Switzerland Holiday Accident Claims Guide – How To Claim Compensation For A Personal Injury Claim In Switzerland?

If you have been injured in an accident while on holiday in Switzerland, you may be able to make a holiday accident claim for compensation providing the accident was not your fault.  Whether you suffered a ski accident in Switzerland, or a ski lift accident, or any other sort of holiday accident, or you fell ill through the negligence of a third party, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the party responsible.

Many people injured on holiday or made ill on holiday, feel intimidated by the idea of making a personal injury claim when in foreign country. However, many personal injury law firms in the UK offer a service that covers illnesses and injuries suffered by people when they are on holiday. In short, you don’t have to worry about the language gap or any technicalities associated with making a holiday accident claim in Switzerland.

This guide provides essential reading on how to go about seeking compensation when you fall ill or are injured in an accident in Switzerland and how to go about finding an experienced UK-based personal injury claim to act on your behalf.

Jump To A Section

A Guide To Personal Injury Claims For Holiday Accidents In Switzerland

Switzerland Holiday Accident Claims Guide
Switzerland Holiday Accident Claims Guide

Switzerland is a beautiful country in central Europe, known for its mountains, lakes and medieval cities. Many holidaymakers visit Switzerland to enjoy skiing holidays during the winter months, hiking and watersports in the summer, as well as city breaks all year-round. Many British tourists also visit Switzerland to see family and friends, or for business trips.

Switzerland is considered a safe country to visit and last year over 7,000,000 British nationals chose to go there. Most of these visits were trouble-free. This doesn’t mean, however, that accidents cannot happen in Switzerland if businesses like hotels, restaurants and ski activity providers, are negligent in their duty of care towards their customers. If proper standards of health and safety are not upheld and a customer is made ill or injured as a direct consequence, then they could be entitled to claim compensation for the resulting injuries they suffered.

This guide provides essential advice on what to do if you are injured in Switzerland and how to seek help. It provides valuable information on what accidents holidaymakers commonly suffer when on holiday in Switzerland. It offers advice on  how to find the right solicitor to handle your claim for compensation by filing a successful personal injury claim against a third party.

What Happens If You Get Sick Or Injured On Holiday?

Every year accidents happen to holidaymakers in Switzerland which result in them being injured or falling ill. These accidents can include a ski accident in Switzerland, ski accident deaths, serious injuries, road traffic accidents in Switzerland, food poisoning or even a slip, trip and fall accident.

Who Is Liable For An Accident Or Illness Abroad?

If you experienced an accident on a package holiday, or on a privately booked holiday to Switzerland, which was caused by a third party then you could be entitled to claim compensation from them. For example, if you slipped on a wet floor in a shop that had not been mopped up, then you could be entitled to claim compensation from that party. This is because the shop did not take responsibility for keeping you safe, so they could be judged as liable for your injuries. However, if you were acting negligently and this caused an accident or you were injured in an unfortunate incident for which no one was to blame, you may not be entitled to claim compensation, as your injuries would not be judged to be anyone else’s fault.

Advice On What To Do If You Are Injured Or Ill In Switzerland

If you fall ill or are injured  in Switzerland in an accident that was not your fault, you should take steps to collect evidence to support your case which would include the following:

  • Take photographs of the health and safety hazard that caused your injury, including a date and time stamp, to provide visual evidence
  • Take photographs of your injuries, to provide digital evidence, including a date and time stamp
  • Keep the receipts of expenses you incurred, which are related to your accident. These may serve as evidence of what you experienced and you could claim back these expenses in special damages
  • If you are injured in a car accident in Switzerland, or any other sort of road traffic accident, take down the license plate of the other vehicle and exchange contact details with the other driver. Do not sign any paperwork given to you by the other driver, or a lawyer or insurer representing the other driver, in case they are trying to trick you into admitting responsibility for liability. Consult a personal injury solicitor for advice instead
  • Report the injury or illness that you experienced to your tour operator or hotel and be sure that they report it accurately

How To Get Help If Sick Or Injured Abroad

If you are a UK national then you can, fortunately, get help if you are injured on holiday in Switzerland and this includes from the following:

In the case of an emergency, you can contact the British Embassy in Berne. Telephone the British Embassy on +41 (0)31 359 7700. More information about contacting the British Embassy in Britain, later on in this guide.

Until post-Brexit, you can use a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), in Switzerland. After Brexit, it is not certain whether UK citizens would be able to use an EHIC card.

What is an EHIC? An EHIC card allows citizens to use the same state healthcare system in EU & EEA countries as well as Switzerland that local citizens are entitled to receive. An EHIC is not a substitute for fully comprehensive travel insurance.
You should always take up fully comprehensive travel insurance, also known as holiday accident insurance before you travel. You may have to pay for your medical treatment upfront, then have to claim the money back on the insurance later.

If you are involved in an accident on a package holiday report your accident to your tour operator and be sure they record it accurately in their accident log book, to provide evidence of your claim. Your tour operator would also be able to provide help.

Emergency Assistance And Support From The British Embassy

If you are in need of emergency  assistance in Switzerland, you can contact the British Embassy in Bern using the details below.

British Embassy Berne
Thunstrasse 50
3005 Berne
Tel: +41 (0)31 359 7700
Website: www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-berne

UK number to call if you are worried about a British citizen in Switzerland: 020 7008 150

The British Government has more information about travel to Switzerland here.

Why Having Travel Insurance Is So Important?

It’s a common misconception that an EHIC card is a substitute for taking out fully comprehensive travel insurance before you travel. This is not true. Firstly, EHIC cards for UK citizens would only be valid until a certain time because of Brexit, and there is no guarantee that you would be able to use one abroad after Brexit.

Secondly, most countries do not have a fully comprehensive medical care system, so choosing holiday accident insurance, which is fully comprehensive would cover any sort of treatment you may need. Finally, travel insurance would also cover the cost of services like repatriation, if you are seriously injured, which an EHIC would not cover.

Top Places To Visit In Switzerland

Below is a list of some of the tourism hotspots for visitors from the UK travelling to Switzerland. There are many popular destinations in Switzerland for a variety of different types of holiday, from city breaks to Geneva or Zurich, to walking to skiing holidays (depending on the time of year) in the Swiss Alpine regions.

  • Zurich
  • Geneva
  • Basel
  • Lausanne
  • Bern
  • Winterthur
  • Lucerne
  • Gallen
  • Lugano
  • Biel
  • Thun
  • Koniz
  • La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • Fribourg
  • Schaffhausen
  • Vernier

If you suffered a holiday illness or injury whilst visiting these or any other part of Switzerland, you may be able to claim damages from the party responsible or a holiday company. You should advice from a solicitor as soon as you get back to the UK and you must have seen a doctor so they can provide a medical report on the injuries you sustained.

In the table below we have included the number of overnight stays in Switzerland by nationality:

Visiting nationalityTotal number of says overnight
British / UK1,667,437
American / USA1,644,424
Gulf nationalities770,725
Combined Nordic visitors508,264
Total visitor nights19,907,377

Compensation Claims For Accidents On Holiday In Switzerland

Many holidaymakers claim compensation for illnesses or injuries hey suffered on holiday in Switzerland that were caused by accidents that were not their fault. Many of these accidents are Ski accidents in Switzerland or skiing related incidents which includes ski lifts in Switzerland. Claims can also be made for car accidents, incidents of food poisoning and other holiday illnesses and fatal accidents. If you suffered any of the accidents listed above, or any other sort of accident that was not your fault on holiday in Switzerland, you could be entitled to claim compensation.

Have You Had A Food Allergy Or Food Poisoning On A Swiss Holiday?

Businesses that sell edible goods which includes food manufacturers, prepacked foodstuffs, or restaurants, are legally obliged to list and highlight allergenic ingredients on their packing or menu. If they fail to do so, and as a customer, who suffers from a food allergy, you suffer an allergic reaction because of their negligence, they could be held liable and may have to pay you compensation.

Similarly, if you have eaten food purchased at a hotel, restaurant, cafe or shop in Switzerland that was not properly prepared, which resulted in you becoming ill with food poisoning, you could be entitled to claim damages and compensation.

Illness Caused By A Lack Of Hygiene At Your Hotel

Switzerland is known for good hygiene standards in hotels and elsewhere. However, waterborne infections leading to illness may occur if proper standards of health and safety are not carried out. This could affect drinking water, or water supplies in hotel swimming pools and hot tubs. If you have contracted a water-borne illness, or any other type of illness at your hotel because of negligence on their part, you could be entitled to claim compensation.

Swiss Holiday Car And Road Accidents

British holidaymakers in Switzerland are unfamiliar with driving on the right-hand side of the road. This could result in them being more at risk of being involved in an accident. If you were injured in a car accident in Switzerland that was not your fault, you could be entitled to claim compensation. The same applies if you were injured in any other sort of road traffic accident which includes when riding a motorcycle or travelling as a passenger in a car or other means of transport.

Hotel Maintenance And Damaged Facility Injuries

Most hotels in Switzerland are run to a high standard. However, if there are faulty facilities at a hotel or the hotel is improperly maintained, this can lead to guests experiencing accidents, leading to injuries. Guests can fall down the stairs, if a broken handrail comes loose under their weight, or trip on a protruding nail sticking out of a floorboard that has not been fixed. Similarly, damaged facilities like a bookcase which has not been secured to a wall, or a broken shower head which comes loose and falls could result in an injury and in extreme cases could end up crushing you.

If you were injured because of poor hotel maintenance or damaged facilities, whilst on holiday in Switzerland, you could be entitled to claim accident abroad compensation for your injuries.

What To Do If You Have A Skiing Accident In Switzerland?

Many tourists travel to Switzerland in the winter to enjoy winter sports like skiing and snowboarding in the Alps. Unfortunately, skiing is not without its risks and if you suffer a skiing accident in Switzerland that was caused by negligence on the part of someone else, you could be entitled to claim compensation for your injuries. Ski accidents and ski crashes in Switzerland can be caused by irresponsible behaviour from other skiers, poor instruction from ski instructors, companies failing to check their equipment is working and poor maintenance of ski lifts.

In extreme conditions, a skiing accident in Switzerland can even result in a ski accident death. If you were injured in a skiing accident, or have a close loved one who suffered a skiing accident death caused by negligence on the part of a third party, you could be entitled to claim compensation.

What Are the most common types of holiday accident?

Below is a list of common accidents on holiday in Switzerland  that you could suffer when on holiday:

  • Airplane or in-flight accidents
  • Illness caused by poor hotel hygiene
  • Falls from a balcony
  • Boat and boating accidents
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Broken, damaged and furniture which collapses
  • Injury on an excursion
  • An injury caused by a faulty or damaged hotel fitting
  • An injury caused by a fault with a rental vehicle
  • Cases of food poisoning or food illness
  • Injuries sustained on local transport
  • Norovirus or legionnaires disease
  • Skiing and ski injuries
  • Any type of fall or slip
  • An illness or injury caused by or in a swimming pool

Qualifying For Protection Under Package Holiday Regulations

If you fell ill or were injured on a package holiday to Switzerland, you may have a right to claim compensation under the Package Travel, Package Holiday, and Package Tour Regulations 1992. This means that you may be able to claim compensation from your tour operator, if negligence on the part of your tour operator led you to become injured or ill at your hotel, during a flight or during an organised activity provided by your tour operator.

How Do You Make An Accident On Holiday Claim In Switzerland

Many people are understandably anxious about making a claim for compensation when injured on a holiday abroad. However, the process needn’t be as daunting as it may first seem. For the process to run smoothly, you should seek advice from a personal injury firm based in the UK who would assist you when making a holiday accident claim in Switzerland. One firm to consider is Legal Expert because they boast an excellent track record of winning claims for holidaymakers who were injured in countries like Switzerland and can conduct your claim right here in the UK.

Legal Expert are highly experienced solicitors with 30 years experience which means you can rest assured that they will always push to get you the maximum amount of compensation you may be entitled to. They also offer every claimant the opportunity to make a no win no fee claim, so there is nothing to pay until you win your case.

If you are interested in claiming compensation for an accident on holiday in Switzerland, call Legal Expert today on 0800 073 8804, to see if you are entitled to compensation.

How Much Can My Swiss Holiday Accident Claim Be Worth?

The  personal injury claims calculator below provides valuable information on how much you could be awarded in general damages. Alternatively, call Legal Expert today, to get a quote personally made for you.

Body Part InjuredSeriousnessSettlement limitExplanation of injuries and harm
ToeModerate - up to severeUp to £49,180Toe injuries can include those affecting the soft tissue or the bone. May range from lacerations and cuts up to dislocations or an amputation.
AnkleMinor - up to severeUp to £61,110Ankle injuries can include injury to and of the bone, joint, connective tissues, and the soft tissue. There may be lacerations or cuts, a dislocated ankle, or bone injuries. Could include the loss of use of function.
FootMinor - up to severeUp to £96,150Foot injuries could be bone damage, break and fractures or soft tissue injuries.
LegMinor - up to severeUp to £119,210Leg injuries could be bone damage, break and fractures, soft tissue injuries and nerve damage. They can also include a dislocated knee, hip, or ankle. Short of amputation.
HandMinor - up to severeUp to £54,280Hand injuries could be bone damage, break and fractures, soft tissue injuries and nerve damage.
WristMinor - up to severeUp to £52,490Wrist injuries could be bone damage, break and fractures, soft tissue injuries and nerve damage. At the upper end, this might include loss of use.
ArmModerate - up to severeUp to £114,810Arm injuries can include and range upwards from simple injuries of the soft tissue up to broken bones, nerve damage and reduced function.
BackMinor - up to severeUp to £141,150Back injuries can be both simple or very serious and complex.
NeckMinor - up to severeUp to £130,060Neck injuries could be serious enough to include loss of some use of the neck, or simple soft tissue injuries.

Helpful Resources

The NHS on Accidents in Switzerland – advice for travellers to Switzerland as provided by the NHS.

Legal Expert Switzerland – find out more about making a personal injury claim for a holiday accident in Switzerland.

Edited Honey 25/1/20