Located just a short flight from the UK, and with beautiful beaches and stunning hotel resorts to boot, it is of little wonder that Portugal is popular with British tourists. From long weekends to two-week family vacations, it caters to all. However, no matter how lovely the country is, there is no denying that accidents and injuries happen no matter where in the world you choose for a holiday destination, and Portugal is unfortunately no exception. This guide provides valuable information and advice regarding what you need to know about making a claim for an accident on holiday in Portugal.
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- A Guide To Holiday Travel Claims In Portugal
- Advice On What To Do If Injured Or Sick In Portugal
- Who Was Responsible For Your Illness Or Injury?
- What Should You Do If You Have A Personal Injury In Portugal?
- Where To Find Help In An Emergency In Portugal
- What Help Can The British Consulate Help You With?
- Do You Need Travel Insurance To Go To Portugal?
- Popular Destinations And Places To Go In Portugal
- Food Allergies and Food Poisoning In Portugal
- Sickness Caused By Poor Hotel Or Restaurant Hygiene
- What To Do If Injured In A Car Accident In Portugal
- Injury Caused By Poor Hotel Maintenance
- What Other Accidents Can You Have On Holiday?
- I Was Hurt On A Package Holiday, Am I Protected?
- How To Claim Compensation And Damages For Accidents On Holiday In Portugal
- How Much Travel Illness Or Injury Compensation Can I Claim?
- Related Guides And Content
Portugal is a place that is extremely popular with tourists the world over. In fact, 12.7 million people visited the country in 2017, marking a record high. While most of these people have thoroughly enjoyed their trip, there are some visitors who would prefer to forget a holiday in Portugal because of an accident or injury they suffered. This Portugal holiday guide provides valuable information on how you could be entitled to file a personal injury claim in Portugal should you have suffered an injury or fallen ill. It includes information on the most common Portugal holiday injury risks, as well as details on how to get healthcare assistance while on holiday, what to do if you were injured on a package holiday, how to contact the British Consulate, and much more. The guide also provides useful tips on finding the right personal injury solicitor to work on your case.
There is no denying that suffering a serious injury or illness is never fun. However, matters can be even worse when this happens during a vacation. If you get sick while on holiday or you hurt yourself, it is important that you see a medical professional at the earliest opportunity. Once your well-being has been seen to, you can then start the claims process if you think you may have a valid claim against a third party. A lot of people fear they won’t be able to claim if they have been injured in another country or that the process would prove very lengthy and complex. This is not necessarily the case which is why it is important to seek legal advice from a personal injury solicitor based in the UK.
Sadly, accidents could happen when you are on holiday in Portugal. Thanks to the fast pace of modern life, it is not uncommon for road traffic incidents, hotel accidents, slips, trips, falls to occur. However, if you have suffered injuries and the incident that was not your fault, you may be able to claim. Nevertheless, a lot of people struggle when it comes to determining whether they have the basis for an accident claim. After all, the last thing you want to do is waste your time and money on a case only to discover that your chances of getting compensation were extremely slim in the first place.
Do you have a case for making a personal injury claim?
There are three things you need to be able to prove if you are to have any chance of making a successful personal injury claim in Portugal. These are as follows:
- You need to be able to show that your injuries were caused because of someone else’s error or negligence. In the case of holiday accidents, there are a number of different people or companies that could be to blame. For example, it could be the company in charge of the hotel or it could be an individual driving a vehicle
- You must have seen a medical professional who would treat your injuries. The medical report is a pivotal piece of evidence. How can you expect to claim if there is no proof of your injuries in the first place?
- The accident must have occurred within the personal injury time limit. This is often three years, but it does really depend on the nature of your case. This is why it is advisable to seek legal counsel at the earliest opportunity
If you were injured while on holiday in Portugal or you have contracted some form of illness, there are some key steps you need to take which includes the following:
- Go to hospital for treatment – the first thing you should do is see a medical professional. Of course, your well-being is the most important thing. Moreover, if you do not see a doctor you would struggle to make an accident claim since there will be no proof of your injuries
- Take photographs of your injury – it is always a good idea to take photographs of your injury – if the injury can be seen of course. Take regular photographs over time to document whether you are improving or not. This would help to strengthen your case. Taking photos of the scene may also help, for example, the crash scene or a photograph of what caused your injury, such as broken gym equipment or a discoloured swimming pool
- Make notes – it is advisable to sit down and write down all that you can recall about the events that have taken place. This would ensure that you do not forget any details later down the line. You never know what could prove to be pivotal when it comes to making your claim
- Report the accident to the establishment responsible – It is always recommended that you report the incident to the company in question. This could be the tour operator you booked your holiday through, hotel management, or the airline you were flying with, for example. You should also make sure you call your insurance company. If you were involved in a road traffic accident or an incident involving criminal activity, calling the police is also a vital step
- Get in touch with a law firm – you need a top law firm on your side that is going to give you the best chance of getting the compensation you deserve. More information can be found at the bottom of this post
If you were injured in Portugal and you are contemplating making a holiday accident claims in Portugal, there are numerous places you can turn to for help. The four main options are as follows:
- Your travel company/ package holiday company
- The Portuguese healthcare system
- A travel insurance provider
- The British Embassy
When a British tourist is injured in another country, a member of the local British Embassy or Consulate should visit to check on the individual and would ensure that next of kin are aware of the circumstances. You can find the details for the British Consulate in Lisbon, Portugal, below. You can also read some helpful foreign travel advice for Portugal on the UK Government website.
British Consulate Lisbon
Rua de São Bernardo 33
Telephone: +351 21 392 40 00
It is important to take a look at how you may be able to gain access to healthcare while you are in Portugal. You may already know that you can use your European Health Insurance Card in Portugal. Once Brexit has finally gone through, this may change. But for now, your EHIC is certainly valid. For those who are unaware, this card entitles people to reduced healthcare and sometimes even free healthcare. This only relates to state healthcare, and does not cover all treatments.
Therefore, it is still vital to make sure you take out travel insurance. If you don’t, you could find yourself with a huge medical bill to pay. We have all heard the horror stories about people who were injured on vacation and how it has put them under financial hardship. This is why it cannot be stressed enough the importance of taking out a comprehensive travel insurance policy.
There are lots of great places to visit in Portugal. This includes the popular spots that everyone has heard of which includes the following:
- Tavira – although lessen known, a wonderful place to explore
The latter is a beautiful fishing town, which is located on the eastern part of Portugal. It boasts a relaxing environment with the most pristine sandy beaches. Lisbon is a diverse and vibrant city. It is liberal and forward thinking, however, it does not forget its heritage, making it an excellent place to explore. There are lots of distinct and varied districts, which one boasting a unique style and history. In terms of popular spots, you have the likes of the following:
Lagos is on the popular Algarve coastline, which attracts so many tourists year on year. Of course, you have beautiful beaches, and some majestic cliffs too further along the coast. You can also expect a great social scene with lots going on. This does not mean there is not great culture and heritage, though, as you can explore the history of the city and the ancient walls. Porto boasts a beautiful riverfront, as well as historic buildings and beautiful churches. You can easily access Porto for a day-trip from other parts of Portugal.
Statistics for visitors to Portugal;
|Region of Portugal||Number of international tourists|
|Northern Portugal||2 million|
|Central Portugal||1.23 million|
The guide provides essential information on whether you could claim if you developed food poisoning or a food allergy. A lot of people suffer from food poisoning when they are on holiday. This often shows itself in the form of dehydration or sickness. Most people recover in a matter of days, but there have been life-threatening cases too. If you had an allergic reaction to something and you believe the restaurant, hotel or airline is the entity to blame because they did not inform you of the allergies present within the food, you may be entitled to seek compensation. For pre-packaged foods, this information must be displayed on the label. If this was not the case, you may be entitled to compensation.
All hotels and resorts are required to operate to the highest level of hygiene. However, a small number of hotels are running way below par. If you had the misfortune of staying in such a place while on holiday in Portugal, you may be able to receive compensation if it has caused you to get ill. It is important to see a doctor and to document the symptoms you experienced as this would strengthen your case against a third party.
Unfortunately, road traffic accidents in Portugal are not an uncommon occurrence. While the number of incidents over the past decade are on the decline, the number of road deaths in Portugal in 2017 made it the second highest for an increase in fatal accidents on the roads in the EU. If you were involved in any type of incident on the road and someone else caused it, you may be entitled to seek compensation by filing a personal injury claim.
There are many different types of road traffic accidents that could lead to personal injury claims which includes the following:
- Driver injuries
- Passenger injuries
- Car crashes
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorbike accidents
- Uninsured driver claims
- Untraced driver claims
- Travel accidents
When determining whether you have the basis for a claim, the type of accident is not the most important factor. Rather, you have to prove the following three things to be true:
- Someone else caused the accident
- The incident occurred within the personal injury claims time limit, which is usually three years but can differ based on the circumstances, which is why seeking legal counsel as soon as you can is advised
- You have seen a doctor for your injuries and been given a medical report
Aside from this, there are ways you can strengthen your case. You should get the contact details of the person who caused the accident as well as anyone that witnessed it. It is also a good idea to take photographs of any damage to your vehicle and/or the road. Keeping proof of expenses is vital, as you can claim for these as special damages, with common examples including the likes of vehicle repair costs, loss of earnings and medical expenses.
You can also make a claim if you have been injured because of poor hotel maintenance. There are a number of different ways this could happen. You could be injured because of gym equipment faults. You could also suffer an injury because of poor swimming pool maintenance; for instance, the pool was not cleaned as regularly or the area around the pool was not maintained, causing you to fall and injure yourself. This merely scratches the surface when it comes to these sorts of accidents you could suffer when on holiday in Portugal. You then have potholes in car parks and hazards around the hotel pathways. Any injuries you suffer as a result of any of these incidents could entitled you to file a successful claim.
There are a number of different types of accidents and injuries that can happen in Portugal. You may be able to claim for any incident, so long as it was not your fault. Common examples include the following:
- Swimming pool accidents
- Food poisoning
- Injuries because of broken hotel furniture
- Allergic reactions
- Accidents on activities like watersports
- Road traffic accidents
- Food allergies
You may be able to claim compensation if you had an accident on a package holiday. A lot of people are deterred from doing this because they believe the process to be very complex. This is not the case thanks to the Package Holiday Regulations that are in place in the UK. This law basically means you can claim against the tour operator. Examples being TUI or First Choice, if an accident happened at the hotel or while on a tour, so long as this tour was booked as part of the package holiday. This makes the process a lot more straightforward because you would not have to try and claim against a local supplier/provider. In order for your holiday to be deemed a package one, it must include at least two of the following:
- Accommodation, transport, and/or tour services, like excursions
If you were involved in an accident in Portugal that was not your fault, you may be able to make a claim and be awarded the compensation you could be entitled to. Nonetheless, before making your claim you need to ensure you choose the best solicitor. A personal injury solicitor would handle your case for you, ensuring it is in accordance with the law and giving you the best chance of securing the highest payout. Here are four questions you should ask when determining whether to hire a solicitor:
How much experience do they have? You should begin by determining the solicitor’s level of experience. How long have they worked in the industry? Do they specialise in a specific area of personal injuries?
What is the success rate? It is all well and good if a solicitor has worked in the industry for many years. But have they been successful at doing so? Do they win the majority of cases they have taken on? You do not want someone who is merely going to take your money.
How much do you charge? It is vital to be aware of how much you are going to pay. You would also need to discover if you are going to be paying by the hour or if the solicitor can sort out a No Win, No Fee agreement. The latter is definitely recommended, as you would not need any cash to start your accident claim in Portugal and you will pay based on the outcome of your case.
How can I contact you? Ease of communication is imperative when it comes to a service like this. You must be sure you can get in touch with your personal injury lawyer for an update. Ask for their phone number and their email address and make sure they respond to this.
If you ask the four questions that have been mentioned you should definitely have a good idea as to whether the solicitor you have chosen is the right one for you or not.
One thing you would certainly want to know is how much compensation you may be able to get. It is not recommended that you use one of the personal injury claims calculators found across the web. These tools are very rarely accurate. They are purely marketing tools, designed to draw potential claimants in by promising ‘x’ amount. When, in reality, you would never really know how much you are going to get until you get it, as all cases are assessed individually.
This does not mean that you cannot get an understanding regarding your payout. Below, you can see some of the typical payout figures or injuries commonly experienced on holidays.
It is also wise to know how compensation is calculated. Firstly, you would be able to claim for the injury itself. The amount you receive will be based on the severity of your injury and the impact it is having on your life. In addition to this, you would be able to claim special damages. This is essentially your out of pocket expenses. This could be anything from hospital parking costs to the cost of medical treatments to loss of income.
|Trivial facial scars||£1,500 - £3,090|
|Numerous facial bone fractures||£13,080 - £21,000|
|Amputation of both feet||£148,540 - £176,660|
|Severe knee injuries||£61,140 - £84,360|
|Amputation of one leg below the knee||£85,910 - £116,260|
|Effective or complete loss of one hand||£84,310 - £96,150|
|Simple forearm fracture||£5,810 - £16,830|
|Serious shoulder dislocation||£11,20 - £16,830|
|Severe neck injuries||Around £130,060|
|3-month neck injury||Up to £2,150|
|Severe back injuries||£79,890 - £141,150|
The NHS Health Advice – Advice on Portugal travellers health from the NHS.
Guidance on finding legal representation – Specific information about making a claim and how to go about it
Edited Honey 25/1/20