Compensation claims for injury in Romania
This easy-to-follow guide sets out what you need to know about making a successful injury or illness compensation claim in Romania.
Our panel of solicitors are no longer able to assist with compensation claims for accidents abroad.
This section considers the most common circumstances causing holiday accident and illness claims in Romania.
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.
Road traffic accidents in Romania
In 2014 there were 1,818 road deaths in Romania. This equates to 9.1 road deaths per 100,000 of population; 237 percent higher than the comparable rate in the UK.
Driving standards can be poor in Romania, particularly in rural areas. The FCO warns British holidaymakers to watch out for double-parked cars, people suddenly braking to avoid a pothole and livestock running in front of the vehicle.
If you have a road accident in Romania, you can usually make a claim through the British courts. EU Motor Insurance Directives allow British citizens to make a claim directly against the Romanian car insurance company, who is legally obliged to appoint a British agent to handle the claim for them in the UK.
The question of liability (who caused the accident) and damages (how much compensation you can claim) is determined by Romanian law. This means that the English Courts would award you the same compensation as would be awarded to a Romanian driver whose accident happened in Romania.
Whether a claim is likely to succeed will depend on the facts of the case. Potential claimants are advised to seek legal advice as soon as they return to the UK.
Skiing accidents in Romania
Data on the frequency and type of injury suggests that skiing is the most dangerous of all sports, with injuries ranging from ligament and tendon damage, to broken bones and life-changing head injuries. British visitors to resorts such Poiana Brasov are especially at risk due to the lack of practice or experience.
It may be possible to claim compensation where the accident was caused by the negligent actions of another person. This may be the case where, for example, the ski equipment was faulty or the ski instructors gave poor guidance.
Airline accidents and illness claims in Romania
Bags falling from overhead lockers are a common cause of injuries on aeroplanes. Burns and scalding injuries may also occur if hot drinks or food are spilled onto a passenger's lap, especially during turbulence.
Under the Montreal Convention, it may be possible to claim for injuries or illness during a flight between any UK airport and Romania even where the airline itself was not at fault. The limitation date for making an injury claim is two years. Due to the shorter time limit, potential claimants are advised to contact a solicitor as soon as possible.
Other common categories of holiday injury in Romania
The list of potential risks and causes of injury in Romania is significant. Common holiday accidents that may liable for injury compensation include:
- Slips and trips
- Balcony fall accidents
- Carbon monoxide poisoning in poorly maintained and ventilated hotel rooms
- Swimming pool accidents
- Food poisoning
- Adventure sports accidents
Contacting the emergency services
In the event of an emergency, call the Romanian emergency services on 112. Calls are free of charge from any landline or mobile phone.
The Romanian word for ambulance is "ambulanta" and the paramedic services are known by the acronym SMURD ("Serviciul Mobil de Urgenta, Reanimare si Descarcerare"). The word for hospital is "spital. If you need police assistance, ask for the "politie."
In the event of a road accident that results in injury, you are required by law to call the police to the scene of the accident. The police will prepare a report of the incident. It is important to take a copy of the report, as this will be an essential piece of evidence in any motor insurance or personal injury compensation claim.
Getting medical attention
British citizens are eligible to seek public healthcare in Romania as long as they apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving home. The EHIC does not cover private treatment, although some types of travel insurance will cover the cost of private care.
Romania operates a co-pay system where patients are asked to contribute towards the cost of certain tests, treatments and drugs. However, the Romanian health service is under significant financial strain. Patients have reportedly been asked to buy their own latex gloves or syringes in addition to the official co-pay items.
It is important to get receipts for all payments, to ensure that you can recover these costs from your travel insurer when you return home.
Whether you are continuing with your holiday or returning home, it is important to gather as much information as possible about the accident before you leave Romania. This will give your injury lawyer the best chance of making a successful claim.
Examples of evidence that can be used to build a robust case include:
- Photographs of the incident site
- Police reports of the accident
- The contact details of any eyewitnesses
- Medical records
- A copy of the entry in the hotel accident book.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
Many tour operators offer package holidays to Romania including Cosmos, Thomas Cook and Balkan Holidays.
Holidaymakers who booked their holiday through a UK-based package tour operator are protected by the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. The legislation enables Britons who have been injured in Romania to make a claim against the travel agent through the Courts of England and Wales.
The holiday company may be liable if they were negligently responsible for the accident or illness, or if the provider of any service included in the package was negligently responsible for the accident or illness. For example, you would be able to claim compensation against your holiday company if you contracted food poisoning from the hotel restaurant. However, you would not be able to claim against them if you tripped on a badly maintained pavement in the local town centre.
If you booked the hotel, flight and car hire personally without a tour company, then your holiday is not covered by the Package Travel Regulations. You may still be able to make a claim in this scenario, but it will be a slightly more complicated process.
Holidaymakers wishing to talk through their options are advised to contact a specialist travel solicitor as soon as they return to the UK.
Similar to England and Wales, Romania allows injured persons to make a compensation claim up to three years from the date of the accident. Romanian laws are not straightforward, however, and holidaymakers are advised to contact a solicitor as soon as possible to ensure there is enough time to make a claim.
|Circumstances of injury or illness||Limitation date*|
|Injury or illness on a package holiday to Romania, including activities booked through a UK-based tour operator||3 years|
|Injury or illness during a holiday to Romania that was booked privately||3 years (time limits can vary - see Time Limit Calculator for more information)|
Injury or illness during a non-package holiday flight to or from any international airport in Romania
*Contact a specialist solicitor for more information or calculate how long you have to make a claim here.
British Embassy Bucharest
24 Jules Michelet
+40 (21) 201 7200
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Our nationwide network of solicitors carry out the legal work for all types of compensation claim and have a wealth of expertise with fast track, complex and serious injury claims. Chosen for their track record in recovering compensation, QLS's solicitors have years of dedicated experience.