What Should You Do If You Have An Accident On Holiday In Spain?
Accident claims for those injured while on holiday in Spain can be confusing especially if they have never suffered a personal injury before. There are probably a million questions running through your mind! This guide aims to answer them by providing essential information on how to go about proving liability, filing a personal injury claim and the sort of evidence you would need to provide to strengthen your case against a third party when you fall sick or are injured on holiday in Spain.
Jump To A Section
- A Guide To Personal Injury Claims On Holiday In Spain For Accidents Or Illnesses
- Getting Sick Or Injured In An Accident On Holiday In Spain
- Who Might Be To Blame For Your Accident, Personal Injury, Or Illness?
- What Should You Do If You Get Sick Or Are Injured On Holiday In Spain?
- Where To Get Help In Spain
- How To Get Help From The British Embassy In Spain
- The Importance Of Having Travel Insurance When You Suffer a Personal Injury
- Top Spanish Holiday Destinations For British Tourists
- Common Holiday Illnesses
- Food Poisoning On A Holiday In Spain
- Illnesses Caused By Poor Hygiene In A Hotel Or Restaurant
- Dealing With Car Crashes Or Other Accidents On the Road In Spain
- Poor Maintenance Of Your Hotel Leading To Injuries
- What Accidents Do People Commonly Have On Holiday?
- Does Your Holiday Qualify For Protection Under The Package Holiday Regulations
- How Can You Make A Spanish Holiday Accident Claim?
- How Much Could I Claim For Personal Injury Or Illness On Holiday In Spain?
- Where To Learn More About Accidents On Holiday In Spain
Have you had an accident while on holiday in Spain? Did the accident happen on part of the package deal you booked through a UK based tour operator? Was the accident caused through negligence? If so, you must establish whether you have a basis for a personal injury claim. Generally, when claiming against a UK based tour operator, you must prove the following three statements to be true:
- The accident occurred within the personal injury claims time limit, which tends to be three years for UK based claims but the time limit could be a lot shorter which is why it is essential that you seek legal advice as soon as you can. If your accident did not happen on an element of a package deal or you booked your holiday independently, then you would pursue your case under Spanish law and the time limits may vary and could be as short as year
- The incident happened because of someone else’s error or negligence
- You suffered an avoidable injury or preventable illness
This should give you a basic idea as to whether you have grounds for making a holiday accident claim.
This guide provides valuable information on how you may be able to secure personal injury holiday compensation and looks at all of the different sorts of claims which can be made, what you should do if you are injured, how much compensation you could receive, and much more.
There are many different reasons why people may require the services of accident lawyers for an injury in Spain. In fact, because the term ‘personal injury’ is so broad, there can often be a lot of confusion regarding what counts as a personal injury and what doesn’t. This can lead to some people believing they don’t have the basis for a claim when they actually do.
So, what is a personal injury in Spain? A personal injury can be a physical injury, illness or disease, yet it can also be a psychological injury or illness. It can be a serious injury or it can be a minor one. In order to make a claim there must have been a breach in the duty of care owed to you. And where you make your claim, under Spanish law or UK law would be determined by how you booked your holiday.
Examples of personal injuries could include the following:
- An injury caused because you tripped over something, slipped on something or fell over something that shouldn’t have been there or was not marked correctly
- A swimming pool accident, possibly a laceration caused by broken and damaged pool tiles
- An injury caused because of a road traffic accident, whether you were the other driver involved, the passenger in the vehicle that caused the incident or a pedestrian and third party liability can be proven
- Food poison caused at your hotel restaurant because of a lack in health and safety procedures
Establishing responsibility is imperative. You must be able to show that someone else is responsible for your suffering and injuries if you are to make a successful claim. Therefore, if you were involved in a car crash, you must show that the other driver made the error or acted negligently. After all, you cannot make a claim against yourself.
With this said, there are other parties and people who could be to blame with examples being your hotel if you were injured there, or a tour provider if you were injured while on an excursion.
When using the services of personal injury lawyers, you would need to build a strong case to prove that you were injured as the result of someone else’s negligence. An experienced solicitor would help you with gathering the required evidence which would include the following:
- Medical report – If you were injured on holiday in Spain, it is vital that you see a doctor because the medical report they provide is the most crucial piece of evidence when it comes to any type of personal injury claim
- Witness statements – did anyone witness the accident you were involved in? If so, you should get their contact details because witness statements strengthen your case
- Photographs – photos represent an exceptional form of evidence. You should take photographs of your injuries to show the true extent of your suffering. Moreover, if you have been involved in a car crash, for instance, you could take a photograph of your vehicle and of the scene, to show what really happened
- Receipts – when making a claim you may be able to claim special damages which would cover your out of pocket expenses. This could be anything from loss of income to treatment costs, to the cost of repairing your vehicle. You must have proof of your expenditure, so make sure you keep your receipts and any other relevant documents
- Report the accident – report the accident to relevant people or the authorities where necessary
It’s also worth pointing out that there are a few phone calls you are going to have to make if you have been injured while on holiday which includes notifying the following people:
- The insurance company to inform them of what has happened
- The police if you have been injured in a road traffic accident or as part of criminal activity.
- The tour operator if you were injured when you were on a package holiday in Spain
If you suffered an illness or an injury while you are in Spain, there are a number of different ways you can get help. The main places to turn to are as follows:
- Your travel company/ package holiday company
- The Spanish healthcare system
- A travel insurance provider
- The British Embassy
If you need help from the British Embassy, the contact details are provided below:
British Embassy Madrid
Paseo de la Castellana 259D
Telephone: +34 917 146 300
You can also find some useful foreign travel advice for Spain on the UK Government website.
The importance of having travel insurance while in Spain cannot be ignored. During the pre-Brexit period, you could still use your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you have one. If you do not have one, you will be able to apply for one of these cards from the UK Government website free of charge. This card could mean that you are able to get certain treatments at a lower cost or free of charge. Because of this, a lot of people have assumed that they do not actually need travel insurance. This could not be further from the truth. The EHIC does not cover all treatments, and therefore, you could find yourself facing a monumental medical bill if you do not have the required medical insurance in place. As such, having comprehensive travel insurance is essential when you go on holiday in Spain.
There is no denying that Spain is a hugely popular holiday destination for many Brits with some of the most popular choices being as follows:
- Madrid – There is only one place to begin, and this is with the capital city. This has been revamped in recent years. A lot of the museums have got bigger and better, for example, Reina Sofia and Prado
- Malaga – Malaga is a lively and vibrant place with a laidback vibe. The centre features a range of modern and glossy hotels.
- Valencia – rhis is the third biggest city in Spain, featuring miles of beach, lively nightlife, a flourishing restaurant scene, and dynamic museums
- Costa Brava – a popular spot with couples, this romantic place has secluded coves and elegant horseshoe bays
- Barcelona – Barcelona has long been a hit with British tourists. It is an incredible city with so much to offer, from the luxurious beaches to the amazing architecture
The table below provides information on the top ten nationalities who visit Spain.
Some of the most common holiday illnesses are as follows:
- Shigella – this is an infectious disease, which causes symptoms such as stomach cramps, fever, and diarrhoea
- Coli – most types of E.coli are not harmful. However, there are some nasty strains. Symptoms include vomiting, bloody diarrhoea, and severe cramps in the abdomen
- Campylobacter – this is a bacterial disease. It tends to be mild, yet there have been fatal cases in immunosuppressed individuals, as well as elderly people and children
- Salmonella – this is an infectious disease, which is spread through contaminated food, and causes symptoms such as stomach cramps, fever, and diarrhoea
There is no denying that food poisoning is one of the most common illnesses sustained by people on holiday in general. There are many symptoms associated with food poisoning which often includes people feeling nauseous, often vomiting, and they becoming very dehydrated. While food poisoning is rarely serious, there have been serious cases involving food poisoning, so it is not something to take lightly.
There is nothing worse than arriving at your hotel to discover terrible standards with regards to hygiene and overall upkeep. Poor hygiene in a hotel, restaurant, or other setting can cause illnesses, such as those highlighted in the sections above. If you have suffered an illness like this, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation from a negligent third party.
If you have been involved in a car crash or motorbike accident, or any other type off-road traffic accident, some important steps to take include the following:
- See a doctor – the first thing you must do is get your injuries seen to. You may feel fine, but you must see a medical professional, especially as whiplash in Spain is an injury that tends to get worse a few hours or days after the crash. You also need to see a doctor for the purpose of your claim. The medical report that the doctor provides is the key piece of evidence, which will contribute how much money you receive
- Exchange contact information – you must get the contact details of the person that caused the car accident. This includes their general contact information as well as details concerning their insurer and their vehicle. If anyone witnessed the incident, you are advised to get their details as well, as witness statements are exceptional in terms of evidence
- Take photographs – you can really strengthen car accident claims in Spain by taking any photos of the scene to prove what happened, such as damage to a street scene or your vehicle. If your injuries are visible, you should also take photographs of these as well
- Keep proof of all costs incurred – you may be able to claim for any expenses that you have had to foot the bill for because of your accident or injuries. There are many costs you may have incurred, such as treatment expenses, loss of earnings, childcare expenses, the cost of counselling, and vehicle repair costs. However, in order to claim for all of these, you are going to need proof, so make sure you do not throw out any relevant documents or receipts
It may also be possible to make a claim if you have been injured because of poor maintenance at the hotel you are staying in while on holiday in Spain. There are many different ways that poor maintenance could result in an injury. For example, if the furniture in your room is broken, you could end up hurting yourself. You could also injure yourself because of trip hazards, like potholes in the hotel car park. Furthermore, if the gym equipment or swimming pool has not been maintained properly, injuries can easily arise.
There are many different types of accidents and injuries that people could sustain while on holiday in Spain. Some of the common examples could include the following:
- Food poisoning
- Injuries due to poor hygiene
- Swimming pool accidents
- Road traffic accidents
- Injuries on tours and excursions
- Injuries because of broken furniture
- Car accidents
A package holiday is one including at least two of the following:
- Overnight accommodation
- Travel services, for example, tours
- Hire car
Under the Package Holiday Regulations if you are injured on an element of the package holiday which was booked in the UK by a UK tour operator and the accident was due to a breach in the duty of care owed to you causing avoidable injuries, then you may be able to pursue your claim on a no win no fee basis under UK law.
There are a number of advantages to making a claim if you have been injured while in Spain which could include the following:
- Facilitate Recovery – making an accident claim can provide funds so that you can facilitate your recovery
- Monetary help – the main reason for making a claim is so you can get the financial assistance you need due to monetary loss
- Cover any expenses encountered – it is likely that you would have incurred many different costs because of your injuries, and a successful claim can ensure you recuperate the money you had to pay out
- Protection from loss of income – a lot of people are left unable to work when they have been injured, and a compensation claim will ensure you are protected from any loss of earnings, as this counts as a special damage, and thus you can claim for it
You may find the whole process so much easier if you decide to use a holiday accident claims solicitor. Here are some of the questions you should ask in order to find the right personal injury lawyer for you.
- What experience do they have? You would want to use the services of a personal injury solicitor who has a considerable amount of experience in their locker. You don’t want to go for someone that is just starting out and effectively learning on the job. You should also make sure that the individual has experience in the type of claim you are going to make. For instance, if you have been involved in a car crash in Spain you should ensure that the lawyer has experience in road traffic accident claims
- How much will I have to pay for your services? Price is an important consideration when paying for any service, and the services of accident lawyers are no different. You would want to know how much you are going to have to pay, but you would also want to discover what sort of payment structure you are going to be subject to and what you are actually getting for your money. It is always a good idea to go for a lawyer that is happy to work to a No Win, No Fee payment arrangement. By doing this, you would only pay legal fees to your solicitor if your case is a success. This minimises financial risk and ensures a much better service too
- What is your success rate? This question is pretty self-explanatory. You certainly want a lawyer who has a good win rate, as this would indicate that there is a high chance they will secure compensation in your case too
- Do you have any customer testimonials I can take a look at? Customer reviews can help you to get a true reflection regarding what the lawyer has to offer and the service they provide. This would help you pick up on any red flags if indeed there are any
When making a claim under UK law for a package holiday claim, the compensation you may be awarded is calculated based on two factors. The first factor is your injuries/suffering. The severity of your injury and the impact it is having on your life will be considered in order to come to an appropriate sum of money. The second factor is any out of pocket expenses you have experienced. This can be anything from childcare fees, to medical costs, to loss of income. You would be compensated for these, however, you need proof of your expenditure in the form of receipts.
The table below provides some of the UK payout amounts for injuries that commonly occur while on holiday but these amounts are for claims pursued under UK law. This information comes from the Judicial College guidelines. It is much more reliable and accurate when compared with using the personal injury claims calculator tools you can find on the web today. These are marketing tools rather than being reliable compensation resources. Spain would have its own way of calculating amounts under the Baremo system when claims are pursued under Spanish personal injury law.
|Reason for compensation||Typical payout amount|
|Loss of anticipated earnings||£10,000 - £400,000|
|Loss of benefits||£5,000 - £500,000|
|Minor injuries – 7-day recovery||A few hundred pounds to £525|
|Minor injuries – 28-day recovery||£525 - £1,050|
|Minor injuries – 3-month recovery||£1,050 - £1,860|
|Back injuries – Minor||A few hundred pounds - £9,500|
|Back injuries - Moderate||£9,500 - £21,100|
|Shoulder injuries – Minor||A few hundred pounds - £6,000|
|Shoulder injuries – Moderate||£6,000 - £9,700|
|Shoulder injuries – Serious||£9,700 - £14,600|
|Shoulder injuries – Severe||£14,600 - £36,500|
If you would still like some further information on holiday accident claims in Spain, the links below may be of assistance:
The NHS on Accidents in Spain – See information that the NHS feel is important for you to know.
Legal Expert – Advice on Spanish Claims – For more information on making claims, this site provides a lot of useful guides.
Edited Honey 25/1/20