What Is The Limitation Period For A Personal Injury Claim In Switzerland?  Claim Specialists

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Switzerland Injury Claim Time Limit Guide – Limitation Period For A Personal Injury Claim In Switzerland? – How Long Do I Have To Claim Compensation?

Personal injury time limits Switzerland

Personal injury time limits Switzerland

On this web page, you will read a guide to the possible time limits for personal injury claims in Switzerland. When you are injured while visiting the country, and a third party is clearly liable for the injury you have suffered, then you will need to begin your claim within the Swiss personal injury claim time limit in order to be eligible for compensation. This guide details many of the possible time limits that could apply in your own case.

If you are unsure which time limit is applicable to your claim once you have finished reading this guide, one of our claims team will be able to help you. Give them a call on 0800 073 8804 and explain your situation to them, they will then inform you which time limit applies.

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A Guide To How Long You Have To Claim For An Accident Or Injury In Switzerland

Within this guide to the Swiss personal injury claim time limit, you will not only learn about the time limits for making a claim that could apply, we also cover additional information. We begin this guide by covering the basic facts of holiday accidents, and this includes whether you would be eligible to make a claim, and why a third party might be liable to pay compensation.

The next part of this guide, covers specific information related to the legal aspects of a claim. This includes information on the process the claim follows, how the concept of duty of care works, and any other rules related to a Swiss claim. We also give details of the typical time limits that could apply in this section.

The final part of this guide is related to the financial aspects of the claim. We have provided a table that details compensation ranges for many of the kinds of injuries and illnesses a holidaymaker may suffer while overseas. We also provide a list of the kinds of damages that a successful claim could receive as part of the overall settlement. Finally, we explain how our national claims service enables you to have your claim processed at no financial risk to yourself. If you have questions about this service that we offer, or about the contents of this guide in general, then please speak to one of our claims team using the contact number down at the end of the pager.

Personal Injury Claim Time Limits In Switzerland

There are a number of different ways that the limitation period in Switzerland can be construed. The holiday accident claim time limit that applies in your own case will depend on the circumstances of your claim. The table below shows the most common time limits, but there can be exceptions to these. We recommend you speak to one of our team to check which applies in your own case.

Circumstances of ClaimApplicable Time Limit
You booked your holiday through a UK based package travel company.3-years from the date you came to harm may very.
If holiday you were on, was booked through a UK based package travel company.3-years may very.
You were travelling in to or out of Switzerland on an International flight, and your claim will be made based on the Montreal Convention.2-years from the date you came to harm.

What Is A Swiss Holiday Accident?

Switzerland is a popular destination for UK holidaymakers. Whether enjoying winter sports, or simply visiting on a short city break, Switzerland is a generally safe place to visit. However, this doesn’t mean that holiday accidents, injuries and illnesses never affect tourists visiting the country; of course, they do. And when they do, the injured party could be able to claim compensation. The deciding factor that this Switzerland accident claims guide needs to cover here, is the question of eligibility.

If you suffer an injury in Switzerland, you will need to prove that a third party was at least partially to blame for the harm that you suffered. Liability could be caused by negligence, error, oversight or omission. For example:

  • A tram driver causes a road traffic accident injuring a person.
  • A restaurant serves bad food, causing a customer to develop a food-related illness.
  • A hotel fails to maintain gym equipment properly, causing an injury to a guest.

The common theme in each of these examples, is that a third party is clearly the underlying cause of the incident that resulted in harm to the claimant. In each of these examples, the injured party could be eligible to claim compensation.

Next, we need to look at the issue of liability. We have already explained how a third party must be liable for the harm caused to the claimant, in order for a claim to be possible. But what happens if the claimant contributed to the incident that caused them harm? For example, another driver caused a hazard that led to a road traffic accident, but the claimant took improper action as a response, which exacerbated the situation. In this case, it could still be possible to make a claim, but at a reduced percentage of liability. The legal teams representing the claimant and the defendant would negotiate an agreed percentage of liability, and this percentage would become a driver of the calculation for deciding how much compensation the claimant receives.

If you are unsure about whether you are eligible to make a claim, or who is liable to pay you compensation, please speak to a member of our claims team. They will go over your claim with you, and let you know whether it is possible to process a claim for you.

How Is A Swiss Holiday Accident Claim Conducted?

When you make a Swiss personal injury claim, you need to understand that the legal process in the country is different from that which is followed in the UK. The process followed can be clearly defined as separate stages, and these would be:

  • Starting proceedings – this begins with the court requesting a conciliatory hearing. However, in some cases, the claimant can move straight on to filing a lawsuit prior to this hearing. Your solicitor will be able to advise you on whether this is the case in your own claim.
  • Notice is given to the defendant – at this stage, the claimant has submitted their claim, and the details of this claim will be forward to the defendant. Additionally, the court may request that the claimant pay the court fees at this stage. The defendant will have 20 days to submit a statement of defence. This 20-day period can be extended twice, for a total of no more than 60 days. If the defendant does not comply within the time limit, the court will either a) grant s short extension or, b) give its judgment without the defendant submitting a defence.
  • The claimant replies to the statement of defence – if deemed appropriate by the claimant, they can submit a response to the statement of defence that was submitted by the defendant. This can be done in either written format, or verbally during an additionally scheduled hearing.
  • The main hearing – at this stage, the court will make a decision on the claim, based on all the evidence provided in 1) the original statement of claim, 2) the defence statement, and 3) the claimants reply to the statement of defence. It is also possible during the hearing, to introduce new evidence, and additional information.

Duty Of Care And Liability For Injuries

Under Swiss liability law, the duty of care is defined as having four different facets. In the case of this guide, each of these facets would be in place to protect holidaymakers. However, the same duty of care applies to commercial organisations, Government authorities, etc. The four distinct pillars of the Swiss take on duty of care are:

  • Duty of information – this relates to ensuring employees are properly trained, that safety risks are regularly assessed, and that adequate safety expertise is available, etc.
  • Duty of prevention – this relates to the preparation and planning aspects of safety. Including risk assessment and mitigation, and ensuring that adequate insurance is in place to compensate any third party making a claim.
  • Duty of monitoring – this relates to all of the proactive aspects of safety. This includes auditing safety records as well as documenting them, and all processes involved in creating, storing and managing this data.
  • Duty of intervention – this relates to all of the reactionary aspects of safety. This would include crisis management, evaluation of the risk management process, managing the complaints procedure, and dealing with staff disciplinary actions related to failures in safety protocol, etc.

It is this duty of care, that a third party will need to be in breach of, in order for you to be eligible to make a compensation claim. Speak to one of our claim advisors if you need clarification on this point.

Switzerland Rules On Damages And Compensation

In order to understand how your personal injury claim in Switzerland is made, we need to go over the concept of limitation of damages. Limitation of damages is a term used to describe a situation whereby an injured party has pre-agreed to an upper limit of compensation that they could be eligible for. Additionally, it could also cover any situation whereby an injured party was bound by a “waiver” type of agreement, indemnifying the defendant against pursued for damages in certain situations. Some of the basics of limited liability in Switzerland are:

  • The contract of limiting damages needs to be agreed on by both parties for it to be deemed legally binding.
  • If both parties agree to such a contract, the limitations described within it, will be deemed to have applied in any claims case.
  • In some cases, limited liability can be implied by the actions or conduct of either party to the contract. However, in practice, this rule is seldom exercised in court, due to its vague nature. Although in one to one personal relationships, goodwill could become a deciding factor when choosing whether to apply limited liability due to the conduct of either party.
  • A contact of reduced liability is not unlimited. The contract must set proper boundaries for where limited liability ends, and true liability begins. Additionally, limited liability only covers the part of the claim the contract applies to. If the claim includes aspects that were not covered by the contract, then these aspects will be deemed to be claimable at full liability.

This is obviously a very complex legal situation. We recommend that you speak to one of our expert claim advisors about your own claim, if you believe that you are bound by a limited liability claim of some kind.

Switzerland Personal Injury Claims Calculator

Instead of using an accident abroad compensation calculator, you can use the table below to check the range of compensation that you may receive if your claim is successful.

Illness or InjuryHow Severe?CompensationInformation
Hand injuryMinor to seriousUp to £54,301Injuries will range upwards in severity, from simple skin damage such as cuts, bruises, burns, etc. through simple and compound fractures, as well as all kinds of soft tissue damage, to paralysis or loss of the hand.
Wrist injuryMinor to severeUp to £52,461Injuries will range upwards in severity, from lacerations, scrapes, burns, abrasions, etc. through sprains and strains, and other STI, as well as fractures, to some level of paralysis of the wrist.
Arm injuryModerate to severeUp to £114,831Injuries will range upwards in severity, from damage to the skin (cuts, bruises, burns, grazes, etc.) through all types of fractures and soft tissue damage, to partial (at the elbow) or full (at the shoulder) loss or paralysis of the arm.
Finger injuryMinor to severeUp to £21,941Injuries will range upwards in severity, from lacerations, bruises, cuts, burns, etc. through soft tissue injuries, fractures and dislocations, to the total loss of one or more fingers.
Thumb injuryMinor to severeUp to £48,041Injuries will range upwards in severity, from lacerations, bruises, cuts, burns, etc. through soft tissue injuries, fractures and dislocations, to total loss of one or both thumbs.
Back injuryMinor to severeUp to £141,171Injuries will range upwards in severity, from damage to the skin of the back (lacerations, burns, bruises, grazes, scrapes, etc.) through damaged vertebrae, as well as strains, sprains and other STI, to some level of paralysis of the back.
Neck injuryMinor to severeUp to £130,081Injuries will range upwards in severity, from damage to the skin of the neck (lacerations, burns, bruises, grazes, scrapes, etc.) through damaged vertebrae, as well as strains, sprains and other STI, to some level of paralysis of the neck.
Toe injuryModerate to severeUp to £49,141Injuries will range upwards in severity, from lacerations, bruises, cuts, burns, etc. through soft tissue injuries, fractures and dislocations, to the total loss of one or more toes.
Ankle injuryMinor to severeUp to £61,141Injuries will range upwards in severity, from lacerations, scrapes, burns, abrasions, etc. through sprains and strains, and other STI, as well as fractures, to some level of paralysis of the ankle.
Foot injuryMinor to very severeUp to £96,141Injuries will range upwards in severity, from simple skin damage such as cuts, bruises, burns, etc. through simple and compound fractures, as well as all kinds of soft tissue damage, to paralysis or loss of the foot.
Leg injuryMinor to severeUp to £119,241Injuries will range upwards in severity, from damage to the skin (cuts, bruises, burns, grazes, etc.) through all types of fractures and soft tissue damage, to partial (at the knee) or full (at the hip) loss or paralysis of the leg.
IllnessMinorUp to £3,001The illness would display mild symptoms such as nausea, sickness and headache. It would be treated with over the counter medication, and last just a day or two.
IllnessModerateUp to £7,251The illness would display symptoms such as nausea, sickness, diarrhoea and headache. It would be treated with over the counter medication, and last up to a week.
IllnessModerate to severeUp to £14,601The illness would display serious symptoms such as nausea, sickness, diarrhoea, fever, muscle cramps and headache. It would be treated with prescription medication, and last a week or more.
IllnessSevereUp to £39,901The illness would display serious symptoms such as nausea, sickness, diarrhoea, high fever, muscle cramps, dehydration and headache. It would be treated with prescription medication, and require hospitalisation. It could last for many weeks.
Psychiatric damageSevere£48,081 to £101,471These would be very long-term issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and newly developed phobias, severely affecting the life of the sufferer.
Psychiatric damageModerate to severe£16,721 to £48,081These would be long-term issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and newly developed phobias, with a significant effect on the life of the sufferer.
Psychiatric damageModerate£5,131 to £16,721These would be medium-term issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and newly developed phobias, with a moderate effect on the life of the sufferer.
Psychiatric damageLess severe£1,351 to £5,131These would be short-term issues such as stress and mental trauma, lasting just a few days, with little impact on the life of the sufferer.

Additionally, one of our claims team will be able to give you a more accurate estimate of the compensation you might receive, than a personal injury claims calculator likely would.

Types Of Compensation That You Could Claim For

If your personal injury solicitor is successful in processing your claim, the settlement that you are offered could be made up of multiple types of damages, for example:

  • Special damages:
    • Loss of current income.
    • Lowered future earning prospects.
    • Negative effect on life quality.
    • Private medical fees.
    • Travel costs.
    • Cost of hiring home help or home nursing.
  • General damages:
    • Pain and suffering.
    • Shock or mental trauma.
    • Psychological injuries.
    • Painful recovery.
    • Permanent disability.

No Win No Fee Overseas Accident Claims

When you use our No Win No Fee claims service, we won’t charge anything to start working on your claim, and we won’t charge anything during the time we are processing your claim for you. If we don’t get you any compensation, we still don’t charge anything. When we do, we take our fee out of the money received, and send you the remainder.

Could You Claim For An Accident On Holiday?

Would you like to know if you could make a package holiday claim? If so, speak to our claims team today. They will go over your claim with you, and ask a series of questions designed to tell us whether you have a valid claim or not. If you do, they will offer you some free legal advice, on how we can assist you in getting the compensation you could be eligible for.

How To Contact Our Experts

Have you been injured while on a Swiss holiday? Do you need a personal injury lawyer to help you in making your claim? If so, call out claims team on 0800 073 8804. They will explain how we can help, and be able to get your claim started right away.

Related Articles

You might find the information at these external links to be useful:

British Embassy Berne

UK Government travel advice

Swiss law related to claims

You could also find these related guides to be of use:

Claiming for a hotel accident in Switzerland

Swiss car accident claims guide

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