, personal injury claims are fairly well-known for the emotional toll they can take on claimants and the complexities of the laws themselves that define how a claim progresses and is calculated in value.
When we’re traveling somewhere foreign, those stakes are always a little higher. Language barriers, regional laws, and infrastructural or cultural differences are all common obstacles that make it a lot harder to know what to do, when to do it, and who to speak to in the immediate weeks and months following an accident or injury that is incurred while away from home.
Because of the breadth of different legal areas that personal injury law can fall into, many firms specialize in specific subsets. However, accidents that happen abroad also contain their own set of subterms, too. A major one relates to accidents that happen at sea: this type of circumstance results in a very intricate process, relating to jurisdiction and which laws apply to your case.
You might not know that you should pursue these claims via courts in your home country - through a native language-speaking firm and familiar insurers - even when events occurred in international or territorial bodies of water. However, this offers you more convenience and clarity in your case's handling. The ‘Athens Convention’ is a central piece of legislation that applies to any accidents on board vessels and the right law firm will know how those very specific laws apply to your personal situation when you leave dry land.
Winter sports, like skiing, are known for being particularly more risky pursuits for a holiday, and insurers know this. They’ll often require claimants to take out special insurance if they are going skiing, and the same precautions go for lawyers. Compensation for personal injury claims varies depending on a huge amount of factors, from lost earnings to modifications in the house to make it accessible, rehab, and travel expenses to get home again.
Because negligence is so central to how personal injury claims work, if an instructor hasn’t shown you the ropes correctly, and you hurt yourself, you actually might be in a place to try and claim back compensation as a result. It’s always best to speak to your lawyer if you’re unsure, but if you’re doing anything that requires specialist knowledge or being offered guidance, it’s best to manage the risks, too.
The costs of representation can be very high and many firms offer no win no fee settlements on cases they’re willing to take on. When we get injured abroad, it can be scary enough to deal with injuries in a foreign place, without worrying about hidden fees, medical bills, and legal costs. Doing some preliminary research on firms that can support you in case something happens is highly recommended.
Almost always, insurance firms are the ones who foot the bills for compensation. However, the fact they are paying on behalf of a claimant who gets hurt doesn’t mean they want to payout. Be very wary of picking insurers who are verified and fair, with a strong track record of client service. If a firm can find a reason to pay out less or no compensatory figures, they’ll likely try to.
Personal injuries, wherever they happen, aren’t any fun. What’s important is to manage risks rather than stick your head in the sand, or try and remove the risk entirely. Some law firms have made it their sole mission to help with these sorts of complex issues, and the entire point of making a claim is to help you focus on the most important thing; recovering. Your holiday might not have gone to plan, but getting your life back on track is essential. Do your homework, know the risks and choose good ski instructors!