Germany Injury Claim Time Limit – Limitation Period For A Personal Injury Claim In Germany? – How Long Do I Have To Claim Compensation?
If you have sustained an injury through someone else’s mistake whilst on holiday in Germany, your first priority should be to get medical care and ensure you receive the appropriate treatment you require in order to get better. You may also be feeling anxious and just want to get back home to the UK safely and so filing a compensation claim may be the last thing on your mind. However, as soon as things have settled, you should consider getting accident abroad claims advice from an experienced holiday compensation solicitor as being awarded compensation can help to cover the financial implications of your injury and also serve as a form of justice for your pain and suffering.
Legal Expert is a legal firm that specialise in personal injury claims including accidents abroad international personal injury claims, and have years of experience of successfully helping holidaymakers claim compensation for being injured or becoming ill whilst on holiday through no fault of their own. If you’d like to have an informal chat or find out more about making a compensation claim for an injury or illness you have suffered on holiday in Germany caused by someone else, just call Legal Expert on 0800 073 8804. Also, have a read through this guide which has been designed to answer the common questions regarding the claiming process and the time limits for personal injury claims in Germany.
Select a Section
- A guide to Germany holiday accident claim time limits
- Limitation periods and time bars for German holiday accident claims
- What is Germany holiday injury?
- How are Germany holiday accident claims conducted?
- Personal injury liability in Germany
- Damages and compensation in German law
- I was injured in an accident abroad, what could my claim include?
- German holiday accident abroad compensation calculator
- No win no fee accident abroad solicitors
- How a travel and holiday accident solicitor could help you
- Contact Us
- Who to contact and where to find help
Germany is a popular holiday destination as it has many historical and cultural sites to visit, lush forests and national parks, beautiful lakes and skiing resorts along the Austrian border. Injuries sustained on holiday in Germany may range from fairly minor, to more serious and can result in, not only the holiday being ruined, but the victim suffering further health problems and negative effects on their lifestyle, not to mention the possible implications to their finances, depending on the circumstances of their injury. Making a claim for compensation, although unable to change what has happened, can at least provide financial assistance so that they can concentrate on their recovery.
As with all personal injury claims, there are time limits for personal injury claims in Germany that vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the injury, and so it is really important to start a claim for compensation as soon as possible. It is also better to start as soon as you can whilst everything that has happened is still fresh in your memory. Holiday accidents in Germany claims can be pursued even though the accident was outside of the UK, whether it is for a skiing accident in Germany, a road traffic accident that has left you with an injury such as whiplash, or an illness caused by an allergic reaction resulting from a food allergy, however your injury was caused, if it was someone else’s fault then you will be able to make a claim providing you can prove the defending party’s liability and it is started within the limitation period (Germany personal injury claim time limit).
We know that starting a claim can be a daunting prospect as they can be very complex and time consuming, and so we have put together this guide to help you to understand more about the personal injury claim process and what it involves. Included within the guide is information such as what the holiday accident claim time limit is, what to include in your claim, how to prove liability, how damages are categorised, how much personal injury compensation you may receive, the benefits of using a personal injury solicitor, why no win no fee holiday solicitors are financially the safest to use, and lots more. If after reading through the guide you need further help and advice, call Legal Expert for free help and guidance.
As with all personal injury claims, there is a Germany personal injury claim time limit depending on the circumstances of the injury. The time limits vary depending on where and when the incident causing injury took place. Contacting a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible is best to make sure that you start your claim within the limits.
The personal injury claims time limit in Germany are as follows:
|Where a holiday is booked as a package holiday with a UK based company, if you are injured on a flight to or fro Germany, during transfer, in your accommodation, or on a pre-booked organised excursion with the travel company.||3 years may very|
|If you are injured on a privately booked excursion or activity, not part of a package holiday.||Up to 30 years. Speak to a personal injury solicitor to discuss your individual injury circumstances, this may very|
|If you are injured on a privately booked flight (not as a package holiday deal) to or from any German airport montreal convention law.||2 Years may very|
For a child under 18, unless an adult has already launched a claim, they will have the time limit starting on their 18th birthday to launch a claim themselves.
If you are in any way unsure whether you are still within the time limits for personal injury in Germany, contact Legal Expert and we will be able to help clarify this for you.
There are many, many types of accidents and injuries that could happen to a British tourist whilst on holiday in Germany. These could happen during their flight, at their accommodation, on an organised excursion, in a restaurant or whilst partaking in an activity for example. Whatever the injury, and however it happened, if it wasn’t their fault but caused by someone else, they will have a valid reason to make a claim. Legal Expert have dealt with many accident in Germany personal injury claims and have found the most common types of accidents to include:
- Swimming pool accidents – These may be due to damaged floor surfaces around the pool resulting in someone cutting their foot or tripping over, defective pool equipment such as diving boards, sun loungers or safety railings, or poor hygiene and lack of correct use of disinfectants resulting in stomach illnesses causing sickness and diarrhoea.
- Balcony accidents – Although in some cases, these accidents can be due to the claimants own actions, often they are due to defective safety barrier or barrier that is lower than the health and safety standards suggest.
- Slip, trip and fall accidents – By far the most common types of accidents, slip, trip and falls can be caused by a whole number of reasons and happen anywhere. A few examples as to how they could be someone else’s fault are trips due to poor housekeeping in the hotel leaving walkways obstructed, poor lighting, poorly maintained floor coverings, floors being left wet after cleaning or due to a spillage leaving them slippery and so on. There may also be accidents embarking or disembarking flights, or whilst entering or exiting a lift.
- Food poisoning – Poor hygiene practices, under cooked foods and contamination of foods are the most common causes of food poisoning. Food poisoning can be fairly minor wuith symptoms such as nausea, sickness, stomach cramps and diarrhoea, lasting for one or two days, but sometimes, food poisoning can be severe resulting in hospitalisation.
- Hotel accidents – These may be due to slip, trip and fall accidents, poor maintenance, lack of hygiene, damaged or broken furniture, uneven flooring, dangerous balcony conditions, poor lighting particularly in stairways and so on.
- Excursion accidents – If you have sustained an injury on an organised excursion through your holiday provider, then the holiday provider will be liable. If the excursion was privately booked, the excursion company could be liable.
- Organised Activities – Before taking part in any activity, you should make sure the company providing the activity are properly insured and trained. If you are injured due to their negligence, you should be able to make a claim.
- Skiing Accidents – Companies offering skiing activities should have the relevance insurances tin place and also ensure that any ski equipment is regularly checked and maintained to make sure it is safe to use. The slopes should also be checked regularly to make sure there are no apparent problems that could prove dangerous. Being injured due to the companies lack of duty of care would leave them liable for your injuries.
- Road traffic accidents – German roads are considered to be fairly safe in comparison with other European countries, however, accidents of course can and do still occur. If you are injured in an accident caused by another road user, they would be liable for your injuries. If your accident was due a problem with the highway, then the liability would lie with the relevant authorities who are in charge of the up-keep and running of the roads.
Although injuries may range from minor to very severe, the most common types of injuries that we have claimed for include:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Scrapes and graze’s
- Broken or fractured bones
- Sprains and strains
Fortunately rarely, we have also been involved in claims for:
- Partial and full paralysis
In Germany, the person liable for the damage or injury to another is responsible for costs of the injured party’s recovery and the restoration of any property damaged. Liability is determined by fault, meaning the negligence of the person liable or their or intent to harm others. If there is any chance that the claimant is partially to blame for their injury, contributory negligence will also be considered. When compensation is being decided, if both parties come from different economic backgrounds, this fact will also be considered.
The compensation granted is based on material and non-material damages. These will include things like monetary expenses and loses due to the injury and also the physical and psychological suffering and pain the claimant has experienced as well as the type of treatment and length of recovery time and if there are any long lasting or permanent effects.
Liability will lie with the person or persons at fault whether they are an individual, company or organization.
In order to prove liability however, there needs to be evidence to confirm the defendant was at fault. Under the German Civil Procedure Rules, you cannot act as a witness for yourself and so having witness statements from anyone who saw what happened to you, or saw what lead up to your accident, can be a great support for your case. Evidence such as CCTV footage, photos, police reports if appropriate and medical reports, can all serve as evidence that will prove liability and support your claim.
If you have been injured due to an act of crime, as a current EU citizen, you will be entitled to full compensation under the Victims Compensation Act.
As mentioned earlier, the compensation is made up of material and non-material damages. These relate to not only the physical aspects of the claim, but the psychological effects and financial costs and losses.
- Material Damage includes:
- Medical Expenses
- Increased requirement
- Housekeeping damage or other acquisition damage
- Non-Material Damage includes:
- Injury type and its severity
- Type and length of time of treatment
- Length of time unable to work
- Permanence of damage from injury
- Ability of sentience
- Impact on lifestyle and family life
- Impact on quality of life
- Psychological effects
- Economic circumstances
- Whether there is a contributory factor of liability
Personal injury claims in Germany are settled under the German Tort Law as accurately as possible in regards to the actual economic losses encountered rather than being awarded as an estimated overall lump sum. With fatal accidents, Germany doesn’t take non-economic compensation into account as its main contributory factor in the compensation award, making economic compensation as the main part, unlike the UK that features non-economic compensation as a secondary part to the award. Germany calculates a ‘needs-orientated’, more precise maintenance sum for any dependents of the deceased. A non-economic damage amount is given as a fixed lump sum in the UK, whereas in Germany, they do not consider this and in only exceptional circumstances will a non-economic amount be awarded.
In regards to claims for serious or less serious injuries, Germany and the UK operate a similar system in where the type and severity of the claimant’s injuries will heavily influence the compensation amount awarded, however, the UK generally pay a higher amount of compensation.
When deciding the overall and final compensation amount to be awarded, a number of different elements are taken into consideration and then the final amount is decided. These elements include:
- General Damages – These represent the physical injury itself and the pain and suffering the claimant has endured. Any impact on quality of life, and life expectancy (if injury very severe) is taken into account as is treatment duration and any long lasting or permanent effects. Having a medical diagnosis and therefore report is paramount for general damages to be accurate as the amount heavily relies on the type and severity of the injury sustained.
- Medical Expenses – Any costs the claimant incurs relating to medical treatment or care of any kind as a result of the injury can be included. These may include counselling fees, prescriptions costs, physiotherapy fees or any other medical treatment.
- Travel Expenses – Any travel expenses incurred after being injured in Germany can be reclaimed. For example, if the claimant has needed to get flights home at a later date as they were not well enough to return home when they were due to, the costs of these can be reclaimed. Any travel expenses incurred from going to and fro medical appointments can be included, as long as it is as a direct result of sustaining the injury. Also, if the injury was severe and the claimant needed to make adjustments to their vehicle to accommodate the injury, this cost can be included.
- Loss of benefits – Any work related benefits that the claimant has lost, or will lose, due to their injury can be included.
- Loss of wages – Any income that has been lost, or future income that will be lost because of the injury they have sustained, can be included.
- Care claim – If the claimant has received help around the home, the cost of this can be claimed. Or a care claim can be made by anyone who has taken time away from their work or daily life to look after the person injured.
- Childcare costs – If the claimant has needed to pay for childcare whilst recovering from their injury, this can be included.
In order to ensure that you are including everything that can be claimed for in your claim to ensure you receive the maximum amount possible, speak to Legal Expert who will be able to advise you further.
Something we always get asked when someone enquires about making a personal injury claim is ‘how much compensation will I receive?’. Unfortunately though, this is the one question we don’t have an exact answer to. This is because each and every case we take on varies in a number of ways which in turn affects the final settlement amount, even when an injury may be similar in some cases, due to the different elements as mentioned above, the amount will vary, and also, even with similar injuries, people are affected differently and will have different recovery times and have their lives affected in different ways. Just one example of how someone may be affected differently is if the claimant had broken their arm, a person who works in an office would be able to return to work sooner than someone who drives for a living, and so their amount of loss of earnings will be different. So as you can see, it isn’t always clear cut as to what amount of compensation may be awarded to you.
However, what we can do is show how much you could possibly receive for some of the more common injuries and different degrees of severity on their own without the other costs and expenses, using the latest Judicial College Guidelines:
|Reason for Claim||Average Amount Awarded||Comments|
|Mental Anguish||Up to £4,100||Fear of impending death and unexpected loss of life|
|Severe Neck Injury||£39,870 - £130,060||Severe fractures and dislocations that cause extensive soft tissue damage resulting in disability, rising to severe injury associated with incomplete paraplegia and permanent disability. On-going chronic pain.|
|Moderate Neck Injury||£6,920 - £33,750||Injuries which may cause pre-existing conditions to worsen, soft tissue damage, serious fractures that may require corrective surgery and spinal fusion.|
|Minor Neck Injury||£2,150 - £6,920||The amount awarded will be dependent on severity, length of recovery time and level of treatment required.|
|Severe Back Injury||£34,000 - £141,150||Top end of the payment bracket will be for those with severe injuries to the spinal cord and nerves , severe pain and possible paralysis with bowel, urinary and sexual function affected. The lower end of the bracket for injuries of severe damage to disks and vertebrae needing surgery. On-going pain and permanent disability.|
|Moderate Back Injury||£10,970 - £34,000||Similar injuries to above but to a less severe degree. Compensation amount will depend on severity and the level of quality of life and the impact on the claimants well-being.|
|Minor Back Injury||£2,150 - £10,970||Less severe injuries such as minor disks damage, sprains and strains, muscle damage. Level of compensation will depend on severity, treatment required and recovery time.|
|Minor Severe Arm Injury||£5,810 - £114,810||Simple fractures, to severe injuries that fall short of amputation.|
|Minor Severe Wrist Injury||£3,090 - £52,490||Simple fractures, sprains and strains, to severe injury rendering the wrist useless and without able function.|
|Minor Severe Leg Injury||£7,990 - £119,210||Simple fractures and dislocations, to severe injuries falling short of amputation, permanent disability.|
|Minor Severe Ankle Injury||£4,820 - £61,110||Simple fractures, strains and sprains with full recovery, to severe injuries causing permanent disability and loss of function.|
|Minor Injuries||Up to £600||Minor injury with expected full recovery within 7 days|
|Minor Injuries||£600 - £1,200||Minor injury with expected full recovery within 28 days|
|Minor Injuries||£1,200 - £2,150||Minor injury with expected full recovery within 3 months|
If your injury is not listed, just call us at Legal Expert and we will look into the average amounts for your injury for you to be able to give you an idea of what is possible.
There are many personal injury claims legal firms out there and all work in different ways and charge for their fees differently, whereas some will charge by the hour, others, like Legal Expert, work on a no win no fee basis. Hiring a personal injury solicitor who works on a no win no fee basis is financially the safest choice. This is because, when making a personal injury claim, even with a strong case, there is no guarantee that you will win your case. When you hire a pay by the hour solicitor, if your case doesn’t win, you could potentially be hundreds or thousands of pounds out of pocket as you would have still had to pay the solicitor their fees. Or, if your case takes a long time before reaching a conclusion, you may not be able to afford to continue paying the solicitor, losing all of the money you have already spent. But with a solicitor who works on a no win no fee basis, you are not required to pay fees upfront or whilst the claim is being made, instead their fees are paid as a small percentage of the awarded amount when the money is released, if the case doesn’t win, you do not pay any fees at all. This way, you are not gambling your current finances.
Making a compensation claim can be a minefield for someone unexperienced as there are so many legalities involved. Although you have the option of making the claim yourself, hiring a specialist personal injury solicitor such as those who work at Legal Expert, can greatly increase your chances of winning and being awarded the maximum amount possible, and with our no win no fee policy, hiring expert legal help has never been so affordable.
Legal Expert have been working in the personal injury claims industry for more than thirty years and so have a wealth of knowledge and experience in making successful claims. From the moment you hire us as your legal firm to conduct your case for you, we will take the case out of your hands and begin to work on it immediately, gathering evidence and putting a structure in place to build you a strong, successful case to take to court. We will keep you informed of your claim’s progress throughout the process but leave you free of any stress or worries you may have about making the claim, if there’s anything to worry about, we do that for you too! Having Legal Expert pursue your case on your behalf allows you the time to fully concentrate on your recovery.
Call Legal Expert on 0800 073 8804, we will offer you a free consultation where you can talk to a member of team regarding making your claim. This is an opportunity for us to gather all of the information regarding your injury, and also for you to ask any questions about making a claim that you may have. If we believe you have a legitimate cause for claiming compensation, we will put you in contact with one of our solicitors who, if you wish, we then begin the process of building you a strong claims case. We may also offer you a free medical local to you if necessary.
If you wish to find more information regarding making a claim for an accident on holiday in Germany, there are a few links below to useful websites:
Here there is some information and further links for the British Embassy in Germany including their address and contact details.
This leads to the NHS site offering useful information about accessing healthcare in Germany
This is another of our guides with further information about making a personal injury claim for an accident in Germany.
This guide of ours specifically gives information for if you have an accident in a hotel in Germany and wish to pursue a claim.