Accident Working Abroad Compensation Claims Guide – How To Claim For An Accident Working Abroad?

I Was Injured When Working Abroad, Could I Claim Compensation?

By Mark Anderson. Last Updated 11th March 2021. Welcome to our guide, which explains about making a claim for an accident working abroad.

This online guide provides information bout why you may have a valid personal injury claim against a responsible party if you are involved in an accident working abroad and how to go about making one. We cover some of the most common workplace accidents and how you could be eligible to claim if you are involved in similar incidents.

You might have questions not covered in this guide, especially as each claim is unique. Therefore, please call our team on 0161 696 9685. They can answer your questions and explain how a personal injury lawyer can help you by processing your claim for an accident working abroad on a No Win No Fee basis.

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A Guide To Claims For An Accident When Working Abroad

Claim for an accident working abroad

Accident working abroad compensation claims

You must file your claim for an accident working abroad against a responsible party within the personal injury claims time limit, generally three years. However, as this may differ depending on several factors and the country where the accident occurred, our team can clarify this for you.

If you have been injured in an accident abroad while working, which could include in Europe or anywhere else in the world, this guide provides information on whether you may have a valid claim and how to proceed if you do.

The first part of the guide covers what defines workplace accidents, and why in some cases, an employer could be liable to pay compensation when an employee is injured in an incident caused by negligence on the part of another person.

The next part details how frequently workplace accidents occur and how they happen. We look at some key statistics related to accidents at work and discuss the work people typically carry out overseas. This includes slips, trips and falls, as well as road traffic accidents abroad.

The next section looks at some of the legal considerations of filing a claim for an overseas workplace accident. We examine whether the location you are working in would affect your ability to claim compensation from a responsible party. We also explain why you could use a UK-based legal firm to make an overseas claim for compensation.

The last section covers the financial aspects of filing an accident at work abroad claim. We have produced a table to help you work out how much compensation you may be awarded in a successful accident abroad claim. This is only intended as a rough guide, as it is based on the Judicial College Guidelines used in England by courts, solicitors and insurance companies.

The level of compensation you may receive may differ based on the laws/rules of the country where the accident took place. We have also provided a list of damages you may be able to include in your claim, but with the same caveat, the damages you could be entitled to claim may differ depending on which country the claim is being filed in.

The last part of the guide explains how a No Win No Fee structure works and how such a service can help you to minimise the financial risks of making a claim for compensation against a responsible party. If you have additional questions once you have finished the guide, or you need some clarification on the information provided, then please speak to our team. You can contact them on the telephone number near the top of the page. One of our advisers will answer your questions and provide you with any further assistance you need.

What Are Accidents When Working Abroad?

Workplace accidents can happen in any country. They are common in the UK, where health and safety standards are fairly high. For people working overseas, especially in countries with less stringent health and safety regulations, a workplace accident is one of the risks that have to be faced.

Dealing with an accident back home in the UK is pretty straightforward. Everyone speaks English, and we all familiar with the workings of the healthcare system. However, if you are injured overseas, you may not understand what you need to do to get the help and support you need.

Some countries don’t have free emergency healthcare as we do in the UK. An injured employee might need to present proof of medical insurance or proof they have the funds to pay their hospital bill before they are treated.

These problems make dealing with a workplace accident overseas a more complex challenge than dealing with an accident at home in the UK. This includes the process of claiming compensation for any injuries that you may have incurred. This guide specifically looks at the claims process for overseas accidents and injuries. Our team can offer our additional help and advice if you give them a call about a claim for an accident working abroad. They will also explain how a personal injury solicitor can help by processing a case on your behalf.

Statistics – How Many People Work Abroad?

It isn’t easy to give a total figure on how many British citizens work abroad. Some overseas workers are ex-pats who have built a new life in a foreign country and work in a full-time job. Others work in the Oil & Gas sector, for example, and only work overseas for a few months on short-term contracts before returning to the UK.

Some data is available, which shows that there are around 1.3 million British citizens living (and often working) in Europe. However, the global total indicates that there are around 5.5 million British citizens working abroad. It remains to be seen as to whether these figures may change due to the impact of Brexit and in the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic.

What Types Of Jobs Do People Do When Working Abroad?

There are two kinds of British citizens who work overseas. Firstly, some have resettled in a foreign country. These people could be doing any work, such as working overseas as a doctor.

Then there is a second group of people who are only working overseas temporarily. Some on short-term contracts, others during their gap year, or even working as a volunteer through a charity. These people tend to work in similar jobs. For example. many westerners who are temporarily living in S.E. Asia work overseas as teachers. Others, such as those working in the Oil & Gas sector, may work one month on, one month in Angola, Bahrain, China, or even on an oil rig out at sea.

What all these people have in common is that they could be the victim of an accident at work whatever job they do abroad. And that could lead them to claim for an accident working abroad.

Slip And Trip Injuries When Working Abroad

One of the most common workplace accidents are slip, trip and fall incidents. These accidents can happen at any time and in any place. They can be caused by hazards such as:

  • An office accident involving a trailing power cable causing a person to slip
  • Oil spilt on the floor of a garage, causing a staff member to slip over and suffer a workplace injury.
  • A torn or frayed carpet in an office causes a member of staff to trip over.

There are so many ways these accidents can occur. The important fact here is that if the accident was the fault of your employer or another negligent party, you might be able to file a compensation claim for the harm you suffered. Of course, the local laws in the country where the accident took place will come into play which is covered later in this guide.

Road Traffic Accidents When Working Abroad

A road traffic accident or driving accident is another very common kind of accident. You could be driving your works vehicle or your private foreign-registered vehicle for work purposes when you are involved in an accident. Some people working overseas could be driving foreign-registered lorries daily. Overseas traffic accidents can be caused by hazards such as:

  • Dangerous or negligent driving.
  • People driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Static roads hazards such as a broken road sign.
  • Poorly maintained vehicles.

There are many ways that road traffic accidents may happen, resulting in a claim for an accident working abroad. If you are involved in a road traffic accident whilst working, you may either be able to claim against the party that caused the accident, or in some cases, your employer if they carry some of the blame.

Is My Claim Affected By The Country The Accident Happened In?

In this section, we answer the question, what happens if you are injured or get ill abroad? We also explain how local laws may affect your ability to claim compensation.

Labour laws and also legislation related to health and safety differ from country to country. Some regions, such as the countries that form part of the EU, operate unified laws across borders. Others operate their own laws, which could affect two things:

  1. Your eligibility to make a claim – whether you have grounds to bring proceedings against your employer (or some other third party) or not
  2. The legal process you must follow – what you will be expected to do and the things your solicitor will take care of on your behalf.

In many cases, it makes sense to ensure that you have personal accident insurance working abroad because, in many countries, there is no free healthcare. The cost of healthcare could form part of the damages you claim, but you would still have to pay them out of your own pocket until you have won your compensation claim.

If you are unsure how the laws in the country where you were injured may affect your claim, please speak to one of our advisers, who will explain which laws could affect your claim.

Could I Use A Solicitor Based In The UK For My Claim?

This section aims to answer the question, can I claim for an accident working abroad using a legal firm in the UK? If you are injured in an accident at work overseas, you have the option to seek representation from an overseas solicitor. However, this may not be the right choice.

Consider for a moment that you will need to deal with a solicitor overseas in their own language. They may speak English, but the legal documents you would have to provide and receive will be in a foreign language. If you use a UK solicitor, they will translate these documents for you. Time zones could also be a problem if you return to the UK whilst the claim is still being processed in a foreign country.

A solicitor in the UK can do everything for you that an overseas solicitor can. And you won’t have to deal with a language barrier or need to contact them at awkward times due to a time zone difference.

A UK solicitor who handles overseas claims will be familiar with the legal system in the country where the case is being filed. They will follow the same claims process that a local solicitor would and have the same chance to have a successful outcome.

If you would like more information about using a UK personal injury solicitor to make an overseas workplace injury claim, please speak to one of our advisers today.

Calculating Compensation For An Accident Working Abroad

You might be able to find an online personal injury claims calculator to estimate the level of compensation you may be able to claim if you are injured abroad in a workplace accident. We have provided a table below as a general guideline. However, this table was created based on the Judicial College Guidelines used in English courts by solicitors and insurers. It does not apply to compensation awarded for overseas claims and is therefore provided as a rough guide only.

InjurySeverityCompensationNotes
Injured handModerate£5,260 to £12,460In this category, we would include crush injuries, deep penetrating wounds, burns and lacerations. As well as less serious fractures and soft tissue injuries. It would also include injuries that were more severe but have been partially treated using surgery.
Injured armModerate£18,020 to £36,770This category would include elbow conditions such as tennis elbow. As well as all injuries that would heal fully and leave no permanent symptoms or impairment.
Injured backModerate£26,050 to £36,390In this category, would be injuries such as compression damage of the spinal vertebrae, damage to the spine or spinal nerves, as well as soft-tissue injuries. There could be a risk of osteoporosis in later life, and at the upper end of the scale, the injuries may require surgery to treat, and result in symptoms such as chronic pain, etc.
Injured neckModerate£23,460 to £36,120In this category, would be injuries such as compression damage of the spinal vertebrae, damage to the spine or spinal nerves, as well as soft-tissue injuries. There could be a risk of osteoporosis in later life, and at the upper end of the scale, the injuries may require surgery to treat, and result in symptoms such as chronic pain, etc.
Injured footModerate£12,900 to £23,460In this category would be injuries such as a displaced metatarsal fracture. Once healed, it could result in the foot being deformed, leaving the victim impaired and unable to wear normal shoes.
Injured legModerate£26,050 to £36,790In this bracket would be serious crush injuries, compound fractures, soft tissue injuries, etc. The level of compensation that is awarded will depend on whether the patient had to undergo surgery, whether there is permanent scarring, and whether there is a risk of a condition such as osteoporosis later in life.
Injured head/brainModerate£40,410 to £85,150In this bracket, there would be some brain damage that has an effect on the cognitive abilities of the victim. There may also be a change in personality and problems with memory. Work prospects would below.

For a more accurate estimate of the amount of compensation you could be awarded for an overseas work-related accident, please call our team. They can explain the process of undergoing a medical examination to prove the extent of your injuries and then arrange for an experienced solicitor to value your claim.

Special Damages Which May Be Included In Your Claim

If you succeed in your claim for an accident working abroad, the settlement you receive will likely be made up of damages similar to those you may receive in the UK. Overseas claims may differ, so it’s important to bear in mind that the damages listed below are provided as a guide only:

  • General damages to compensate for the physical harm suffered:
    • Pain and suffering (at the point of the accident)
    • Stress and trauma at the time of the accident
    • Painful treatment and a long recuperation
    • Psychological injuries such as anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder
    • Long-term or permanent disabilities
  • Special damages to compensate for any form of financial loss suffered:
    • Travel costs and other out of pocket expenses
    • The cost of private medical fees (if the treatment was not available on the NHS on return to the UK)
    • The cost of hiring a nurse to care for you at home
    • Any lost income due to missing work
    • Loss of long-term work prospects

These are some of the basic kinds of damages you may be able to claim. If you talk to one of our advisers, they will tell you which kinds of damages might be applicable in your own case if you were injured in an accident while working abroad.

What Should I Do If Injured When Working Abroad?

This section answers the question, what to do if you have an accident abroad? Should this be the case, there are several steps you can take in preparation for claiming a responsible party. These are:

  • Take photographs of the scene of the accident.
  • Gather the contact details of any witnesses
  • Visit the hospital to have your injuries treated.
  • Ensure you have followed your employer’s accident reporting procedure
  • Keep a list of any financial loss you suffer due to the accident.

For more advice about this, please speak to a team member who will help you further.

How The Legal Helpline Team Could Assist You

If you are injured working abroad, you will need some expert legal advice on how best to proceed with your claim against the responsible party. We can provide this assistance. Our team will answer any questions you may have about the claims process, evaluate your claim for you, and explain how a lawyer can help with your claim for an accident working abroad.

No Win No Fee Claims For Accidents Working Abroad

You can use a No Win No Fee solicitor to have your claim processed, and they will not expect to be paid a pre-agreed free until they have received payment for you. You pay no new claims fee, and there would be no fees to pay while the claim is processed. You will not have to pay the ‘success fee’ if the claim is not a success because you signed a No Win No Fee agreement with the solicitor who represented you.

Begin Your Claim If Injured When Working Abroad

Do you wish to start a claim for an accident working abroad? Then you can contact our team on 0161 696 9685. They will be able to help you to get your claim underway.

Reference Materials

You can check these external pages for more information:

Road Accident Claims Abroad

Info On Working Overseas

UK Ex-Pat Statistics

You can also check these other guides:

Fatal Work Accident Claims

How To Claim For An Assault At Work

Bullying At Work Claims

Claim For An Accident Working Abroad FAQs

Can I claim compensation after an injury at work abroad?

If an employer’s negligence caused the accident, which led to you being hurt, you could make a work accident claim. This requires you to provide sufficient evidence proving that the employer didn’t follow their duty of care towards you. If successful, the employer’s liability insurance company covers your settlement payout.

How long can you claim for an accident at work?

There is a 3-year maximum window as per the personal injury claim limitation period. This means that if you wish to take legal action after that date, you don’t receive compensation. But even if your case isn’t settled until much later, so long as you file a claim within 3 years, you could receive compensation.

Should I accept the first offer for compensation?

This all depends on what the offer is, of course. But in most scenarios, it’s highly recommended that you don’t take the first offer. That’s because the opening offer is designed to provide room for negotiation. Therefore, the first offer is almost always below your expectations, which is why you shouldn’t accept it.

What happens if I reject a settlement offer?

Suppose you do turn down any settlement offer; that is now no longer on the table. This means that you can’t decide at a later date to accept it if you previously declined it. The intention, of course, is to end up receiving a larger settlement, hence your decision to reject any previous offers.

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