Following the sinking of the Costa Concordia, an Tayside lawyer has issued helpful guidance to people who are involved in accidents abroad.
The passengers on board the ship had the holiday from hell when the cruise liner sank off the coast of Italy last month.
While many managed to escape the doomed ship, some were not so lucky with 17 confirmed dead and 15 still missing.
As the survivors return home, most will look to claim the company for loss of belongings, valuables and the stress of the accident.
Many people will be thinking about booking their summer holiday at the moment and no one wants to contemplate about what would happen if anything went wrong while they were abroad but it unfortunately at law firm see claims like this every day.
Michelle Adam, Associate in the Personal Injury Team at Thorntons, explains the claims procedure differs depending on the type of holiday you have booked.
She said: “If the accident happened abroad, you may still be able to bring a court case in the UK if you were on a package holiday.
“The Package Travel, Package Holiday and Package Tour Regulations 1992 allows you to bring your claim against the tour operator or holiday provider.”
“You are likely to be on a package holiday if you book at least two of the following from the same company – transport, hotel/accommodation, excursions and car hire.
“It is extremely important to be aware of the time limits in which to raise a claim.
“The normal period of time for a claim to be made in Scotland is three years from the date of the accident. However, for accidents on boats, ships or aeroplanes it is two years.”
Michelle added that claims become much more complicated and difficult if you have not booked a package holiday.
She said: “If this is the case you may need to pursue your claim abroad.
“If court proceedings have to be raised, you must be aware that the local law may differ from that in the UK and time limits may differ. You would also have to hire a foreign lawyer to deal with the claim and it could be helpful to also consult a UK solicitor to co-ordinate with the lawyer on your behalf.
“If something happens abroad, it is best to seek legal advice at the earliest possible opportunity.”
For more information please visit www.thorntons-law.co.uk