Illness or injury in compensation claims Hungary
This article sets out what you need to know about making a successful injury or illness compensation claim in Hungary.
Our panel of solicitors are no longer able to assist with compensation claims for accidents abroad.
Many tour operators offer package holidays to Hungary including Thomson, Thomas Cook and Travel Supermarket. Saga specialises in travel for the over-50s, while Intrepid Travel offers small-group holidays to Hungary "off the beaten track".
Travellers who booked their holiday through a package tour operator are protected by the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. The Regulations enable people who have been injured in Hungary to make a claim against the UK-based holiday company through the Courts of England and Wales.
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.
If you booked the flights and accommodation separately, your holiday is not covered by the Package Travel Regulations. It may still be possible to make a claim using a British personal injury solicitor, however. Under EU law, certain types of claim including travel insurance claims and compensation for injuries associated with a car accident in Hungary may be made through Courts in England and Wales.
Holidaymakers who are injured during an international flight are protected by an international treaty, the Montreal Convention. This international treaty gives passengers the right to pursue a compensation claim against the airline if they are injured on any flight connecting a British airport with a Hungarian airport, including:
- Budapest-Liszt Ferenc
- Debrecen Airport
- Sármellék Airport
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
In Hungary, the applicable time limit for making a claim will vary depending on whether the claim is made against a UK-based tour operator, an individual or an insurance company. Holidaymakers are advised to contact a solicitor as soon as they return to the UK, to ensure there is enough time to pursue a claim.
|Circumstances of injury or illness||Limitation date*|
|Injury or illness on a holiday to Hungary that was booked through a UK-based package tour company such as Thomson, Thomas Cook or Saga||3 years|
|Injury or illness during a holiday to Hungary that was booked privately (non-package tour)||5 years (time limits can vary - see Time Limit Calculator for more information)|
Injury or illness during a flight that was not booked as part of a package deal to or from any international airport in Hungary
*Time limits vary considerably so contact a specialist solicitor as soon as possible.
All the main emergency services may be contacted by dialling 112. Calls can be answered in English, German and Romanian. Alternatively contact a specific service using the following numbers:
- 104 ambulance (mentok)
- 105 fire service (tuzoltók)
- 107 police (rendorség)
Healthcare services are not free in Hungary but there are special arrangements for British visitors.
The European Health Insurance Card enables holidaymakers to access public healthcare at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free. Medical fees are paid upfront then reclaimed through the EHIC system, so remember to keep your receipts. In most cases, you will have to make a patient co-pay for certain prescriptions that are not refundable through the EHIC system.
The EHIC does not cover the cost of private treatment. Look for healthcare providers that operate within the public system. They usually will display a sign bearing the inscription: "a társadalombiztosítás egészségügyi szolgáltatásaira szerzodött szolgáltató".
Road traffic accidents in Hungary
Hungary has one of the highest road accident rates in Europe. According to latest figures from the Department for Transport, there were 6.3 road deaths per 100,000 population in 2014, which is more than twice the fatality rate of the UK.
British motorists, unaccustomed to higher speed limits and driving on the right, are especially vulnerable. Holidaymakers are advised to carry fully comprehensive car insurance when driving in Hungary.
In the event of a collision with a Hungarian driver, it is necessary for the police to be involved. The police will issue an incident report which must be shown when leaving Hungary. If the evidence is clear that the other driver was at fault, the police will note this in the incident report. The report may be used as evidence in any subsequent personal injury claim.
It is advisable to note the names and addresses of any witnesses to the accident, as well as the registration numbers of all vehicles involved. It is recommended that you do not admit liability or sign any papers before checking with your solicitor or insurance company.
As Hungary is a member of the European Union, it should be possible to make a personal injury claim from the UK. It is essential that you contact a specialist European motor accident solicitor as soon as you return from your holiday, since not every solicitor will have experience of dealing with European car accident claims.
Hungary is growing in popularity as a destination for guided and self-guided walking, cycling and boating tours along the Danube River. There have been reports of several holidaymakers being seriously injured during these trips, most notably resulting from cycling accidents. Cyclists may be injured through the actions of motorists, the condition of the roads or faults with a hired bicycle.
Although participants understand the inherent risks with adventure activities, there is a possibility that holidaymakers could be injured through no fault of their own. The organisers of these kinds of tours have a duty of care to ensure that participants are protected against any unnecessary danger, for example, by ensuring that all equipment is in good repair. Where they fail in this duty, the injured party may be able to make a compensation claim.
Hungary is a landlocked country, but each year thousands of tourists visit Lake Balaton, the largest freshwater lake in Europe, for swimming, sailing and water-sports such as windsurfing, kayaking, kite surfing and water ski courses.
Storms can strike quickly and unexpectedly in this part of Hungary. Between April 1 and October 30, a storm warning service at the lake signals oncoming storms. When the warning light flashes, it is not permitted to bathe or use any craft in the water.
Travel insurers usually classify storms as "acts of God." This means that your travel insurance may not provide cover for losses associated with extreme weather events.
In some cases, it may be possible to make a claim for injuries sustained in a storm or more generally in a swimming or water sports accident. For example, a claim may be possible if it can be shown that the lifeguards did not carry out their duties properly or another person was negligently responsible for your injuries.
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Quittance Legal Services' nationwide network of solicitors take on all types of personal injury claims and have a wealth of experience in fast track, complex and serious injury claims. Chosen on the basis of their success rate in winning claims, Quittance's panel solicitors have years of dedicated experience.
About the author
Jonathan has over 30 years' experience in the personal injury sector and has been awarded the rank of Senior Litigator by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
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