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What's New? > Have you missed the boat or do you still have time to bring your claim?

Have you missed the boat or do you still have time to bring your claim?

Published: 31st January 2011

Many people might be aware that they generally have three years in which to present their personal injury claim before a Court of Law. If you fail to bring your claim before a Court of Law after the limitation period has expired then you generally have lost the right to bring a claim. However, many people are unaware that time limits are different not only in different countries around the world but also depending on the mode of transport they might have had their accident on and the country in which their accident happened.

How long to claim?
As a holiday maker on a cruise you would normally have only two years in which to present your claim before a court - depending upon how your accident occurred. The same applies for aeroplane accidents, generally you will have two years in which to bring a claim for personal injury.

If your accident occurs whilst abroad and on holiday, it should be noted that countries even in the European Union have different limitation periods. If you have to bring a claim under the law of that country then it is sensible to obtain the advice of a specialist solicitor without delay. For example, limitation periods differ greatly - France is ten years, Sweden 5 years but Spain is only one year.

Can I sue my tour operator?
You might be able to claim under English law for your holiday injuries albeit that they occurred in a foreign country if you can prove that the holiday you bought was a package holiday. Beware as many internet companies now try to ensure that they are not caught by the Package Tour Regulations by selling accommodation, travel and transfers separately and/or purporting to be purely a "facilitator of services" by purchasing your components of holiday through independent third parties. To be potentially caught by the Act and for you to sue the company you have to prove that the holiday was a pre-arranged all in one arranged trip including at least two of the following elements at an inclusive price, and must be for at least a period of twenty-four hours and include an overnight stay:
Accommodation
Transport
And non-essential tourist services, such as a tour.

Warning
It is not enough for your holiday to be ABTA regulated - ensure that if you think you are purchasing a Package Holiday that you get this in writing from them before you buy and read their terms and conditions. If your claim for holiday injuries cannot be brought under the Act then it can be very costly and difficult to bring a claim in a different country.

Points to remember:

Take a solicitors advice as soon as possible with regards any accident occurring on transport of any kind and abroad without further delay as you might have missed the boat for claiming.

There might also then be complicating issues of different jurisdictions, for example if you had an accident in France then you would have ten years in which to bring a claim for personal injury.

Please contact our Personal Injury Team on 01553 660033 to discuss any potential claim you believe  that you might have.

This article aims to supply general information, but it is not intended to constitute advice. Every effort is made to ensure that the law referred to is correct at the date of publication and to avoid any statement which may mislead. However, no duty of care is assumed to any person and no liability is accepted for any omission or inaccuracy. Always seek our specific advice.