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How much compensation can I claim for injury in Poland?

holiday accident claims in PolandDo you need to make a holiday accident claim in Poland? If so please read our guide below and find out what you could be able to claim for. Before setting off on a summer holiday or a city break, you will probably have packed up your passport and tickets as well as holiday money. Whilst you’re planning all the activities you might do, you are probably not thinking about having an accident or becoming ill and needing to claim compensation for holiday injuries. However, this does happen to some people and you should make sure that you have adequate travel insurance and that your travel, accommodation, and activity providers are all accredited and also have their own insurance.

Whilst most people taking a city break, walking holiday or other trips to Poland will have a great time, there are times when things may go wrong and a dream trip can become a nightmare. Common issues holidaymakers may have include road traffic accidents in Poland or food poisoning. No matter your circumstances, if you have been injured or become sick as a result of something which was not your fault whilst on holiday, our team can help/

In this guide to accident claims in Poland, we take you through what you should do if your visit does go wrong, as well as looking at the process of getting the compensation you deserve.

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A guide to Poland accident claims

Whilst Poland might not seem the first place for a family getaway, the country has steadily been becoming more popular as a destination for both city breaks and walking holidays. Today over 500,000 people visit Poland from the UK each year. The most popular tourist destinations are often city-break locations such as Warsaw, Krakow and Gdansk. Those looking for a walking holiday or other outdoor vacation will visit places such as the Great Malsurian Lakes in the north of Poland, the Bialowieza or the High Tatra Mountains on the Slovak border region.

Whether you are visiting family and friends , for a relaxing city break or a trip to the beautiful countryside, most visits will be incident free. However, according to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) holidaymakers to Poland should be aware of certain increased risks surrounding petty crime, such as street theft. If you are travelling around Poland on the rail network the FCO also advises you to be aware of the risk of robbery. There is an increased risk for travellers on overnight trains.

Travellers should also note that there have been a small number of cases of people having drinks spiked. You can find further information on safety and security in Poland at the FCO website. Other causes of accidents include road traffic accidents. Statistics show that road safety in Poland is much less that that in the UK and the number of fatalities is around three times as high.

Remember, if you have suffered any form of illness or suffered an accident which was not your fault whilst on holiday you could be entitled to claim compensation.

What to do if you have an accident or injury in Poland

If you have been injured in Poland, whether the fault of someone else’s negligence or an accident which was not your fault there are steps which you should take as soon as possible to help give you a better chance of claiming compensation later. These steps are similar to those you should take if injured in the UK.

The first thing which you should to is to contact the emergency services if necessary and to get any medical attention that you need. Your next step should be to find out either who is responsible for the accident, injury or illness that you have suffered or what circumstances led to it happening. The party responsible (whom a claim will later be made against) could be your package holiday provider, a tour operator, hotel or restaurant amongst others.

Whilst we are looking at claims in Poland in this article, we have two further great articles which go into detail about the process of making a claim. You can read about how to claim for an injury or accident abroad here, and learn more about package holiday claims here.

Emergency contacts in Poland after an accident

There are several different numbers which you should call if you have been injured in Poland or require medical attention for an injury. You can call the Polish Emergency services on 112. This is the general number (similar to calling 999 in the UK). Other contact numbers for the emergency services are as follows:

Ambulance service – 999
Fire brigade – 998
Police – 997
Mountain rescue service – 601 100 300
Water rescue – 601 100 100

If you need extra or special assistance you can contact the British Embassy in Warsaw. The British Embassy is located at Kawalerii 12, 00-468 Warszawa, Poland. They can be contacted at +48 22 311 00 00.

If possible, before returning to the UK you should try to collect any evidence such as witness statements and photographic evidence. Whether you are still abroad or are back from your holiday, there are some steps which you should take as soon as possible to help you make a successful claim. If you did not do so before returning to the UK, you should seek any medical attention needed. Next you should contact your travel insurance provider and report the incident, as well as starting any claims process. The final step is to contact a solicitors service such as Legal Expert and build a competent team of solicitors who deal with holiday complaints.

Medical treatment after an accident

As EU citizens, British people visiting Poland are entitled to use the EHIC or European Health Insurance Card to access state healthcare services. The EHIC system allows EU citizens visiting another country to get treatment which is medically necessary provided by a state-run facility under the same terms as a citizen of that country. The system does not cover private medical treatment, so you need to make sure that if you do visit a hospital, you visit a state run facility. If your medical treatment is organised by a third party, do ensure that they take you to a facility which has a state contract. Any private medical bills incurred will not be refundable under the EHIC system. Medical care is comparable to that in the UK. Whilst medical teams are highly qualified, English may not be spoken widely.

The EHIC system should not be seen as an alternative to travel insurance as it only covers medical care. You can find information on getting an EHIC card and smartphone application here.

Compensation claim time limits in Poland

If you have had an accident or been injured in Poland and are seeking to make a compensation claim, you need to do so within the specified time-limits. These do vary somewhat compared to those in the UK. For reference, we have set out the most important time-limits in the table below.

Circumstances of injury or illnessTime Limit for Claim
Claims for the following accidents or injuries: on a flight to or from Poland, which happened in a hotel, on a pre-booked activity or excursion, or a trip which was booked through a UK based holiday company.3 years
Illness or injury on a trip which was privately/ independently booked, i.e not booked through a UK based holiday company or tour operator.3 years
Illness or injury which happened on a privately booked flight, i.e. one which was not booked through a tour operator in the UK.2 years

Package holiday injury claims in Poland

If you booked your city break, walking holiday or other trips through a package holiday provider, you will be protected by specific regulations. The most important of these is the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 which allows anyone injured abroad to make a compensation claim against the provider responsible through the courts’ system in England and Wales. Separate legislation covers claimants living in Scotland.

If you were injured on a package holiday you should report it to a representative of the tour operator or contact them as soon as possible. The largest companies offering package holidays are listed below, along with their customer service contact numbers:

EasyJet – +44 203 499 5251
Riviera Travel – 01283 742 300
Thomas Cook – 01733 224808
Titan Travel – 01293 422 496

Injured in Poland? Claims we can help with

Our solicitors who deal with holiday complaints are able to help with a range of different compensation claims. The most common circumstances leading to Polish accident claims include the following;

  • Airplane injury or sickness.
  • Bad hotel hygiene leading to illness.
  • Falls from a balcony.
  • Boats & cruises.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Collapsing furniture.
  • Injuries on excursions.
  • Accident or injury caused by a rental car.
  • Food poisoning.
  • Swimming pool Accident

In the sections below we look at some of these common causes and how people can claim for them.

Poland hotel accident claims

We can help you to make holiday accident claims in Poland against a hotel if you or someone you are travelling with became sick or injured as a result of the way your hotel was run. You might have suffered from food poisoning due to improperly cooked foods, or catch an illness due to improper hygiene and cleaning in the hotel or the hotel pool. There is even the possibility or contracting either Hepatitis A or a gastrointestinal illness through contaminated water or foods.

If you or anyone who you were traveling with have become ill or injured as a result of hotel negligence or another accident which was not your fault, please contact Legal Expert. Our team are on hand seven days a week and can start helping you as soon as you call us.

Restaurant illness, accident or food poisoning claims

Food poisoning has a variety of different causes and factors. It could be caused by food which has been undercooked or wrongly stored or prepared. Contracting food poisoning can lead to you spending a lot of your holiday in your hotel room, rather than enjoying the sights of Poland.

Gastrointestinal and other illness can also be caused by consuming normal drinking water in Poland. The water here is chlorinated and whilst this does not affect locals, there could be native strains of E.coli which could cause a visitor to suffer diarrhoea as their body is not used to the strain. As such, you should avoid drinking tap water.

Most other foods are considered safe to eat and will only cause food poisoning if not stored or cooked in the right way. Similarly, it is also possible to contract Hepatitis A from contaminated water in some parts of Poland. To avoid this travel illness, you should get vaccinated before you travel.

Slips, trips & falls on holiday claims

Just as when you are in the UK, slips, trips, and falls could lead to many different injury types. Some of the most common injuries which could be sustained from a slip, trip, or fall might include fractures, broken bones and muscle sprains and strains. All of these can take between several weeks and several months to recover from.

Walking holidays in Poland can be especially dangerous at times. People might suffer walking injuries when the ground is unstable as routes may take in potentially treacherous conditions. Even at lower levels, people may find walking holidays can cause a variety of different slip, trip, and fall injuries.

Sports activity claims

Before embarking on any activity or adventure holiday you should talk to your GP, get a medical examination and make sure you match the activity to your level of fitness. You should also take appropriate clothing, such as walking boots with you.

Our holiday claims solicitors can help you to make holiday accident claims in Poland for sports activities. There are several specialist holiday and tour companies operating walking holidays in Poland. In the past, these have included Exodus and KE Adventure.

If you take an organised walking tour, it should cover well marked routes. However, these can sometimes be rough underfoot. Walks might include long climbs and descents over steep terrain. You may also have to traverse paths taking you along a ridgeline. Where there have been adverse weather conditions there could be a risk of falling from the path. Poor weather may also make the ground slippers, increasing the chance of injury or accident.

If you are embarking on a walking or hiking trip you should also watch out for injuries from insect bites. Grassy areas and woodlands can present a particular risk of tick bites leading to Lyme disease or tick-borne encephalitis. Whilst ticks will generally feed on smaller animals, they can sometimes attach themselves to people, generally in areas such as the armpit or groin. It is recommended to check these areas on yourself, as well as make sure they are not attached to any clothing. If visiting an area at rick of tick bites (such as parks and forests) you should make sure our arms and legs are covered and that your socks are tucked into your trousers to prevent ticks travelling up your legs.

Travel tip: before you go, get a tick removal tool and bring it with you. This allows you to remove the tick safely and easily.

Car or road traffic accident in Poland

According to the World Health Organisation, in 2011 there were around 4,200 fatalities on the Polish road network. This equates to a rate of 110 deaths per million people in Poland. For comparison, the rate in the UK is just 32. The rate of road traffic accidents in Poland is also double the average across the EU. the total number of deaths has been gradually decreasing, and there is hope to have halved this number by 2020. When driving in Poland you should also note that the country has one of the highest maximum speed limits in Europe and around 9% of all road accident fatalities are due to alcohol in some way.

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident in Poland you should make sure to report the accident to the relevant Polish authorities, as well as any rental car provider and your insurance company as quickly as possible.

Do I need to use a solicitor in Poland for my claim?

When you have been involved in an accident abroad or suffered a holiday injury it is a common misconception that you need to take any legal action in the country the incident happened. However, this is not the case. If you need to make a Polish accident claim for an injury or illness which was not your fault when on holiday, such as a road traffic accident in Poland, you are still able to make a claim using a solicitor in England and Wales and the same courts system. You can use a solicitor, such as those provided by Legal Expert to bring your compensation claim.

The first step that your solicitor will take is to collect any evidence needed to support your claim and determine exactly what happened in your case, such as who the responsible party is. They will also make sure to get a medical examination to establish the exact nature and extent of your injuries and their effect up on you. They will also collect reports from medical attention you received in Poland and reports from authorities. Whilst your solicitor will make every effort to settle the claim out of court, it may be necessary to proceed to court if the defendant does not accept their liability.

If you have suffered an accident or injury which was not your fault or been made sick in someway, you may have grounds to make a compensation claim. You could bring a claim against the holiday company, a hotel, tour organiser or other party. Talk to Legal Expert as soon as possible and our team can help establish whether or not you have a valid claim.

Please note: making a claim outside the UK may be more difficult, take longer or be subject to shorter claims periods. As such, you should seek to start your claim as soon as possible.

No win no fee claims

At Legal Expert we can help claimants and provide solicitors who work using what is called a no win, no fee contract. Also known as a conditional fee agreement, this type of agreement means that a claimant will not have to pay any fees upfront or whilst the case is being conducted.

The agreement will specify that if your claim is lost, your solicitor won’t charge you a penny. They will only charge you any legal fees if your claim is successful and your win compensation. All of this means that whatever the outcome of your claim, you will never face any financial risks. If you win your claim, you will be charged a success fee which can be taken from your award settlement.

The largest cities, municipalities and resorts in Poland people visit

  • Warsaw
  • Kraków
  • Łódź
  • Wrocław
  • Poznań
  • Gdańsk
  • Szczecin
  • Bydgoszcz
  • Lublin
  • Katowice
  • Białystok
  • Gdynia
  • Częstochowa
  • Radom
  • Sosnowiec
  • Toruń

Start your claim

No matter whether you are ready to claim compensation for holiday injuries or illness, or need to find out more about the process of making a personal injury claim abroad, you can talk to our dedicated team today. Our team is on hand seven days a week to take your call. Our lines are open between 9am and 9pm, just call us on 0800 073 8804. You can also contact us by sending an email to info@legalexpert.co.uk, or simply use the claims form on this page.

Useful links

NHS information on accessing healthcare in Poland
This guide from the NHS includes information on how to access reciprocal healthcare in Poland, how to get an EHIC card and links to download the smartphone application.

British Embassy Poland
Embassy of the United Kingdom, Warsaw
Kawalerii 12,
00-468 Warszawa,
Poland
Tel: +48 22 311 00 00
Web: www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-warsaw
Opening hours Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm

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