Illness or injury compensation claims in the Czech Republic
This guide takes you through what you need to know about making an injury or illness compensation claim in the Czech Republic.
Our panel of solicitors are no longer able to assist with compensation claims for accidents abroad.
Most visits to the Czech Republic are trouble-free, but the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) reports that street crime and petty theft may be an issue, particularly in Prague. Pickpocketing is common at the main railway station and on public transport, particularly the routes to and from Prague Castle and other major tourist sites, and on the buses to/from the airport.
If your passport is stolen you will need to obtain a police report and apply for an Emergency Travel Document from the British Embassy in Prague.
The FCO reports there have also been a small number of incidents involving drinks being spiked and visitors having their valuables stolen while intoxicated. The FCO recommend that travellers should only buy alcohol from legitimate vendors like supermarkets or licensed bars, and should check that the bottle has an original, untouched seal around the cork or cap.
Methanol poisoning cases are rare, however it may be possible to make a claim if you have sustained injury or illness after being served contaminated alcohol in a restaurant, bar or hotel.
Our network of solicitors do not currently have the capacity to take on holiday-related injury and sickness claims outside the UK. It is recommended that you contact a personal injury specialist solicitor to discuss your options as soon as possible, as some jurisdictions have limitation dates of less than the three year limit that is standard in the UK.
Compensation claim time limits in the Czech Republic are dependent on the circumstances of the injury. Given the country's relatively short time limits, travellers are advised to start a claim at an early stage.
|Circumstances of injury or illness||Limitation date*|
|Flights to or from the Czech Republic booked as part of a package tour||3 years|
|During a package tour holiday||3 years|
|During a privately booked holiday||2 years (see Time Limit Calculator for more information)|
|During a privately-booked flight to or from Czech international airports including:
*Calculate how long you have to make a claim here or contact a solicitor to discuss how long you may have to make a claim.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
Whether you have returned home from the Czech Republic, are being treated in a Czech Republic hospital, or are continuing with your holiday, following these steps can give your claim a better chance of making a successful holiday accident compensation claim.
- Report the incident to the relevant authorities
- Take photos and gather other evidence
- Take the names and contact details of any witnesses
You may also be required to contact your travel insurance provider as soon as possible. Your insurer may also be able to recommend a preferred healthcare provider for any medical treatment.
In an emergency dial 112. English can be spoken and an ambulance requested if needed.
Ambulance and rescue services can also be called on 155, but usually only Czech will be spoken.
Other emergency numbers:
150 - Fire brigade
156 - Municipal police
158 - Police
Although it is possible to obtain a reference number for a crime related incident by reporting it to a police station in the UK, it is much better to report the crime in the Czech Republic. Thefts should be reported in person within 24 hours and police report crime number obtained.
Below is a list of police stations in the centre of Prague
Bartolomejska 14, Prague 1
Vlasska 3, Prague 1
Jungmannovo namesti 9, Prague 1 (headquarters).
This police station is open 24 hours. English translators are provided
Safarikova 12, Prague 2
There is also a police station at Prague international airport, where a police report may be obtained.
The State police who are responsible for day-to-day safety wear white shirts and dark-grey trousers or skirts and are armed. Municipal police wear light-grey trousers or skirts. Traffic police are responsible for all road and traffic regulations.
The FCO also warn travellers to beware of bogus plain-clothes policemen, who may ask to see your foreign currency and passport - no police officer has this authority. Carry your passport with you at all times for identification. The police may fine you or arrest you if you fail to do so
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) enables UK travellers to access state-provided healthcare on the same basis as a Czech resident. It also provides cover for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and routine maternity care.
A contribution to cost of care may be required.
Treatment must be by a healthcare provider with a contract with any of the Czech public healthcare insurance funds (HIFs) as treatment by private healthcare companies is not covered.
A list of HIF registered local health professionals is available from the 'Centrum mezistatnich uhrad' (Centre for international reimbursements) at www.cmu.cz
Consult a doctor who is registered with an HIF. A small patient contribution of around 30CZK (£1.00) will be charged. A similar charge is payable for prescriptions (receipt) for medicines, laboratory tests or other examinations. Charges are non-refundable.
Basic dental care is covered by the health insurance system. However, charges are made for some dental treatment (covering such things as costs of materials used or above-standard treatment). Clinical examinations are charged at 30CZK (£1.00) and 90CZK (£3.00) for any emergency treatment.
Outpatient treatment will incur a charge of 30CZK.
A 90CZK charge is made for emergency hospital treatment provided at weekends, during holidays or between 5pm and 7am on working days, unless you are subsequently admitted.
In most pharmacies, queues are divided into 'bez receptu' (general purchase) and 'na recept' (for those with a prescription). Doctors' prescriptions should be taken to a pharmacy within one week of being issued, otherwise they become invalid. Prescriptions from emergency services are valid for one day only; prescriptions for antibiotics must be picked up within three days.
A number of the major UK holiday companies operate city break holidays to the Czech Republic, including Thomas Cook and the airline companies British Airways, Jet2 and EasyJet.
The injury or illness should be reported to the tour company's representative in the Czech Republic. If there is no rep available, a report should be made to the operator's UK head office.
Below are listed some of the most popular Prague hotels, as promoted by tour operators in 2016:
- Anna Hotel
- Best Western Hotel Pav
- Saint George Hotel
- Caesar Prague
- Design Hotel Neruda
- The Grand Mark Prague
- Hotel Noir
(This information is provided for information purposes only.)
Holiday food poisoning and water-borne illness in the Czech Republic
Drinking water is chlorinated and has no ill effect on the local population. However, some local strains of e. coli may be present in very small concentrations in the local water supply and may cause diarrhoea in travellers as they are different to those their bodies are used to. Drinking bottled water is therefore advised.
Milk is pasteurized and safe to drink. Butter, cheese, yoghurt, and ice cream are safe.
Local meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables, and fruits are safe to eat.
Adventure holiday accidents in the Czech Republic
A number of specialist tour operators offer walking holidays in the Czech Republic, including Czech Tours Ltd, The Ramblers Association and On Foot Holidays.
Some walks involve scrambling on sandstone ridges and there may be a risk of falls and injuries where the ground is unstable. Even on lower level walks, wet weather may make the ground slippery, especially along riverside paths.
It is important to choose a holiday suited to your own level of fitness and to wear suitable boots and clothing.
Road traffic accidents in the Czech Republic
According to a new report by the International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD) the Czech Republic ranks among the most dangerous places to drive among developed countries in terms of accidents per billion vehicle kilometres (bvk) - with road fatalities at 15.7 per bvk compared with 3.5 in the UK.
However there has been a steady decline in fatal injuries, with the number reducing from 802 in 2010 to 688 in 2014.
Anyone planning to drive to the Czech Republic is advised to consult the green line motoring helpline run by the Czech Central Automobile Club (UAMK), which has information available in Czech and English (telephone: 00 420 1230). It is legal to drive on a UK Driving Licence.
A special vignette (sticker) is needed to drive on Czech motorways. These are available to purchase from Post Offices, petrol stations, bureaux de change or at the border. Failure to display a valid vignette can result in a fine.
All vehicles must have headlights on dipped beam, even in daylight and the Czech police have a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
By law all cars must carry
- Fluorescent green high visibility safety jacket, first aid kit and warning triangle
- Complete set of spare bulbs and electric fuses
- Jack, spanner and spare wheel or special tyres repair set
Winter tyres are needed between 1 November and 31 March.
Anyone involved in a traffic accident where there is significant damage or an injury must inform the police before moving the vehicle. You should take details of the other driver (name, address, registration and insurance) and of any witnesses. If possible photograph the accident scene.
British Embassy Prague
Opening hours Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
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