If you were injured while on holiday in Spain, you could be entitled to compensation. As you may know, there are certain situations in which someone may be liable to compensate another person for causing him or her harm or damage. Let’s see if that is your case.
How negligence claims operate
In countries such as UK or USA, in order to bring a successful claim against someone for negligence, the claimant must prove that the defendant was in breach of his or her duty of care. That is because liability for harm is caused to another person due to a breach of a duty of care. This is the duty to make sure that your conduct does not harm anyone.
There are also certain criteria to determine whether someone owes a duty of care or not, as a duty of care doesn’t operate under all circumstances and it is not owed to everyone. In brief, a negligence claim must meet these four elements:
- Duty: This means that the defendant owed a legal duty of care to the claimant.
- Breach of that duty: The defendant must have breached that duty, either by an act or an omission. Keep in mind that anyone can be liable for both his/her acts and for his/her omissions.
- Cause in fact: Have the defendant had met their duty of care, the claimant would not have been injured.
- Proximate cause: The defendant’s acts or omissions are the actual cause of the harm or damage received by the claimant.
- Damages: The claimant must have suffered some loss or damage because of the defendant’s breach, by either physical or financial.
Per contra, in other countries such as Spain, things work differently. They do not use the “duty of care” neither the criteria mentioned above. So, what happen if you suffer an accident in Spain? Has the potential claim to be based on Common Law or not?
The international element
All citizens within a particular jurisdiction have a duty of care automatically imposed upon them by the law of tort. For example, the law of tort in England imposes an automatic duty upon every citizen not to go onto anyone else’s land without his or her permission.
However, if you have suffered an accident in foreign soil, an international element is introduced in your claim.
If that happens in a European country, the general rule is that the law applicable will be the law of the country in which the damage occurs, according to the Rome II Regulation. That’s why it is very important to consult your case with expert lawyers from that particular country.
In other words, if you have suffered an accident in Spain and you want to claim compensation, your claim must be based on Spanish Law.
How do I know if I can claim in Spain?
You will be able to start your injury claim if you have been injured in an accident and your case fulfils the following points:
- You have suffered property, physical or moral damage
- The accident was caused wholly or partly by someone else
- It has been less than a year since the injuries you suffered from the accident are stabilized.
If the above requirements are met, then you likely can start legal proceedings.
The importance of evidence to succeed in your Spanish claim
Most of the tort claims that are brought are based on fault. This means that the defendant has done something wrong. As a result, most torts require proof of damage suffered.
One of the first things you should do after the accident is to speak to the Spanish emergency services (or those from the country in which you are in at the time of the accident). In order to do that, call 112 or 062 so you can report them the accident and obtain a police statement. You should also gather evidence related to the accident and witness statements.
If you require medical treatment, call 112 or 061 to request an ambulance. Remember: Always seek professional medical attention if you need to. This will allow you to use the medical reports as evidence in a later stage of the process. In fact, an emergency report may be decisive in order to succeed in your claim.
Our advice: Try to collect as many information as you possibly can. Location of the accident, personal data of everybody involved in the accident, including witnesses, registration numbers of vehicles involved if any…
Who can I make an injury claim against?
The person or company who caused the accident will be the defendant.
However, if you bring a claim as a result of a Spanish package holiday you can make a claim against the UK-based holiday company, through the Courts in England and Wales.
What information will be needed to start your claim?
Before taking your case, any solicitor will ask you the details of your case. These include:
- The date of the accident, where and how the accident happened
- Do you have witnesses? If so, could you provide their contact details?
- Police statement and/or the accident statement
- Details of your injuries, medical diagnosis and treatment received
- Proof of your financial expenses due to your injury, including your loss of earnings
- Your insurance policy
- In brief, all the evidence you could provide to support your claim
With this information, solicitors can inform you about how likely your case is to succeed, as well as an estimate of what amount you might be entitled to claim in compensation.
Cost of filing a personal injury claim
Charges can significantly vary from one law firm to another. Some solicitors may ask you to pay disbursements (e.g., the cost of medical evidence) while others may not. However, in Legalbono we operate under a ‘No-Win, No-Fee’ basis. This means that you will only have to pay our ‘success fee’ after receiving your compensation.
If you think you may have a case after reading this article, you can contact us and tell us the details of your claim. We will be more than glad to study your case and inform you about its likelihood to succeed for free.