Many foreign tourists have experienced accidents or injuries in Thailand. These incidents often happen at hotels and other tourist establishments.
Under Thai law, a person who wilfully and negligently unlawfully injures the life, body, health, liberty, property or any other right of another may be held liable to compensate for the damage.
Statute of Limitations
Any claim for compensation in Thailand must be made within a year of the date of your accident or injury. This is strictly adhered to by Thai courts.
Section 420 of the Thai Civil and Commercial Code stipulates that “a person who wilfully or negligently unlawfully injures the life, body, health, liberty, property or other rights of another shall be bound to make compensation.” The type and amount of this compensation is determined by the court and varies according to the circumstances and the severity of the wrongful act.
A lawyer can assist you with determining what your damages are and file a lawsuit for you if necessary. Often times, however, personal injury cases in Thailand are resolved through negotiation with the tortfeasor’s insurance company. In addition, most personal injury cases require that the injured party appear in person for all hearings. If you cannot come to Thailand in person, you can sign a power of attorney and allow a lawyer in Thailand to represent you.
As a victim of an accident or injury in Thailand, you’ll be entitled to compensation. This compensation will help to put you back in the position that you were in before the incident occurred, including expenses, loss of earnings and benefits.
However, it’s important to note that unlike many western jurisdictions, Thai courts will only award damages for quantifiable losses. This includes lost earnings that have already been incurred as well as those that are expected to be incurred in the future. Damages for intangible losses are often less substantial, but can still be awarded – albeit at a much lower level than what you’ll see in the West.
A claim for compensation in Thailand must be made within one year of the date on which the injury or wrongful act was committed (this is known as the ‘prescription period’). If it’s also a criminal case, a longer prescription will apply. This is why it’s so vital that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.
Most law firms in Thailand will have someone on staff who can handle personal injury claims. They will be able to help you determine whether you have a valid claim and assist with filing it. The most common type of personal injury claim in Thailand is for motor vehicle accidents. Other types of injuries can include falls on property, workplace incidents and public place accidents.
Under Thai law, if a person willfully or negligently causes injury to another person’s body, life, health, liberty, property or rights, they are bound to compensate the injured party. Compensation will be awarded for the injury itself and other tangible losses such as expenses for medical treatment, lost income and loss of future earnings. The courts will also take into account other intangible losses such as pain and suffering though these awards may be more restrained than in some countries. It is important for the claimant to physically appear at all hearings in court.
If you have suffered an injury in Thailand, whether it occurred at your accommodation or on the streets of the country, it is important to contact a law firm immediately. Many firms have someone on staff dedicated to personal injury, or you can look for a more specialized law firm to handle your case.
Generally, a claim for compensation is a civil case rather than criminal in nature. It is essential that any claims be filed as soon as possible or they will be lost due to the statute of limitations.
The courts in Thailand will seek to award you compensation that will return you to the position you were before the accident. This may include paying your medical bills and compensating you for any time lost at work – both past and future. In some cases, the court will award you for the pain and suffering you have endured as well. This is known as “damages”. In common law jurisdictions, damages for various intangible factors such as disfigurement and emotional distress can reach astronomical levels.