Brain Injury Abroad FAQ
The Law Of... knowing what to do if disaster strikes abroadWith the Office for National Statistics suggesting that UK residents take over 60 million trips abroad every year, it is undeniable that we are a nation that enjoys travelling.
An estimated 5.6 million visits abroad are made by UK residents every month
, leading to the question - how can we protect ourselves from serious harm or injury while we enjoy a trip overseas?
Recent data from the Foreign Office suggests that 70 Britons are hospitalised every week while abroad
and while many of these injuries may be innocuous, there is likely to be a number that are more serious in nature.
Facing language barriers, cultural differences, and concerns about accessing local services can be stressful enough, but trying to deal with these factors when you, or a loved one, have suffered a brain injury
can make the situation even more stressful.
Outlining some of the main questions that holidaymakers should be addressing before they go abroad, Joanna Tloczek
– Litigation Executive with experience in managing serious personal injury cases
– explains how Brits can protect themselves when planning a trip overseas.
What Should I Do If I, Or A Family Member, Suffer A Brain Injury Abroad?
In the first instance, you should contact the local emergency services. If a language barrier prohibits you from contacting local services, the British consulate will have an emergency contact number that you can call to speak to someone in English and explain the situation. The consulate should then arrange emergency responders to make their way to your location.
While waiting for the emergency response, you should:
- Collect as much information and evidence as you can, as you may need to prove how the accident happened, and who was involved, at a later date;
- If possible, take contact details from any witnesses and;
- Take photographs of the place where the accident happened, ensuring that you show the cause of the injury
Once emergency care and immediate treatment has been arranged, you should:
- Report the accident to your travel insurer;
- If you do not have travel insurance, British consulate should help to arrange treatment and transfer of the patient back to the UK
During treatment, ask for copies of any medical documentation related to the patient's treatment. These documents will be needed if you decide to make a claim.
Is There Anything I Can Do To Protect Myself Before I Go On Holiday?
Yes, before you go abroad buy travel insurance and make sure that you know how to contact your insurer once you have reached your destination.
Your travel insurer may, depending on the terms and conditions of your policy, cover the cost of the medical treatment and guide you through various formalities.
There are many different insurance policies available on the market. When choosing your insurance, look for a policy that will best protect you from the risks that are associated with your plans.
Before you buy travel insurance, make a list of the activities that you are planning and look for an insurance policy that covers all of these activities.
If you are not sure which is the best policy for you, ask for a clear explanation of terms and conditions from a few insurers and choose the most comprehensive cover.
Remember to read the small print and, if you are unsure, ask the insurer for clarification of whether the policy will cover the activities that you have planned.
If you are injured during an activity that is not covered by your insurance, your medical costs will not be covered and you will have to pay for the cost of medical care and any expenses associated with getting back to the UK.
What Can I Do When I Am Back In The UK?
Once you are back in the UK, you will have to focus on the long-term rehabilitation.
It is important to remember that a travel insurer's responsibility to pay for care ends when an insured person returns to the UK, so you will have to arrange your own medical treatment.
If the injury was suffered through the fault of somebody else, you may be entitled to compensation, which can be a significant help during rehabilitation.
Making a claim for an accident abroad may seem like it could be difficult, but our legal experts will guide you through each step of the process
First, we will establish the jurisdiction, meaning that we will determine whether the claim should be made through the English system, or if it would be advantageous to bring a claim abroad.
In most cases of brain injuries sustained abroad, we advise that a claim is brought through the English courts, however if damages could be higher through another country's system we may recommend that a claim is made abroad.
It is crucial for the injured person to start therapy as soon as possible, to improve their chances of recovery. For this reason we work with nurses and therapists of various specialisations, who can provide medical and psychological support to clients and their families. If clients prefer to arrange their own care, we can request interim payments, which can cover the costs of immediate private treatment.