Claiming personal injury when working abroad in Spain What is the accident abroad process?

UK nationals made 4.8 million business trips abroad in 2022. Just as individuals on holiday in Spain experience accidents, so do employees when working abroad in Spain and similarly, they may be entitled to compensation. In some instances, your employer may be at fault and liable to reimburse any financial losses caused by your accident.

This guide will explore the process for personal injury in Spain, and what happens if the accident occurs whilst working.

Click on the links below to jump to that section:

Discover the most common accidents that may occur in Spain whilst working.

Find out the accident claims process in Spain, and what evidence you can collect.

Find out what a Local Standards Report is, and when it is appropriate.

Discover how Spanish lawyers (Abogados) can help you claim compensation in Spain.

Read the most common queries on personal injury in Spain.

What types of accidents could you have when working abroad in Spain?

In Spanish law, "The Brussels Regime" dictates that if the accident occurred in the country, then the personal injury claim must be processed through its courts.

Regardless of the workplace, there is always the possibility of an accident, particularly if poor health and safety management exists. This is amplified when working abroad and if you are unsure of the layout and working environment. Common accidents that happen when working abroad include:

  • Falls

  • Road traffic accidents

  • Unsafe working environments

  • Faulty equipment

  • Accidents caused by the fault of a colleague

  • The employer failed to provide proper safety training

Having an accident whilst working abroad in Spain can be a daunting experience, especially as you may not understand the language or the laws. Seeking legal advice from international Spanish lawyers (Abogados) is without doubt beneficial. It will help you better understand what is required from you and the total amount of compensation you may be entitled to.

Contact Giambrone & Partners today to see how we can help you with your personal injury claim.

What should you do if you have had an accident when working abroad?

Depending on the seriousness of the accident, you should call the Spanish emergency services (112), ensuring you keep a record of the contact details of any responders at the scene and the medical report detailing the extent of your injuries. You should also contact your employer if the accident occurred in the workplace.

Collect evidence

There may be an abundance of evidence relating to how your accident occurred and you should try to collect from the moment the accident occurred if possible. If you have sufficient evidence, this can support your case and prove that somebody is at fault should the proceedings go to court.

The important evidence to collect are the contact details of anybody directly involved in your accident, or who witnessed the accident who can support your claim. This includes contact details of the person you reported the accident to (whether this is HR or the lead safety expert) and a copy of the accident report. Photographic evidence should be collected such as CCTV footage.

Make sure to make a claim within the limitation period

Following an accident in Spain, the limitation period is one year from the date of the accident or when you became aware of impact the injuries.

Letter of claim

After obtaining advise from Spanish international lawyers who can guide you through the accident claim process and help determine how much compensation you may be entitled to, a letter of claim must be sent This statement will set out the extent of your injuries, and any financial losses you have suffered due to the accident. This includes any loss of income, medical expenses, travel costs, and childcare.

The letter of claim will be sent to the person or organisation deemed liable, such as your employer or colleagues who may be deemed to be at fault.

Court proceedings

If your employer, or another third party, refuses to accept full or partial liability, the matters then must be processed through Spanish courts. Evidence will be assessed by a judge who will determine liability and the value of compensation and whether the defendant should pay the full amount.

Find out more about reporting personal injury in Spain with our expert guide here.

Do you need a Local Standards Report?

In some instances, you may require a Local Standards Report to support your claim. A Local Standards Report clarifies the safety standards in the country where the accident occurred. Safety standards vary across different countries, and many have lower safety standards than those that are required in the UK. This can help to determine whether shoddy workmanship or poor health and safety management is responsible or whether the safety standards in that country are lower but legal. For personal injury claims in Spain, the Local Standards Report will state Spanish standards, and whether the incident was caused due to negligence or if it was a blameless accident.

If the accident was caused due to negligence from your employer or a third party, this report can help establish accountability and whether your employer should have provided more safety management.

Find out more about whether you need a Local Standards Report here.

Why should you hire a personal injury lawyer after having an accident abroad?

Although claiming compensation whilst working abroad is similar to the holiday accident process, it can become complicated if you claim against your employer. If you believe you have gathered sufficient evidence and that your employer is at fault, seek legal advice from a law firm that operates in a multijurisdictional capacity and a full understanding of the relevant law.

Giambrone & Partners is an international law firm with over 15 years of successfully obtaining awards for clients involved in accidents overseas. Our Spanish personal injury lawyers (Abogados) can help reconstruct road traffic accidents and incidents in the workplace, provide Local Standard reports and claims against employers.

If you require further information and would like to speak to our Personal Injury Group today, arrange an appointment, and we will get in touch with you.

Frequently asked questions

Can I make a workplace accident claim if I'm self-employed (Autónomos)?

To be able to claim compensation for an accident in a self-employed workplace, you must prove that your own negligence did not cause the accident, and that a third party is liable.

Find out more about becoming an Autónomo in Spain with our expert guide here.

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