Holiday Accident Claims In South Africa & Personal Injury Compensation

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Holiday Accident Claims In South Africa – How Much Compensation Can I Claim For A Personal Injury?

Holiday accident claims South Africa

Holiday accident claims South Africa

On this page, you will find a guide to making holiday accident claims in South Africa and the legal process your solicitor will follow on your behalf. It contains the information and advice you need to be able to educate yourself on the ins and outs of making a claim. It covers everything from the steps you should take to ensure you have the best chance of winning your claim, through to explaining the process for claiming for a number of the most common types of accidents.

If you prefer, you can skip over this guide entirely, and simply call Legal Expert on 0800 073 8804 to begin your claim today. One of our team will explain our claims service to you when you call.

Select a Section:

A Guide To South Africa Accident Claims

On this page, is a guide to making accident abroad claims. Specifically, accidents that have caused an injury to UK holidaymakers visiting South Africa. This is a country with an emerging tourist injury, which has been growing year on year for the last decade. The UK heads the list of countries with the most tourists visiting South Africa each year. Approximately 400,000 UK holidaymakers visited South Africa in 2016. The top tourist attractions are the stunning coastal areas, with their golden beaches, and unsurprisingly, the nature and wildlife.

For most people, their holiday in South Africa is a wonderful experience. But for the unlucky few who are involved in some sort of accident while on holiday, their relaxing holiday turns into a series of stressful events. This guide includes plenty of information regarding accident claims for injuries sustained while on holiday in the country, including:

  • A list of a number of steps you can take, while on holiday in South Africa and when you return to the UK, that will ensure that you give yourself the best possible chance of winning your compensation claim.
  • Comprehensive information on how to contact the emergency services in South Africa, including the contact numbers you will need to keep handy during your holiday.
  • Details of how British citizens can gain access to emergency medical and health care services while they are on holiday in South Africa.
  • Information about the time limits that you must make your claim within, if you were injured in an accident while on holiday in South Africa.
  • An explanation of the UK legislation which protects UK consumers if they have booked a package holiday to South Africa, via a UK based package tour vendor.
  • An overview of the types of accidents and injuries that Legal Expert can help people to make a claim for, and how we can help you get started with your claim.
  • Information about making a compensation claim for injuries sustained in a hotel accident in South Africa.
  • Information about claiming for illnesses such as food poisoning, that were caused by a restaurant in South Africa, as well as accidents that happen in a restaurant while you are on holiday.
  • Information about making a claim for slip, trip and fall accidents on holiday in South Africa.
  • Details of the process of making a claim if you were injured in an accident whilst involved in some form of adventure sport on holiday in South Africa.
  • Details of how to go about making a claim for an injury sustained in an accident while you are on a wildlife safari in South Africa.
  • Information on the process of starting a claim for an injury sustained in a road traffic accident, while you were overseas on holiday in South Africa.
  • An introduction to the Legal Expert No Win No Fee national claims service, available to all residents of the UK, as a simple and effective way to make a holiday claim, without any risk.

When you reach the end of this guide, you may have some questions that are unanswered. If this is so, please call Legal Expert on the number down at the bottom of this page, so that we can give you the answers you need.

What Steps Should You Take After Being Injured Or Becoming Sick On A Holiday To South Africa?

If you are injured in an accident while on holiday, there are a number of things you can do, to make sure you are well prepared to make a compensation claim when you return to the UK, and to give yourself the best chance of winning accident abroad compensation. Some of these things you can do while you are still on holiday in South Africa. Others need to be done when you arrive back in the UK.

  • Things you can do while you are still in South Africa:
    • Gather evidence in photographic or video form. For example, if you are injured by a faulty fitting in your hotel room, such as a broken window, photograph it.
    • Speak to witnesses to the accident, and ask for their name, address and contact number. This is so they can be called upon at a later stage to give testimony.
    • If you are on a package holiday, booked through a UK travel company, contact them and inform them of the accident.
    • If you are harmed in an accident at a hotel, restaurant, retail shop, etc. make sure that you report the accident to the business owner.
    • If you are involved in a road traffic accident, make sure the police know about it. You might need to report the accident yourself if the police don’t turn up at the scene of the accident.
    • Visit the hospital and make sure your injuries are treated by a medical professional.
    • If you intend to have any private medical treatment for your injuries, and you expect your medical or travel insurance to cover it, call your insurance company to let them know.
  • Things you can do when you are back home in the UK:
    • Visit the hospital so that a UK medical professional can check that your injuries have been treated properly.
    • If you have been claiming for overseas medical treatment on your insurance, let your insurer know that you are now back in the UK, and that they should see no further overseas medical charges being made.
    • Document all of the losses that your injuries have caused. This includes purely financial losses, and also intangible losses such as having part of your holiday ruined because of the accident.
    • Contact us here at Legal Expert, explain your accident and the injuries it caused, and let us begin processing a compensation claim for you.

If you need additional information about making a compensation claim for accidents that happen while you are on holiday abroad, you can check out these two guides below:

How to make a claim for an accident on a package holiday

How to make a claim for an accident on a self-booked holiday

Assistance And Emergency Services In South Africa

If you are from the UK, and are visiting South Africa on holiday, there are three emergency numbers that you should keep handy at all times, and these are:

  • 10111 – this is the emergency police response number. An operator will answer the phone, and ask you a series of questions about your problem. Once you have answered them, the operator will dispatch the most relevant type of police unit.
  • 112 – this is the mobile emergency medical service number. The way this works, is that when you dial it, you will be routed to the closest emergency medical centre. You will then go through an automated system, with a simple menu system, that is designed to ensure you get the right type of emergency medical response.
  • 10177 – this is the ambulance response number, and it can be called alongside other emergency numbers. For example, if you call the police number, you won’t have an ambulance dispatched, only a police response. If you need both, you must call both.

Healthcare And Medical Services For Visitors To South Africa

If you are involved in an accident while you are in South Africa, you will need to pay for your own medical treatment. There is no reciprocal healthcare agreement between the UK and South Africa.

Therefore, it is highly recommended that you have valid travel insurance, or health insurance with an overseas allowance. The British Government will not assist UK citizens who cannot pay for medical treatment while they are in South Africa. In the best case, you will be treated and then given a bill for the treatment you received, which you will need to pay. In the worst case, you will be denied treatment until you can prove that you have the available funds to pay for it.

If you do have to pay for your own medical treatment in South Africa, this is one of the financial losses that Legal Expert should be able to help you make a claim for.

Personal Injury Claim Time Limits In South Africa

Before you decide to make a travel injury compensation claim for an accident while you were on holiday in South Africa, you need to understand that there are specific time-limits in place. You must start your claim within them. They are:

Type of ClaimTime Limit
Personal injury3-years from the event
Property damage6-years from the event

If you are approaching the end of the claim time-limit, call Legal Expert right now, and we can expedite a claim for you.

Making A Claim For Accident Or Injury On A Package Holiday In South Africa

If you need to make a holiday accident claim, for an injury sustained while on a package holiday that you booked at home in the UK through a package tour vendor, then the legal situation is a little different.

In 1992 a new set of legislation came in to effect in the UK. This legislation was targeted at protecting UK consumers from the actions of budget travel companies. Until this time, budget tour operators had often under delivered, providing travel and accommodation that did not need to meet specific minimum standards.

We have all seen the comedy TV shows, where a family books a holiday in Spain, and when they arrive, the hotel is still being built and the view overlooks a sewage works. In 1992, things changed. The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 was put in place to ensure that all transport and accommodation meets strict standards, including safety standards.

If you booked your holiday in South Africa through a travel firm that is regulated by these regulations, you would be able to claim against the travel firm, if the accident you were involved in was caused by not meeting the standards these regulations stipulate.

Holiday Injury Or Accident Claims We Can Handle In South Africa

Legal Expert should be able to process a compensation claim on your behalf, for any type of accident you are involved in while on holiday in South Africa, that was not your fault. As long as a third-party is liable for causing the accident in some way, a valid route to making a claim should exist.

There are some types of claims we handle much more often than others, and we have covered these in the following sections. If the accident you were involved in is not listed, call us and explain what happened; we can probably still help you make a claim.

South Africa Hotel Accident Claims

A badly run hotel can present a wide range of safety hazards for its residents. Badly maintained, or understaffed hotels can present hazards such as:

  • The danger of slipping, due to flooring being made wet near the pool area.
  • Injuries caused by badly maintained equipment, or lack of qualified supervision in the hotel gym.
  • Hotel room fitting being faulty, and causing injuries such as an electric shock.
  • Steps being left dirty and slippery, causing a resident to fall down them.
  • Food in the hotel restaurant causing food poisoning and other illnesses.
  • Insufficient ventilation in hotel rooms, causing CO2 to build up, a potentially fatal situation.

These are just some of the ways you can be injured in a hotel in South Africa; there are many more. Legal Expert should be able to help you claim against the hotel, no matter how your injury was caused.

South African Food Poisoning And Water-Borne Sickness Claims

The most common holiday sickness abroad that UK holidaymakers claim for each year, is food poisoning. A mild case of food poisoning might be nothing more than an irritation. A more serious case can stop a person enjoying their holiday, and in some cases, require hospitalisation. Food can go bad very quickly, and for many reasons, such as:

  • Food being left out on a buffet table for too long.
  • Food not being cooked properly.
  • Food being frozen and then reheated.
  • Food being prepared in a dirty and unhygienic kitchen, or using dirty kitchen implements.
  • Cooks and serving staff not maintaining personal hygiene.
  • Food being stored at the wrong temperate.

If you have come down with a case of food poisoning while on holiday in South Africa, Legal Expert should be able to help you claim. Call us on the number at the end of this guide to find out how.

Falls, Trips And Slips

The most common of all accidents that we process claims for here at Legal Expert, are slips, trips and falls. These accidents can happen anywhere, and are hard to prevent in many cases. Some of the most typical ways these accidents can occur are:

  • Falling down stairs that have a faulty handrail, or are not sufficiently lit.
  • Tripping on badly laid, cracked or broken paving slabs or flooring tiles.
  • Slipping on dirty or wet floors that should have been cleaned.

If you were injured in a slip, trip or fall accident in South Africa, call Legal Expert today, so we can begin processing your claim.

Claims For Injury On A Adventure Sport In South African

South Africa is one of the top adventure sports destinations in the world. It offers a full range of world-class water sports, as well as other adventure sports such as rock climbing, trekking, kayaking, and white-water rafting. However, safety regulations outside of the main tourist areas are seldom policed. Meaning local tour operators simply ignore them.

Always book your adventure activities through a reputable tour company when you can. If you are injured during an adventure activity, be sure to photograph the cause of the accident, as well as gather contact details for any witnesses.

Animal Injuries And Accidents On A Safari In South Africa

Although reputable safari operators do go to great lengths to ensure the safety of their customers, accidents can and do still happen. Nobody can ever be 100% sure how animals in the wild will behave in every situation. Therefore, there are a small number of animal-related injuries involving holidaymakers in South Africa each year.

Legal Expert should be able to help you to make a claim for an animal injury you sustained while on a safari in South Africa. Call us on the number at the end of this page, so we can help you.

Road Traffic Accidents And Car Crash Claims In South Africa

South Africa accident statistics

South Africa accident statistics

The graph above show’s that South Africa has some pretty serious road safety problems. The chance of being involved in a road traffic accident in South Africa while you are on holiday, is quite high compared to other holiday destinations. In fact, South Africa is one of the most dangerous countries in the world in which to drive. On average, around 15,000 people are killed in a road accident in South Africa every year. Surprisingly, pedestrians make up for almost 40% of these fatalities. The bad state of road safety in South Africa is blamed on almost a complete lack of driver training and testing, and the situation does not look likely to change any time soon. Indeed, fatality figures have been rising steadily since 2007.

If you are involved in an accident with rental car in South Africa while you are on holiday in South Africa, make sure that you let the police know it happened. Also, try to take photographs of all the vehicles involved, and get the details of the drivers.

Should I Use A Solicitor In South Africa For My Claim?

There is no benefit at all in using a solicitor that is based in South Africa to make your claim. A UK solicitor is much easier to contact and deal with, and will be just as effective in processing a claim for you. And in some cases, such as claims against a UK package tour operator, an overseas solicitor would likely not be able to process your claim for you.

How To Make A No Win No Fee Claim For Accidents Or Injury In South Africa

Legal Expert can act as your No Win No Fee solicitor and process a claim for compensation on your behalf, if you have been injured in an accident while on holiday in South Africa.

The way our No Win No Fee claims service works, is simple to understand. There is no charge to take your claim on, and no charge while we process it, even if this stage takes months. If we fail to win you a compensation settlement, you pay nothing in total. If we do win compensation for you though, we will take our fee out of the payment we receive, and send you the rest.

These Are The Most Popular Tourist Cities In South Africa

  • City of Johannesburg
  • City of Cape Town
  • EThekwini Metropolitan Municipality
  • Ekurhuleni
  • City of Tshwane
  • Nelson Mandela Bay
  • Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality
  • Mangaung
  • Emfuleni
  • Polokwane Local Municipality

How To Contact Legal Expert

Have you been injured in an accident while you were overseas on holiday in South Africa? Was somebody else liable for the accident? Then you may be able to make a compensation claim. Call Legal Expert on 0800 073 8804 today, so we can start getting you the compensation you are eligible for.

Useful Links

British High Commission, Pretoria

255 Hill St




South Africa

Tel: +27 12 421 7500


Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

British Consulate General, Cape Town

Norton Rose House

8 Riebeeck Street


Cape Town


South Africa

Tel: +27 21 405 24004


Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 12:30pm

The National Health Service has published information about health care in South Africa at this link:

NHS guide to healthcare in South Africa

At the link below, you will find a guide to claiming compensation for a road traffic accident:

A guide to claiming for a road traffic accident

At the link below, you will find a guide to claiming compensation for a jet ski accident:

A guide to claiming for a jet ski accident

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