Legal advice for your holidays from Matthew Woodhams

PUBLISHED: 13:08 06 September 2011 | UPDATED: 19:56 20 February 2013

Legal advice for your holidays from Matthew Woodhams

Legal advice for your holidays from Matthew Woodhams

Sun. Sea. Sand. What we all hope for from our well-earned holidays. A slip. A trip. A crash. Sometimes these unplanned incidents can ruin them. Solicitor Matthew Woodhams explains how to deal with accidents abroad

Should an accident happen to you while you are on holiday in this country, you just need to take a few straightforward actions. Go to your GP or local A&E department and get the appropriate help.


If the accident was caused by somebody else, you then need to decide if you want to take it further and I would always recommend calling your local solicitor. It is quick to do so and is generally free. It might also help in preventing similar accidents again.


If you are going abroad it is a little more complicated. To start with you should always make sure that you have holiday insurance. It generally includes cover for medical costs and this is very important.


We have the worlds only free health care system, everybody else charges to some degree with it being more expensive for foreigners. Dont forget when we are abroad, we are the foreigners!


If you do have an accident then at least you wont get a bill costing hundreds of thousands of pounds. In European Union countries you can get free care by applying for a European Health Insurance Card (previously known as an E111). It is free and application forms are available free from Post Offices or online.


If your accident was caused by somebody else, always take as many details as possible as it will make it easier if you do need to bring a claim. Photographs are always a good idea.


If you have booked a holiday through a tour operator then it becomes a bit easier to bring a claim. Current legislation means that your claim is actually brought against the tour operator and not any hotel or similar place where you were injured.


This is the case as long as the accident location or activity was one which was part of your package. If an accident happens elsewhere or is not related then your action would be against the person who caused the accident.


It must be remembered that for a lot of travel claims (against tour operators, airlines and similar) you only have two years as opposed to the normal three years. As with all claims, it is best to take action early and avoid delay.


Hopefully youll return safe, sound and full refreshed from your break. If you do suffer from an injury though, you are not alone.



Matthew Woodhams is a solicitor at Whitehead Moncton Solicitors and the head of its Personal Injury Department.

More from People

With light at the end of the Covid tunnel at last, we take heart from how Kent recovered from previous calamities, from the 1930s depression to two world wars and the credit crunch. Article first written in July 2020

Read more

We’re all familiar with blue plaques, but could Kent Life come up with 10 notable births in our county – avoiding the most obvious ones? See if you agree

Read more
Wed, 13:53

How the sheep farming heritage of Romney Marsh, an area of great natural beauty but high unemployment, helped inspire the creation of Romney Tweed | Writer: Sarah Sturt - Pictures: Manu Palomeque

Read more
Wed, 13:39

Who was your favourite doctor? Tom Baker regularly appears in the top two in Dr Who polls, is still acting and would never rule out a come-back | Words: Bernard Bale

Read more
Thursday, November 19, 2020

You might think you’re a bit of an expert on Kent but when the clock starts counting down, simple facts may start to elude your memory...

Read more

Pets are proving a lifesaver for many, providing companionship and consistency in uncertain times, as these Kent Life readers reveal

Read more
Thursday, November 19, 2020

Working closely with the most seriously ill of patients, Joanna Mitchell knows only too well the difference it can make when they are cared for at home.

Read more

Test your knowledge of Kent with our bumper sized 100 question quiz with a distinctly Kentish theme

Read more
Wednesday, November 11, 2020

In a year when we got an inkling of what living through a war means, we remember the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII | Words: Stephen Roberts - Photos: Manu Palomeque & courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

Read more
Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Unknown Warrior’s journey from the World War One battlefields via Dover to his resting place in Westminster Abbey is 100 years old this month | Writer: Lucy Shrimpton - Pictures: Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Westminster Abbey and Manu Palomeque

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Latest from the Kent Life