A Guide To Spanish Personal Injury Claim Limitation Period – How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?

Spanish holiday accident limitation periods guide

Spanish holiday accident limitation periods guide

For many people, going on holiday is usually a time for relaxing, spending time with family, exploring, etc. For some, however, plans can be interrupted by an unfortunate accident. In cases where the accident was caused by the actions of another, it may be possible for you to take out a claim for compensation. Depending on how the holiday was booked, for example if it was a package holiday with a UK based holiday provider, then your claim could be taken out in the UK, under UK law. It differs however, if the holiday was not booked through a UK based provider, but instead booked independently by you.

Each country has its own laws and litigation that it abides by in personal injury claims, and this article has been written to provide information on the Spanish injury claim limitation period that is applied to claims made in Spain. As mentioned, every country differs in respect to legal practices surrounding claims, and the personal injury claims time limit that may apply in the UK, is not the same as that applied in Spain.

Read on to find out more about the limitation period under Spanish law, and how it may affect your claim. If you do not find what you are looking for here, or you need further clarification, you can reach out to our advisors on 0800 073 8801. Alternatively, you can fill out our online contact form to have us call you back at a time that suits you best.

Select A Section

  1. A Guide To Spanish Injury Claims Limitation Periods
  2. What Is An Accident Or Injury On Holiday In Spain?
  3. Injury Claim Litigation And Enforcement Under Spanish Law
  4. How Are Spanish Injury Claims Handled?
  5. Are There Differences Between Claims In The UK And Spain?
  6. Spanish Injury Claim Time Limits
  7. Holiday Injury Compensation Claims Calculator
  8. Special Damages For Holiday Injury Claims
  9. How Are Damages Calculated In Spanish Law?
  10. No Win No Fee Abroad Injury Claims
  11. Why Choose Us To Handle Your Claim For An Accident In Spain?
  12. Start Your Spanish Holiday Injury Claim
  13. Essential Travel References
  14. British Embassy Assistance And Medical Resources

A Guide To Spanish Injury Claims Limitation Periods

If you are involved in an accident while on holiday in Spain that was not your fault, it may be possible for you to make a claim to compensate you for your injuries. Claims for accidents or injuries on holiday can be complicated by the way in which your holiday was booked. If you booked a package holiday with a holiday provider that is based in the UK, then your claim may be handled under UK law if you were injured on an element of the package holiday. If, however, your holiday was not booked through a UK based provider, or your injury did not happen during an element of the package you booked, your claim may then be made according to the law of the country the accident happened in, which in this case would be Spanish law. We also have the Montreal Convention and the Athens Convention when travelling in international travel space.

This guide will give useful information on the process of making a claim in Spain, as well as explain the Spanish injury claim limitation period that is applied to each case. Although it may not be possible for us to comment accurately on how much compensation you may be awarded according to Spanish law, we have included a compensation calculator below which outlines some figures awarded for injury claims in the UK, which would be helpful if your case is pursued under UK law.

What Is An Accident Or Injury On Holiday In Spain?

The kind of accidents that could happen while you are abroad can vary immensely according to what kind of holiday you have booked, if you are engaging in activities, dining out in restaurants, or simply laying by a pool may reflect what hazards there maybe etc. During many aspects of your holiday it may be possible to experience an accident, injury or illness. Not all of these accidents will be your fault, and in cases where a third party is responsible for your injury or illness, it may be possible for you to make a compensation claim.

Some examples could include a road traffic accident while on the way to the airport, hotel, etc. for which the driver in another vehicle was to blame. Another example could include a slip, trip or fall in a public place like a supermarket or restaurant, which was caused by a spillage or other hazard on the floor. It may also include food poisoning you developed after eating at a restaurant, or some other illness caused by the negligence of a third party.

Depending on how your holiday was booked, there may be variation in the way in which your claim must be handled, and what laws could affect it. In the case of holidays booked as a package deal with a UK based provider the case may be made under UK law only if you are injured or made ill on an element of the package combination. In this case an injury claim time limit of three years is commonly applied to most claims. Which country’s law is applied could vary; if you booked a package holiday with a UK based provider but were not injured during an element of the package holiday, for example, if you booked transport and accommodation with a holiday provider in the UK, but were injured on an activity you booked privately, then your claim would have to be made according to Spanish law, against the business supplying the activity.

If your holiday was not booked through a UK based provider, then your claim would be made under Spanish law, and against the liable third party, such as the restaurant owner, the supermarket owner, etc. The Spanish injury claim limitation period would apply to these cases, which in most cases is one year, but this can vary greatly from case to case and there can be exceptions.

Injury Claim Litigation And Enforcement Under Spanish Law

The limitation period under Spanish law is part of wider litigation and legislation that make up the law surrounding claims in Spain. This period generally lasts for one year for most personal injury claims, but it can vary depending on the nature of the claim, and other possible extenuating circumstances. There are many other complicated practices that are followed, abided by and referred to when a case is made under Spanish law that are different from UK law.

Apart from the limitation period, there are other aspects that could affect your claim. The Baremo system, which has recently been updated is a scale system used when calculating the amount of compensation awarded for each injury and is a mandatory element for each judge to consider when making their decision.

With regards to the limitation period itself, this can vary not just according to which type of claim it is, but also varies according to when it actually starts. It could possibly be affected by how long a person takes to recover from their injuries or illness, whether a disability needs to be determined, or the official date of discharge from hospital. If you require further clarification on any aspect of making a claim, we encourage you to contact us today for free, no obligation, legal advice.

How Are Spanish Injury Claims Handled?

As we have outlined above, there are different ways your claim might be handled. It all comes down to how the holiday was booked. Not all accidents that happen in Spain must be handled under Spanish law, and not all of them might be affected by the Spanish injury claim limitation period. If you were injured during an element of a holiday you booked with a UK based provider as part of a package deal, then it would be handled under UK law.

Despite which law your claim may be handled under, your case could possibly be handled by a UK based solicitor with experience in handling cases involving personal injury in Spanish law. Due to the varied nature of time limits surrounding cases of this type, we recommend seeking legal advice as soon as possible in order to give your solicitor enough time to organise your claim before the deadline.

Are There Differences Between Claims In The UK And Spain?

There are many differences between UK and Spanish law, and there are numerous ways in which claims can differ under each country’s laws. Litigation and enforcement in Spain is different from that of the UK, and even the ways in which calculations for personal injury compensation in Spain are generated differs from that of the UK.

In Spain, the Baremo scale system is designed to assess damages in personal injury cases. It assess bodily injuries within 3 different sections in order to calculate overall injury damages. Although it was originally intended for use in calculating compensation amounts for road traffic accidents, such as car accidents in Spain, it was recently updated on the 1st of January 2016 to include consideration for fatal injuries and other personal injury claims. In the UK, it is common for solicitors to refer to the Judicial College guidelines for recommendations on typical award amounts for specific injuries and damages.

The UK, the limitation period is commonly three years for most claims, but there can be exceptions in certain cases. In contrast, the time limit is one year in Spain, but as mentioned can vary greatly from cases to case. It can also be affected by the extent of a person’s injuries, and other potential interruptions that may postpone the activation of the period.

There are other differences in claiming in the UK and Spain, and if you would like to know more, or know how these differences may affect your claim, then we advise you to contact us today.

Spanish Injury Claim Time Limits

As mentioned, the Spanish injury claim limitation period can differ greatly from that in the UK and can be difficult to determine without more information on the case. There are two great exceptions and they are interruption and time-bar declaration which can affect the time limitation period in Spain. However, to give you an idea we have included a table below which illustrates the time limits for different circumstances.

Circumstances Limitation period
If your injury or illness was caused by an accident during an element of a package holiday booked with a UK based provider.3 years
An injury or illness you developed while on a flight you booked independently that was taking you from the UK to an international airport in Spain.2 years
If your injury or illness occurred while in Spain on a holiday you booked independently, but not while on an element of package holiday.1 year. In this case, there can be a lot of variation depending on the individual circumstances. We recommend seeking legal advice as soon as possible.

If you would like more certainty around the time limit that applies to your claim, then you could contact us today. Based on your circumstance we may be able to tell you which limit is relevant to you and advise you on how to proceed.

Holiday Injury Compensation Claims Calculator

Below we have included a personal injury claims calculator which provides figures relevant for cases taken out in the UK. As the injury compensation amounts for Spanish Claims are calculated using the Baremo scale, it is difficult to estimate figures which may apply to cases taken out in Spain. To give you an idea of what cases in the UK may be awarded, we have included the table below.

Injury or Illness SeverityAward Comment on Severity
Food Poisoning Serious £8,950 to £18,020Short lived vomiting and diarrhoea which fades after two to four weeks, but results in lingering discomfort, affect on bowel function as well as impact on sex life and enjoyment of food over the course of several years. Where symptoms persist for longer than this, amounts near the top of this bracket may be awarded.
Head Injury Minor £2,070 to £11,980Awards for these injuries can vary greatly depending on severity, how long it takes to recover, how long symptoms persist for, and if there are still headaches remaining. There will have been very minor or no brain damage in these injuries.
Neck InjuryModerate £23,460 to £36,120This bracket includes serious soft tissue damage, as well as chronic issues that affect other parts of the body. This bracket can also cover injuries that require spinal fusion, such as fractures or dislocations.
Back Injuries Minor£7,410 to £11,730This bracket is affected by duration of symptoms, and includes injuries like soft tissue damage, strains, sprains, or prolapsed discs. This bracket covers injuries and symptoms which heal without surgery in two to five years.
Shoulder InjurySevere£18,020 to £45,070This bracket includes damage to the brachial plexus which can also affect the neck and arm. These injuries will usually include significant cases of disability depending on the extent of the damage.
Elbow Injury Moderate or MinorUp to £11,820In this bracket, are injuries including simple fractures, tennis elbow, and lacerations. Typically they are injuries that do not result in permanent loss of function.
Wrist InjuryVery Minor£3,310 to £4,450This bracket is for injuries to the wrist that involve tissue damage, or fractures that are not seriously displaced. Typically they will recover within 12 months.
Hip or Pelvic Injury Severe£73,580 to £122,860This bracket includes injuries to the hips and pelvis that affect nearby internal organs such as the bladder, bowels, and reproductive organs. This can also cover injuries with damage to the lower spine which may result in the need for spinal fusion.
Knee Injury Moderate£13,920 to £24,580Damage to the meniscus, torn cartilage or dislocation which result in symptoms of instability, weakness or an increased potential for future instability. This bracket can also include pre-existing conditions that are accelerated or made worse because of the injury.
Ankle Injury Modest Injuries Up to £12,900This bracket is for soft tissue damage like ligament damage, non-displaced fractures or sprains. The amount is awarded then based on how long it takes to recover and if there will be any future instability.

Compensation awards are different from case to case and vary according to severity and the impact they have on your life overall. The above figures are only indicative of possible amounts given, and what you are awarded may be more or less than what is stated above. For more accurate estimations relating to your individual circumstances, contact us today and we may be able to help.

Special Damages For Holiday Injury Claims

Although there are different laws surrounding claims for personal injury in Spanish law and English law, whether your claim is handled under Spanish law or UK law, you could still be able to claim for similar things. For most cases, the main focus will be on claiming for general damages, which include the non-financial impact the injury has had on you, such as pain and suffering.

As well as that, there are special damages which can be claimed for that include financial hardship you may have experienced because of your injury. These can include loss of earnings, medical expenses, travel costs, and care costs. Not all of these elements may be a part of your case, as claims can vary from person to person. For more information on what you could claim for, and how to gather evidence in support of your claim, contact us today.

How Are Damages Calculated In Spanish Law?

In Spain injury compensation is calculated according to what is known as the Baremo system, which is essentially a scale used when quantifying damages after a personal injury, it is important to say that the system has been updates as this system was only used for road traffic accidents. This Baremo system is now is also commonly applied to personal injury claims in Spain and can affect the amount of compensation awarded.

This Baremo has been updated in recent years, and cases that occurred before the 1st of January 2016 would be handled according to the information outlined in the original Baremo. Changes made in the newest version include amendments relating to fatal accidents and personal injury claims. It also takes into account past and future loss.

No Win No Fee Abroad Injury Claims

Making a claim within the time limits for an accident claim abroad may seem complex, but our panel of solicitors could help guide you through the process. At Accident Claims UK we handle our claims on a no win no fee basis. No win no fee personal injury claims are based on a legally binding Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) between you and your solicitor. This CFA states that if you solicitor is not successful in winning your claim, then you as the claimant you will not have to pay for the solicitor’s legal fees.

If the case is won, then the fees will be taken from the overall amount awarded. It is worth noting that the maximum amount a solicitor can charge for their services is capped at 25% of the compensation settlement award. Any fees or costs should be discussed and agreed upon with your solicitor prior to making a claim.

Why Choose Us To Handle Your Claim For An Accident In Spain?

If you choose to proceed with a claim, we could connect you to a personal injury solicitor from our panel with experience in handling claims for accidents that have happened abroad. Our team of advisors and our panel of solicitors will be dedicated to securing you the best possible settlement for your case to compensate you for the pain and suffering you have endured because of your injury.

Start Your Spanish Holiday Injury Claim

If you are considering making a personal injury claim with a solicitor from our panel, contact us today for more information on personal injury claim time limit, what you could claim for and any other questions you may have. You can reach us today on 0800 073 8801 and we could help guide you through the process of making a claim for an accident abroad. If you would like to schedule a call back at a time of your choosing, then you can fill out our online contact form.

Essential Travel References

This guide has been put together to provide information on the limitation period in Spain concerning personal injury claims, and we hope you have found what you needed here. To provide some extra information, we have included some additional links below which you may find useful.

Personal Injury Claims In Spain Guide – This is our online guide on how to claim compensation for an accident in Spain.

Personal Injury Compensation Claims For An Accident On Holiday – See this guide to making claims for injuries while on holiday.

Slips, Trips Or Fall Accidents In Spain – See this other guide on these types of accidents when abroad in Spain.

British Embassy Assistance And Medical Resources

British Embassy In Madrid – This is the link to the British Embassy page.

UK Help And Services For Spain – See this government website for more information on being in Spain as a visitor or resident.

Spain – See this Travel Health Pro site for more information on Spain as a country.

Article by JF

 

Edited by Mel.